As the hot stove burns and the Matt Holliday pot starts to boil, you start to look deeper, fishing for reasons to say, “Yes! Let’s do it!” or “No! No freakin’ way!”
One major point that gets great scrutiny is the Coors Field effect. In his 2007, MVP-quality season, Holliday hit .376 with 25 HR and 82 RBI in Denver. On the road? He hit .301 with 11 HR and 55 RBI.
The Coors Field effect has affected many hitters in history — before Denver, Dante Bichette was a mild-mannered 15-HR hitter. In Denver, he averaged 30 homers and a .315 average over seven seasons. How about Andres Galarraga? He hit .243 for Saint Louis in 1992. In 1993, he hit Denver and hit .370.
So, if Holliday were to play for the Phillies, would the Phils be victim of the Coors Field effect?
I looked at his 2008 statistics. Holliday had a bit of a down campaign, aided by a 15-day DL stint. Still, it was a fine season, and I reconfigured his statistics to show how he’d fare if a Phillie and not a Rockie. How?
- I took averages of Holliday’s H, HR, RBI, BB and K per game at shared ballparks, then applied those averages in accordance of the amount of games the Phillies played at those ballparks.
- At non-shared ballparks I took Holliday’s season averages and applied them. Note: Holliday didn’t play at Citizens Bank Park in 2008, so all those numbers are taken from season averages.
- I factored in the 15-day DL stint, and three days Holliday missed in September. (This means Holliday would’ve played 70 games in Philadelphia, not a full 81.)
Here are the comparisons:
2008 Holliday w/COL : .321 AVG / 25 HR / 88 RBI / 74 BB / 104 K
2008 Holliday w/PHI : .314 AVG / 25 HR / 80 RBI / 87 BB / 116 K
The differences aren’t too wild, but you can see Holliday loses some production by playing away from Denver, and especially from playing away from San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona and Los Angeles. You can also see his walks and strikeouts both increase. Obviously, if Holliday plays for the Phillies, he’d have some decent protection around him (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard), so these numbers could be very different. So does this all say “No! No freakin’ way!” Well, not quite.