Precious CarGo: Is Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez's Amazing Season for Real?
Carlos Gonzalez is making Rockies' fans forget all about Matt Holliday.
Ever since breaking out in last year's playoffs, Gonzalez has been on an absolute tear.
The young outfielder is in the top ten in all National League offensive categories, and is second in Power-Speed, a statistic invented by Bill James that measures the harmonic mean between a player's home runs and stolen bases.
And at the ripe age of 24, he's one of baseball's budding young stars.
But forgive me if I'm skeptical of his amazing stats.
After all, in his 85 games with Oakland, he hit just .242/.273/.361, and the Athletics saw fit to trade him in a package for Rockies star left fielder Matt Holliday.
Now, in baseball's famous hitters' haven of Coors Field, he's putting up MVP-type numbers at an incredibly young age.
So I decided to take a further look at CarGo's numbers. I hoped to prove myself wrong.
But sometimes, you don't get what you hope.
As of Wednesday, August 4, Gonzalez has played one more home game than road. A basic look at his splits cast his whole season into doubt.
First, the home runs.
Coors Field has always been notorious for producing the long ball. So much so, that recently they began a practice of humidifying baseballs to take the sting out of the thin mountain air.
As for Gonzalez, the Rockies star hit his 22nd and 23rd home runs of the season on Wednesday. That gives him 19 at Coors Field, and just four on the road.
Put it this way.
If Gonzalez played an entire 162 game season at Coors Field, he'd hit a superhuman 64 home runs.
If he played all of his games on the road, he'd hit just 13 homers. Yikes.
He also slugs .700+ at home, but just .385 on the road.
Obviously, his power numbers are influenced by the Rocky Mountain air.
And home runs and slugging percentage aren't the only mirages in CarGo's stat line.
He bats more than .100 higher at home than on the road. That's shocking for a player who is second in the National League in average.
He even strikes out twice as often on the road.
So it's obvious that most of his numbers are a product of Coors Field.
And I thought that would be the end of my investigation. I was wrong. Dead wrong.
It turns out, the Denver air isn't the only thing fueling Gonzalez's super human statistics.
He's also had a fair bit of luck to his credit. On the season, he has a BAbip of .369, almost .3 above his career average.
Even more shocking, his BAbip during the month of July is .441, a number that I had a hard time finding, as it was so high in the stratosphere. His HR/FB rates are also above his career average.
Can CarGo keep up his miracle season?
For now, the only number we can assume is real is his .995 fielding percentage.
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