Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dodd Stadium at it Again

The Giants, with the opportunity to leave that hellhole that is Dodd Stadium, that their affiliate Connecticut Defenders play in, decided to re-up for two more years.  Bad move, they should have taken the leap and leave, as I have shown how in the past few years how it has severely limited the hitters' power there, both our batters and opponents.  Thus hitters are not as bad as seen, but neither are pitchers as good.

Today, the one who caught my eye was Eddy Martinez-Esteve.  He finally had a relatively healthy season, but he was much better than his numbers show:

Total:  .300/.389/.384/.773, 6 HR in 393 AB (66 AB/HR)
Home: .266/.387/.277/.664, 0 HR in 184 AB ( -- AB/HR)
Away:  .330/.391/.478/.869, 6 HR in 209 AB (35 AB/HR)

In addition, he did well in May and July, but not so great in other months.  Still, except for April, when he got the rust off, he had more or equal walks than strikeouts each month, which only the best hitters can do.  

As one can see, his power is horribly reduced at home, particularly in terms of homers.  He's a 15-20 HR hitter on the road, Duane Kuiper at home.  His ISO is reduced from 148 on the road to 84 at home, reducing his SLG a whole 96 points overall.

Still, his hitting is not that of a great prospect in the Eastern League (though it is good).  His .869 would have ranked him 19th this year, just ahead of Orioles highly touted Nolan Reimold, who is also 24 years old for the season.   No data available for 2008, but in 2009, the average age of players in the Eastern League was basically 25.0 years old for hitters and pitchers, so EME stats should be given a bit of a boost as he was doing it against slightly older, more experienced pitchers.

Other hitters affected included:
  • Pablo Sandoval:  ISO of 195 at home, 253 on road
  • Adam Witter:  ISO 166 at home, 245 on the road; 26 AB/HR at home, 17 AB/HR on road; .394 SLG at home, .500 on road; .726 OPS vs. .861 on the road
  • David Maroul:  95 ISO at home, 212 ISO on road; 167 AB/HR at home, 24 AB/HR on road; .305 SLG at home, .453 SLG on road; .570 OPS at home, 729 OPS on road
  • Antoan Richardson:  59 ISO at home, 122 on road; .293 SLG at home, .376 SLG on road; 184 AB/HR at home, 43 AB/HR on road; 634 OPS at home, 759 OPS on road
Only Witter had a good performance hidden, but still, why make your hitters work so hard to figure out how to hit there, when doing so would bring no to little benefit down the line?   Has not done much for the Mayor of Norwich, that's for sure.


  1. Like you, I was really surprised that the Giants re-upped with Connecticut for another 2 years.

    As for EME, are you concerned over SSS issues with splitting a single season in two? 209 AB's is pretty small and I'm not sure, in the big picture of things, how much you can draw from it.

    One thing is certain, it's very tough to hit in Dodd. I think the latest Minor League PF's had it as the toughest stadium to score runs in in all of the Minor Leagues.

    I think EME's problem, along with his inability (potentially) to not hit for power, is that he's also weak on defense. If he was a CF or SS, hitting a lot of singles and posting strong OBP's aren't a bad thing. But as a defensively challenged LF, he's a ways off.

    I'll be interested to see how some of the Giants better hitting prospects do when they get to AA. Guys like Angel and Buster.

  2. Yes, if you want conclusive type of data, EME alone is subject to small sampling size.

    But I've been writing on this topic for a number of years now, showing how on the team level, the hitters have been suffering as a whole as well as the visiting hitters as a whole, reflected by how our pitchers have been doing.

    So I don't really feel the need to draw any conclusions from a particular player's statistics. As long as I don't hear about any physical changes at the park, I assume the effect still exists to some extent, affecting all hitters there.

    Thus this post is more to note, as part of my continuing series, which players have been greatly negatively affected by the park and thus might perhaps deserve more consideration for promotion to AAA. I just thought to check EME's stats for another post somewhere and noticed the split and decided to report on him and others affected negatively in some way. Only he, I would say, had a good enough season on the road to warrant additional consideration for promotion to AAA for 2009, besides obviously Sandoval.

    Now, to your point about EME's long term prospects for the majors, I totally agree, he needs to hit a lot better to be a viable LF for us because of his poor defense. However, if he can keep progressing offensively, he could be a nice throw-in for any trade deal we can work out with an American League team.

    Or if he can start hitting like he supposedly could when we drafted him, he could even be the headliner, even with poor defense. And the skill was there, one of my prospect book had him listed among the top pre-season bats in the minors, 7th in 2006, 15th in 2007.

    Yes, it would be interesting to see how Angel and Buster do there. Since Posey was doing well in limited play in Hawaii and that is supposedly AA level hitting, I assume the Giants will probably start him off in Connecticut, then promote him mid-season at worse (assuming doing well) to AAA. Most of our best pitchers in the minors should be there, the whole SJ staff minus one plus Bumgarner, so that would be a good bonding exercise.

