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Examining The "Yankee Stadium Effect" on The 2009 Yankees

NEW YORK - AUGUST 30:  Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammate Derek Jeter #2 after hitting a three run homer in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox during their game on August 30, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
patrick bohnCorrespondent INovember 2, 2016

There's been a lot of talk this season about how Yankee Stadium has provided a big boon to the Bronx Bombers, with home runs flying out every which way. Some critics say the Yankees offensive numbers are nothing more than a product of their home ballpark.

(If that's you, I invite you to take a quick peek at the Yankees run total at home vs. the road. You'll be pleasantly surprised.)

And while some Yankees have benefited greatly from the park, others have not seen quite the boost you might have been led to believe. Let's take a look at the 2009 Yankees on a case by case basis here.

Note: Players are considered innocent unless something in their overall numbers suggests they are benefiting from the home ballpark. Contrary to popular belief, home runs are not the only relevant offensive statistic.

 

C Jorge Posada

Home: .331/.397/.657 14 HR's, 41 RBI

Road: .241/.328/.425 7 HR's, 34 RBI

Verdict: Guilty. Giant differences across the board

 

1B Mark Teixeria

Home: .299/.382/.617 22 HR's, 62 RBI

Road: .261/.372/.474 13 HR's, 44 RBI

Verdict: Guilty.

 

2B Robinson Cano

Home: .325/.355/.526 12 HR's 40 RBI

Road: .303/.337/.507 11 HR's, 36 RBI

Verdict: Guilty, but nowhere near as drastic as you might expect. The power numbers are virtually identical. This one could change by the end of the season. An 18-point OBP difference is not that much

 

SS Derek Jeter

Road .341/.401/.451 5 HR's 26 RBI

Home: .317/.393/.491 12 HR's, 36 RBI

Verdict: Push. Power numbers skew towards guilty, but the average is significantly better on the road. And for a leadoff hitter, home run numbers aren't as important anyway. He gets a HR boost, but that's about it.

 

3B Alex Rodriguez

Road: .319/.430/.497 8 HR's, 48 RBI

Home: .247/.386/.526 16 HR's, 32 RBI

Verdict: Innocent. Yeah, the home run differences are drastic, but come on. A-Rod's hitting 72 points higher on the road and averaging almost an RBI per game away from the Bronx. His OPS is actually better on the road. There's more to being a great hitter than just home runs. Overall, Rodriguez has been a better hitter on the road.

 

LF Johnny Damon

Road: .275/.344/.437 7 HR's, 36 RBI

Home: .297/.391/.577 17 HR's, 40 RBI

Verdict: Guilty.

 

CF Melky Cabrera

Road: .286/.347/.427 4 HR's, 21 RBI

Home: .271/.329/.425 8 HR's, 37 RBI

Verdict: Slightly guilty, although like Cano, one big road series can even this out. Similar to Jeter, the power numbers are better, with the rate numbers worse. The RBI total is drastic, but four home runs isn't a huge difference.

 

CF Brett Gardner (Yes, he's included. Had he not gotten hurt, he and Melky are likely splitting time)

Road: .290/.346/.427 2 HR's 15 RBI

Home: .229/.340/.325 1 HR, 5 RBI

Verdict: Innocent. The power numbers are too small to be meaningful, and frankly, due to the small sample size, the average difference isn't all that shocking. But, he's in no way benefited from the home cooking.

 

RF Nick Swisher

Home: .214/.385/.348 5 HR's, 23 RBI

Road: .284/.370/.620 22 HR's, 55 RBI

Verdict: Innocent, and it's not even close. That's one of the most staggering slugging percentage differences you'll see

 

DH Hideki Matsui:

Road: .294/.389/.561 12 HR's, 38 RBI

Home: .251/.340/.456 11 HR's, 38 RBI

Verdict: Innocent. Look, the difference in his rate stats are more significant than Cano's, especially in average and slugging percentage. Either way, he has not received some advantage from Yankee Stadium

So what kind of conclusion do we reach?

Three Yankees are clearly guilty of benefiting from playing at Yankee Stadium (Damon, Posada, and Teixeria). Two others (Cano and Cabrera) have seen a slight increase in numbers at home. Three (Matsui, Jeter, and Gardner) haven't seen a benefit, and two (Swisher and A-Rod) are actually better on the road.

In essence, the "Yankee Stadium Effect" seems to be captured mostly in Damon, Teixeria, and Posada. None of the other seven hitters have these drastic, across the board splits like you might have seen in Colorado in the mid-90's.

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