Post-Off-Season Spray Charts: Exploring the Results of Hitting in New Ballparks

I wish I could say that baseball is just around the corner and everything is going to be OK in the world pretty soon.

But I cannot say that.

And, the truth is: I miss baseball in a bad way.

Because of that, I have decided to take a deep dive into some statistical analysis using several different databases: Hitting Savant, Lahman, etc., and I am using that to keep me occupied until our game is back.

Let’s examine the pre-and-post trade spray charts for a couple of the offseason transactions that took place.

Doing so allows us to see how a player would have performed in their upcoming new home confines if they had actually played there in 2019.

Now, of course, there are only minimal amounts of causation that one can pull from these charts. Pitchers changes. Pitch-types change. Scenarios change. But, despite that, they are still fun to look at and scrutinize since we have nothing better to do right now.

Mookie Betts to Dodgers, Alex Verdugo to Red Sox

This wasn’t even a trade that Dodgers really needed because, even without Betts, they are the clear favorite to win the National League. But, they added a fantastic player to the team without giving up some of their most valued prospects.

Mike Petriello really sums it up:

Starlin Castro to the Nationals

Castro clearly had a wonky season last year.

His first-half .608 OPS made him one of the worst hitters in the league. And then, somehow, he managed to turn that around and close out the 2019 campaign with a .892 OPS, making him one of the top 50 hitters in the league.

He is also Mr. Reliable, having played every single day since 2010. He is no Anthony Rendon, but he is a proven veteran.

Jose Martinez and Manuel Margot to the Devil Rays

Despite a stellar 2017 season (.309/.379/.518) there was simply no room on the roster for Martinez in St. Louis thanks to his inability to play the outfield. The addition of Paul Goldschmidt to the roster only furthered the need to move Martinez.

An above-average hitter against righties, Martinez has absolutely slammed lefties throughout his career, hitting .331/.405/.570.

Margot isn’t a stud at the plate, as indicated by his career .248/.301/.387 line. That being said: he is likely to be part of a platoon in Tampa Bay and, because of his elite-level defense, is worth the lineup spot.

Starling Marte to D-Backs

Marte has been a consistent performer for several years. Aside from an injury riddled 2017 campaign, he has always been a 3-to-4 win player. In 2019, he hit .295/.342/.503.

The Diamondbacks are not going to catch the Dodgers. I think we can all agree to that.

But, by adding Marte and his WAR, the D-Backs inch closer to the Wild Card, especially with the addition of Madison Bumgarner this offseason.

… and some others:

Marcell Ozuna to the Braves

Josh Donaldson to the Twins

Anthony Rendon to the Angels

Want to learn much more about doing analytics in R and RStudio?

If so, check out Brad’s guides below:

  1. A R Tutorial for Beginners
  2. A Guide to Doing NFL Analytics

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