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Extreme Home-Road Splits By Big League Regulars




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Some parks play better for offense than others, and some players take advantage of (or are penalized by) their surroundings moreso than others. To identify some of these players, we present the top 30 most dramatic positive and negative home/road OPS splits since 2009.

Only players with at least 500 home plate appearances and 500 road PAs are included. All data generated by FanGraphs sortable batting leaderboards.

LEGEND
An asterisk (*) denotes lefthanded batters, while a pound sign (#) indicates switch-hitters
Home (h) and road (r) performances distinguished by prefixes
BIP is batting average on balls in play


HOME COOKING
LARGEST POSITIVE HOME/ROAD OPS SPLITS, 2009-11
NO B PLAYER TEAM hPA hOPS hBIP rPA rOPS rBIP DIFF
1 * Luke Scott Orioles 638 .979 .305 621 .688 .266 .291
2 * Carlos Gonzalez Rockies 786 1.057 .366 709 .777 .336 .280
3 # Jorge Posada Yankees 650 .938 .343 626 .668 .242 .270
4   Nelson Cruz Rangers 747 .988 .334 726 .754 .273 .234
5   Ian Kinsler Rangers 929 .928 .290 894 .705 .229 .223
6   Aramis Ramirez Cubs 711 .941 .333 764 .738 .253 .203
7 * Seth Smith Rockies 646 .935 .314 671 .736 .290 .199
8   Corey Hart Brewers 800 .932 .331 837 .743 .306 .189
9   Juan Uribe SF/LAD 649 .823 .315 653 .639 .238 .184
10   Paul Konerko White Sox 927 1.002 .300 964 .821 .307 .181
11   Drew Stubbs Reds 714 .819 .370 746 .645 .303 .174
12   Yorvit Torrealba COL/SD/TEX 523 .802 .350 501 .630 .294 .172
13 * Travis Hafner Indians 628 .900 .324 585 .737 .317 .163
14 * Andre Ethier Dodgers 928 .917 .332 893 .760 .303 .157
15   Billy Butler Royals 1,023 .920 .355 1,000 .767 .303 .153
16   Alex Rios TOR/CWS 856 .781 .284 964 .629 .261 .152
17 * Jay Bruce Reds 798 .892 .309 826 .741 .275 .151
  # Dexter Fowler Rockies 798 .851 .357 788 .700 .333 .151
19   Pat Burrell TB/SF 520 .829 .313 612 .680 .266 .149
20   Michael Young Rangers 1,000 .911 .356 1,000 .763 .329 .148
21   Magglio Ordonez Tigers 629 .841 .342 611 .694 .286 .147
22 # Mark Teixeira Yankees 1,035 .951 .280 1,068 .806 .260 .145
23 # Felipe Lopez 5 teams 650 .792 .341 624 .649 .294 .143
24   Jerry Hairston Jr. 5 teams 620 .767 .285 665 .625 .260 .142
25   Kevin Youkilis Red Sox 765 .989 .374 775 .856 .283 .133
26 * David Ortiz Red Sox 931 .946 .335 907 .815 .264 .131
27 # Chipper Jones Braves 767 .877 .289 722 .750 .288 .127
    Justin Upton D-backs 914 .932 .361 919 .805 .324 .127
29   Troy Tulowitzki Rockies 897 .992 .331 866 .868 .299 .124
30 # Pablo Sandoval Giants 839 .919 .348 876 .798 .291 .121

Naturally, a number of core Rangers (Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young) and Rockies (Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler, Troy Tulowitzki) players populate the list of elite home performers, given the offensive nature of Rangers Ballpark and Coors Field. A few other takeaways:

• Three players to watch as they move to new home ballparks in 2012: Luke Scott, Aramis Ramirez and Seth Smith. A 33-year-old Scott signed on with the Rays after a rousing performance for the Orioles at Camden Yards (.297/.382/.596 with 42 homers in 638 PA) during the past three years. On the road, though, Scott batted a far more ordinary .225/.304/.384 with 19 homers in 621 PA.

Following a successful nine-year run with the Cubs, Ramirez signed with the Brewers to give the Milwaukee left side of their infield a boost. Miller Park plays favorably for righty power hitters like Ramirez, so he might not be affected all that much by the ballpark switch. For the record, he batted .246/.306/.432 with 31 homers in 764 road PA from 2009-11.

The Rockies traded Smith to the Athletics for a pair of young big league arms (Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman), and he leaves the ideal hitting environment of Coors Field (where he hit .302/.367/.568 with 29 homers in 646 PA since 2009) for Oakland and its miles of foul territory.

