This is not to attack Just_Another_Fan's post, which can be read here. Instead, think of it as an add on.
That post started with the following
Yesterday I asserted that the Royals offense was hindered not necessarily by a lack of home runs, but by a lack of doubles and walks.
Unfortunately I feel the desire to address non-HR issues led to the impact of the HR discrepancies being completely left out of the post. I assert it should not have been skipped.
Specifically, JAFs number crunching resulted in these Park Adjusted lines
If the Royals had been an average offense last year, they would have scored 734 runs on 1443 hits, 160 home runs, 287 doubles, 28 triples and 502 walks.
The average HR was worth 1.55 Runs for AL clubs last season. In other words, we would have scored 248 Runs via HR if we had the expected 160 HR for our park. And while our actual HR were worth what should have been expected (1.54 Runs per HR), we only hit a measly 112 of them.
So, what happens if we had done absolutely nothing other than hit the 160 HR we should have hit? The 172 Runs we actually got against the 248 expected is 76 Runs missed solely because we cant hit HR like we are supposed to.
That is 7-8 Wins, 0-1 Wins fewer than outlined in the other post attempting to make us average in both Walks and Doubles. That translates to never addressing the Walks and Doubles and instead solely hitting the HR we should meaning we probably either Tie or outright Win the AL Central last year - or in the very least likely make the playoffs.
So while Just_Another_Fan was correct in asserting a fix to become average on the other issues would have resulted in a winning club even if we still didn't hit the HR - fixing absolutely nothing more than just the unbelievably pitiful HR totals would have done exactly the same thing too.
Getting on Base and Hitting more doubles would be fantastic! Those aspects are other areas the organization is unfortunately quite poor at, don't get me wrong. But let's be realistic, fixing both those areas is likely much more expensive then just finding guys who can hit the ball a mile even if they get on base as poorly as the guys we already have.And that would have been enough last year.
In fact, moving on to the Plea to Dayton portion of this, I would assert it is even possible our own guys might have been able to make up the devastating HR difference if they were not constantly told they can't hit HR at the K and to adjust their game accordingly. Such an approach leads to a drop in both HR and 2B right there.
But why do I switch to approach?
Seriously, look at just Hos, Butler, Moose and Gordon. That group has averaged 18 HR per 600 AB over their career. Know what the average AL hitter produced last season? Well, the AL total was 83380 AB and 2504 HR. Doing the math that means the Average AL Hitter hit 18 HR per 600 AB. And yes, that means the guys that came up thru our systems as our hyped 'power hitters' are a combined perfectly 2013 League Average for their careers as far as Homers. It is not just one of them pulling down the numbers though; take a look
Butler 18.4 HR/600 AB
Gordon 18.1 HR/600 AB
Hosmer 17.0 HR/600 AB
Moose 17.0 HR/600 AB
Not a single one of them has displayed HR power above the 2013 AL Average over their careers.
So then we must ask, maybe those 4 "power" guys are suffering from the K though? That is possible, right? We are constantly told it is Kauffman. But nope, it has no impact at all. Combined they have hit 153 in 5094 at Home against 159 in 5368 on the Road for their careers. More specifically, that is 18.0 HR per 600 AB pace at Home against a 17.8 pace on the Road. That is perfectly average no matter where any of them hit. That is also consistent with the team hitting a rather indistinguishable 55 at Home against 57 on the Road last season, and it all points to the lack of HR having little to nothing to do with the park...
Getting all that out of the way leaves us with just two options; either most associated with the game scouted all of them incorrectly when they assumed they would have +HR power, or their is a concerted effort within the organization to teach hitters to shy away from trying to hit Home Runs. Sadly, we have had hints (to flat out admissions) of that approach being the case in the past.
So please, beg Dayton to let our hitters hit! We are not hitting so few HR because of the K, we are just as poor at it on the Road. But we also have hitters who were projected to hit HR at least above League Average, and they are not doing it. It boils down to him! That is, his obsession over Kauffman being impossible to hit HR at which is almost certainly creating the organizational approach and suppressing their natural power.
It has almost certainly become a self-fulfilling prophesy originating from Daytons desk, and until it ends I am not sure an average offense is even possible within our budget. We cant afford to just go out and sign all around hitters, but our hitters should be allowed to do what they naturally can. It seems they are not being allowed to do that.
In the first half of this post we learned an extra 48 HR almost certainly would have been the difference between our real 86-76 Record in 2013 and our competing with/beating out the Tigers. During that 86-76 run our 4 "power bats" hit 64 over 2310 AB, and not surprisingly that works out to an average of 17 per 600 AB. I imagine it would not be that much of a stretch to almost anyone to see that 17 per get closer to 27 per based off their natural capability. Sprinkle in a couple more amongst the rest of the club and all of a sudden we may very well have tacked on enough wins to make the playoffs with the exact guys we had.