No I did not watch the Major League Baseball Home Run Hitting Contest (All Star Break)…. I had better things to do.
This morning on ESPN Sports Center, I see that Robinson Cano of the NY Yankees won the contest. Being a Yankee fan I immediately thought “Oh no. He is going to have a bad second half of the year.” He probably messed up his swing trying to yank everything out of the ballpark.
Then I get to the office and I voiced my concern to one of the guys (let’s call him Buck). He passionately said “That’s not true. The winners of the home run hitting contests don’t necessary have bad second halves. You’re beginning to sound like Bert” (Where Bert is the name of someone in our accounting area.)
So I decided to look for the stats and see if the All Star Home Run Kings tended to have poor second halves.
For each winner, I compared their total home runs for that year, the home runs hit before and after the All Star break, and calculated the percentage hit after the All Star break. I also entered their total number of At Bats to make sure they played the entire year. Note: I only had the stats since 2000. Everyone had over 500 At Bats.
|Regular Season Home Runs|
|MLB Home Run Derby Winner and Year||Total HR for Year||PreAll Star||PostAll Star||% PostAll Star||AB|
|2010: David Ortiz||32||18||14||44%||518|
|2009: Prince Fielder||46||22||24||52%||591|
|2008: Justin Morneau||23||14||9||39%||623|
|2007: Vladimir Guerrero||27||14||13||48%||574|
|2006: Ryan Howard||58||28||30||52%||581|
|2005: Bobby Abreu||24||18||6||25%||588|
|2004: Miguel Tejada||34||15||19||56%||653|
|2003: Garret Anderson||29||22||7||24%||638|
|2002: Jason Giambi||41||22||19||46%||560|
|2001: Luis Gonzalez||35||23||12||34%||609|
|2000: Sammy Sosa||50||23||27||54%||604|
Based upon these numbers, 4 of the 11 years, the winner had significantly less home runs the second half of the year. I wish I had more data but it is interesting to think about.
My conclusion? It does happen enough times to think about it.