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NPB: Power Surge?

by on Apr.21, 2009 @ 9:21 am, under NPB

A reader dropped me a question about the current home run rates in the NPB and I thought I'd comply.

Here's what I found:

       2009*  PCY      2008   PCY      2007   PCY      2006
  CL   1.93   12.7%    1.69  -12.4%    1.89   1.01%    1.87    CL
  PL   1.88   7.59%    1.74   14.6%    1.49  -4.23%    1.55    PL

Here's a break down of home run totals for each team:

CL Team             2009*    2008     2007     2006
Chunichi Dragons    1.50     0.97     0.84     0.95
Yomiuri Giants      1.36     1.23     1.33     0.92
Hanshin Tigers      1.07     0.58     0.77     0.91
Yakult Swallows     1.00     0.58     0.97     1.10
Hiroshima Carp      0.67     0.69     0.92     0.87
Yokohama Bay Stars  0.27     1.01     0.86     0.87

PL Team             2009*    2008     2007     2006
Orix Buffaloes      1.57     1.06     0.83     0.78
Ham Fighters        1.21     0.57     0.51     0.99
Seibu Lions         1.20     1.38     0.88     0.96
Lotte Marines       1.00     0.88     0.74     0.82
Rakuten Eagles      0.36     0.65     0.77     0.49
Softbank Hawks      0.33     0.69     0.74     0.60

A couple of things to keep in mind:

Shuichi Murata has not been in the Bay Stars line-up due to the injury he suffered in the WBC. Assuming he's fine now, he should be back in the line-up tomorrow (the game tonight was rained out). That could help explain some of the power outage with the Bay Stars.

The numbers for the Tigers are a little skewed because of the power binge Tomoaki Kanemoto was on to the start the season -- I expect to see his numbers flatten out a bit more over the course of the season.

There was some concern that the Dragons would miss Tyrone Woods' bat, but so far Kazuhiro Wada (9.0 PA/HR) and Masahiko Morino (11.8 PA/HR) have filled in nicely. But I honestly can't see them keeping it up for an entire season. 3-year PA/HRs for both players are at around 31.

The Swallows have a somewhat healthy Aaron Guiel (4 HR) and they added Jamie D'Antona (3 HR); both have shown decent power to start the season. If they can stay healthy, I'd expect the Swallows' power numbers to be much better than last year. The increase you see with their team could stick.

We still have no idea how the new Mazda Stadium will play out yet and we don't now how the new renovations at Koshien Kyujo will ultimately affect fly balls. That said, as of the 20th, 3 home runs have been hit at Mazda Stadium over 6 games and 11 have been hit at Koshien Kyujo over 5 games.

I'm a little surprised at the 1.88 figure for the PL, but then the PL saw a 14.6% jump between 2007 and 2008. Outside of that, I'm not really sure what else to say about the PL other than that I think some of the pitchers have been hit pretty hard.

The Buffaloes have Tuffy Rhodes (7), Alex Cabrera (4), and a healthy Greg LaRocca (3); they also added Jose Fernandez (2) during the off-season so you know they're going to hit a lot of home runs.

The Ham Fighters are getting some good power from people that haven't really showed much power in the past, so my guess is that there 1.21 will end up dropping off at some point.

The Marines added Tadahito Iguchi during the off-season and I think that has helped them a little with their offense.

The Sofbank Hawks's rely on Hiroki Kokubo (2) and Nobuhiko Matsunaka (2) for most of their power and neither are really hitting the ball well right now. They also lost Nobuhiro Matsuda and that's going to hurt their power numbers a bit.

I'll re-visit this again at the break -- I think it's still a little too early to start reading into this year's numbers.