2010 MLB All-Star Game: 10 Guys Whose Ballparks Made Them All-Stars
We call them Home Town Heroes.
They're the players whose home parks make them look better than they are. Sometimes, the home park can make a good player look great.
Other times, the home park can make a mediocre player look good.
Very rarely, a favorable home park can make a player who shouldn't even be in the major leagues look like an All-Star.
Here is a look at the Top 10 Home Town Hero Hitters in the 2010 MLB All Star Game.
10. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips is an excellent defensive second baseman, and with Chase Utley out of the game, there really isn't a better second base candidate.
Nevertheless, Phillips has been a real Home Town Hero for the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. Eight of his 12 home runs have come at home. He is hitting .319 with a .901 OPS at home, compared with .270 and a .739 OPS on the road.
9. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
As much as it pains me to dog Evan Longoria, he has hit the pulp out of the ball at Tropicana Field in 2010 while coming up dry on the road.
Longoria has eight home runs, a .345 batting average, and a 1.000 OPS at home, compared with five home runs, a .253 batting averages, and a .785 OPS on the road.
8. Josh Hamilton, RF, Texas Rangers
Okay, so Hamilton probably makes it even without the help of Rangers Ballpark, but the Ballpark has truly made Hamilton a star in 2010.
Hamilton has hit 16 of his 22 home runs at home, where he is batting .371 with a 1.146 OPS, compared with just .316 and an .857 OPS on the road.
Hamilton also has 18 of his 25 doubles, 69 of his 118 hits, and 137 of his 213 total bases in Texas this year.
7. Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies
Ryan Howard has had some amazing seasons in the past, but this really isn't one of them.
10 of his 17 home runs, 39 of his 65 RBI, and 98 of his 175 total bases have come at home. He hits .318 with a .929 OPS at home vs. .268 with a .786 OPS on the road.
6. Vlad Guerrero, DH, Texas Rangers
Tim McCarver and Joe Buck heaped praise upon Vlad Guerrero for his comeback season with the Texas Rangers in 2010.
They even went so far as to put his 2010 numbers on a side-by-side with his 2009 numbers with the Angels.
They proceeded to marvel at his amazing turnaround without once mentioning the fact that the Angels play in a pitcher's park while the Rangers play in a hitter's park.
Put it like this: Vlad is hitting .340 with a .966 OPS and 12 home runs at home in 2010, and .285 with an .842 OPS and 8 home runs on the road.
He hit .278 with a .728 OPS and seven home runs at home in 2009, and .317 with an .878 OPS and 8 home runs on the road.
He is the same player with a better home ballpark. Can we acknowledge this?
5. Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees
I don't like Derek Jeter, but I respect his greatness. He is one of the all-time great shortstops.
Nevertheless, if not for Yankees Stadium, Jeter might be having a terrible season in 2010.
Jeter has hit .240 with a .304 on-base percentage, .319 slugging percentage, and a .619 OPS on the road this season.
4. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas Rangers
Kinsler hits .344 with a .930 OPS at home at Rangers Ballpark. He has scored 31 runs there. Kinsler also has 45 hits, three home runs, and 20 RBI in Arlington.
Compare those numbers with his .269 road average, .708 road OPS, and 15 runs, 29 hits, one home run, and 10 RBI on the road.
3. Vernon Wells, CF, Toronto Blue Jays
Much has been made of Vernon Wells' resurgence in 2010.
Not much has been made of this:
Wells has 17 doubles, 12 home runs and a .323 batting average, .349 OBP, and 1.001 OPS at home in 2010, compared to nine doubles, seven home runs, and an atrocious .205 batting average, .291 OBP, and .683 OPS on the road.
A 1.001/0.683 OPS split is nearly historic.
But hey, what was David DeJesus gonna do in Southern California anyway?
2. Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox
Speaking of well lauded resurgences, Paul Konerko has White Sox fans talking Hall-of-Fame in 2010.
White Sox fans might want to take it easy.
Konerko has 15 home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs, and a .342 batting average at home in 2010, compared to five home runs, 25 RBI, 17 runs, and a .255 batting average on the road.
Konerko has a 1.143/0.738 OPS split in 2010.
That's okay, though. I'm sure Billy Butler is perfectly happy waiting for another year to make his first All-Star Game
1. Chris Young, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Which brings us to Chris Young.
For the most part, a good argument could be made that all the aforementioned players deserve to be All- Stars, even with their home field advantages.
Hey, that's what baseball is about. And those home field stats count, too, right?
Not so with Chris Young.
Young initially looks to be having a great season: 20 doubles, 15 home runs, 61 RBI, 48 runs, 17 stolen bases. He looks like a freakin' five-tool player.
Never mind the 75 strikeouts, .266 batting average, and .798 OPS. Young is having a great year.
But . . .
Chris has the worst home/road splits of any All-Star. Indeed, Young's season is essentially a myth.
Young has 12 doubles, 11 home runs, 36 RBI, 34 runs, 12 stolen bases and no caught stealings at home. He's batting .313 with a .965 OPS.
On the road, Young has eight doubles, four home runs, 25 RBI, 14 runs, five stolen bases and two caught stealings. He is batting .217 with a .626 OPS, and a terrible .282 on-base percentage.
Those are the types of splits we saw in Colorado in the 1990's. If Chris Young played for San Diego, he'd be out of baseball.
Meanwhile, Colby Rasmus--who hits .336 with a 1.074 OPS on the road--sits at home.