    However, I would rather they just start him in AAA and avoid the possibility that Dodd screws around his head in any way. Still, they promoted Denker even though he did poorly at Dodd, so maybe they just do it to introduce him to the pitchers he'll be catching in the majors in the couple of years.

    However, we did get a glimpse of how a good hitter does there with Sandoval playing there. He was able to hit there, though, as I noted, even he was affected a bit by the park.

    Angel, I assume, will start in San Jose but with a good first half would get promoted to AA for the second half. The Giants are focused on 2010 for their return to contending, so even though Neukom said that promotion would not be so broadly done as in 2008, if Angel is handling a league, he should get promoted aggressively, I assume, as the goal should be to get him up to the majors in the 2010-11 time frame. He wasn't promoted this season because he actually wasn't doing that great initially, plus I assume since it was his first full-season league, they would rather let him get settled in and acclimated to life in the U.S. Now that he has a year under his belt, I assume they will be more aggressive as soon as he shows the performance.

  3. I found Connecticut's 3-year PF ('06-08) and thought you might be interested.

    R - 0.92
    H - 0.96
    2B - 0.92
    HR - 0.81
    BB - 0.96
    K - 1.02

    Check out the HR ratio, very low. You might be surprised to see that Augusta has an even lower score of 0.78

    Only New Orleans (0.91) had a lower Runs scored park factor than Connecticut. Pretty amazing stuff.

  4. Also, I think I would be surprised if the Giants started Buster off in AA. Maybe he'll start at A+ and if he does well in a short run, they'll bump him up near mid-season?

  5. Thanks for the data, much appreciated!

    Yes, very interesting, basically another data point showing what I've been saying for over three seasons now, that Dodd Stadium is a huge depressant on runs scored, and homers. You can see it in the doubles as well, it is not like the homers became doubles, both are depressed, which of course leads to runs depressed.

    Yes, surprised by Augusta's even lower 0.78, perhaps I should start a series on that as well. :^) And according to research by Jonathan May of, San Jose's background is horrible for hitters, causing elevated strikeout rates.

    They could do that, that's basically what the Orioles did with Weiters, and he did well in Hawaii as well. Still, Weiters clearly didn't belong on Advanced A and probably should have started in AA anyhow. Of course, they might also want to start him in San Jose because it is so close to home, they can see him in person for a while, before promoting him.

    I think the major factor has to be this: he's the future starting catcher and we need a catcher at the MLB level in 2010 after Molina's contract ends in 2009. He's not going to resign for one year. So either we have Sandoval catch for one year in transition to Posey, or try to get Posey ready for the majors by 2010. To get him ready, they would need to get him to finish the year in AAA. It would be easier if he started in AA so that there would be less jumping of levels. But Sandoval rose three levels in one year, so it's not impossible.

  6. Even better yet, we trade Molina theis offseason and let Sandoval catch until Posey is ready.

  7. I think we are better off with Sandoval as a free agent up to the mid-season trade deadline, able to play 1B, 3B, C. I think the Giants are counting on him as backup to play 3B if necessary, I think they declared him at 1B to focus other teams on suggesting 3B trade opportunities with them.

    Assuming the opportunities don't come to fruition, I believe the Giants would ideally want to see Frandsen return to his prior status and Velez to play well, with Velez taking 2B and Frandsen 3B and Sandoval 1B, while perhaps trading for a young 3B. But should Frandsen falls through and the trade option falls through as well, they could slide Sandoval over to 3B, and Ishikawa to 1B.

    If Molina is traded with Sandoval playing C, then there is no option to play Sandoval at 3B, and should both Frandsen and the trade route fall through, a good possibility at the moment since we don't know Frandsen's condition, then we are reduced to either starting McClain (assuming he re-signs) or Rohlinger at 3B to start 2009.

    Of course, if we can get a decent 3B, then trading Molina and moving Sandoval to C would become a good option to consider. I just don't see it happening.

  8. I feel EME begins 2009 in Fresno along with Copeland. Ortmeier and Timpner were dissappointments in 2008, so the final two OF spots in Fresno are ???'s for me.

    Mike McBryde came on very strong at the end for San Jose and has a cannon for an arm. The double-jump to AAA seems unlikely.

    Love this blog

  9. Thanks for the compliment FarmSystem.

    Well, you might see Schierholtz in RF again for 2009. I hope not, but it could happen. Yeah, don't see McBryde making a double jump either, particularly after Neukom said that players will not be rushed up like in 2008 (except for Bumgarner, though, he did well enough to go to Connecticut I think). Plus there is still Horwitz, I believe he cleared waivers and is still with the team. And Mike Mooney should be in the mix as well. Plus Bowker has to be somewhere too, he could end up in AAA if the Giants decide to carry Ishikawa in the majors (I think he is out of options, though he could have a fourth option, depending on the circumstances, which I'm not sure of)



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