The Mauer Power Story: Further Evaluation

Bllomberg Sport’s blog here at MLBlogs evaluates the evidence surrounding Joe Mauer’s power outage.  

They pose two possible explanations–the home field he plays in and the notion that pitchers have altered their approaches–and they find that he probably won’t repeat his 2009 power binge, but that he also won’t continue in his 2010 power outage to date.  

As they put it:

Target Field’s low home run
rate and the new approach by pitchers may be hurting Mauer’s home run numbers.
But the statistical variation in his HR/FB rate also helps explains the drastic
difference between 2009 and 2010. That rate suggests that Mauer’s MVP-type
numbers may have been affected by a statistical outlier, and that fans and
teams may have to reassess their expectations for Mauer’s power numbers. In
regards to how pitchers are approaching Mauer, it seems unlikely that the
recent adjustments can explain this year’s low home run total, as he has been a
top player in the league since 2004, and pitchers have been adjusting to his
tendencies every year. Meanwhile, Target Field has been playing like a large shopping
mall – but it does not explain Mauer’s low road home run total, or the fact
that he has yet to hit any homers at home.

Expect a middle ground to
emerge between the home run binge Mauer showed last season and the drought he’s
experienced in 2010.

Regression to the mean, baby, regression to the mean.

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