• Virtually all players on this list have received a hefty boost in batting average on balls while playing at home over the course of the past three seasons. One notable exception is the Braves' Chipper Jones, who has virtually the same BABIP both home and away. However, his OPS has been 127 points higher at home by virtue of an enhanced power showing at Atlanta's Turner Field. At home, Jones has registered a .207 isolated power and home run-to-flyball rate of 15.7 percent. On the road, those numbers fall to .144 and 7.7 percent.

                                                     
ROAD WARRIORS
LARGEST NEGATIVE HOME/ROAD OPS SPLITS, 2009-11
NO B PLAYER TEAM hPA hOPS hBIP rPA rOPS rBIP DIFF
1   Rod Barajas TOR/NYM/LAD 548 .618 .219 588 .772 .250 -.154
  # Chase Headley Padres 822 .650 .292 903 .804 .371 -.154
3   Cameron Maybin FLA/SD 520 .634 .299 569 .765 .349 -.131
  * Adrian Gonzalez SD/BOS 1,021 .872 .335 1,068 1.003 .325 -.131
5 # Erick Aybar Angels 834 .653 .282 916 .774 .334 -.121
6   Jose Lopez SEA/COL/FLA 718 .620 .247 799 .730 .262 -.110
7 # Brian Roberts Orioles 579 .707 .294 577 .816 .316 -.109
8 * Joey Votto Reds 922 .927 .327 989 1.035 .390 -.108
9   Juan Rivera LAA/TOR/LAD 734 .692 .250 814 .798 .298 -.106
10   Jamey Carroll CLE/LAD 656 .656 .312 626 .760 .369 -.104
  # Maicer Izturis Angels 566 .687 .295 603 .791 .311 -.104
12   Alcides Escobar MIL/KC 609 .578 .267 675 .681 .298 -.103
13 * Will Venable Padres 568 .683 .281 612 .775 .346 -.092
14 # Cliff Pennington Athletics 698 .657 .298 677 .743 .324 -.086
15 * Scott Podsednik CWS/KC/LAD 565 .700 .324 617 .785 .353 -.085
16   David Eckstein Padres 560 .612 .252 500 .696 .319 -.084
17 * James Loney Dodgers 923 .703 .295 958 .784 .311 -.081
18   Kevin Kouzmanoff SD/OAK/COL 663 .649 .275 753 .729 .272 -.080
19   Jason Bartlett TB/SD 799 .679 .309 918 .757 .325 -.078
20 * Colby Rasmus STL/TOR 786 .717 .294 794 .790 .302 -.073
21 * Hideki Matsui NYY/LAA/OAK 860 .762 .282 811 .827 .284 -.065
22   Ryan Ludwick STL/SD/PIT 804 .701 .287 849 .758 .299 -.057
23   Alfonso Soriano Cubs 794 .744 .288 784 .793 .273 -.049
24 * Miguel Montero Diamondbacks 650 .787 .342 704 .835 .301 -.048
25 * Adam Dunn WAS/CWS 908 .794 .286 904 .840 .322 -.046
26 # Nick Swisher Yankees 912 .831 .300 965 .875 .304 -.044
  * Jason Heyward Braves 544 .767 .289 535 .811 .317 -.044
28   Aaron Rowand Giants 588 .659 .277 666 .702 .314 -.043
29 # Melky Cabrera NYY/ATL/KC 876 .731 .296 879 .773 .316 -.042
    Ryan Raburn Tigers 514 .779 .293 605 .821 .358 -.042

Two Angels and two Padres regulars have been hampered by their home parks in the last three years. Imagine if you will a world in which Chase Headley is a .305/.366/.438 hitter, and his Padres teammate Will Venable sported an overall batting line of .275/.337/.438. Those are their road averages since 2009, but Headley has lost 154 points of OPS at home in Petco Park and Venable 92. Angels shortstop Erick Aybar has batted .303/.343/.431 over 916 road PA the past three seasons, while teammate Maicer Izturis has batted .293/.357/.434 in 603 PA away from Angel Stadium.

• Only Albert Pujols sported a higher OPS in the National League from 2009-11 than the Reds' Joey Votto, yet he hit for about an additional 100 points of OPS when away from Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark during that stretch. (That would be .340/.437/.598 with 46 homers in 989 PA.) More significantly, Votto (1.035) and Adrian Gonzalez (1.003) are the only two players to crack four figures for road OPS over the course of the last three seasons. Pujols finished a distant third at .894.