Mike Trout has a 1.048 slugging percentage in 21 career at bats at Coors Field. What if he played there for 81 games each year?
Mike Trout is undeniably the best player in baseball right now. He does everything right on the offensive side: he hits for contact, hits for power, takes his walks, and can run. It seems impossible Mike Trout is still, as a matter of fact, improving. It’s even more incredible he’s doing all of this at a pitcher friendly ballpark in Angel Stadium. How good could he be if he played at a hitter friendly ballpark?
For this “study”, I decided to put Mike Trout at Coors Field. Coors is known for being extremely hitter friendly, because of the thin air in Colorado, and the huge outfield dimensions in order to make up for the ball flying further. What if Mike Trout, already the greatest hitter of this decade, played his home games in Colorado?
To figure out what kind of numbers Trout would put up, I had to use Statcast, of course. Statcast defines six types of contact using exit velocity and launch angle— barrel, solid contact, flare/burner, poorly/under, poorly/topped, poorly/weak. I looked at how much of a difference Coors had on all of those types of contact compared to what numbers Trout put up. For example, on barrels, a player’s wOBA is 23 percent better than their xwOBA when playing in Colorado.
This means, as a rough estimate, we can multiply Trout’s xwOBA on barrels at Angel Stadium by 1.23 in order to get what he would’ve done in Colorado. This is assuming he makes the exact same contact, and pitchers don’t pitch him differently (which they definitely would). It’s a rough estimate, as we’re keeping walks and strikeouts constant, but in reality his walks would likely skyrocket because pitchers would just be too scared to pitch to him.
I did this method on all six types of contact, and I factored in his home walks and strikeouts, and I kept everything he did on the road constant, because playing home games at a different stadium likely wouldn’t have a huge effect on his road numbers.
If Mike Trout played home games in Colorado in 2016, he would’ve had a wOBA of .448. That’s pretty darn solid. In 2017 so far, he has a wOBA of .480, which is insane, but excluding this year, .448 would be a career high by 25 points. The only other players in the 2010s to do that were Miguel Cabrera in 2013 and Bryce Harper in 2015. The crazy thing is, this is only using Trout’s 2016 numbers, which weren’t even the best offensively of his career. His slugging percentage was actually the worst he’s put up in his five qualified seasons.
Does this mean anything? Not really, unless Trout decides to sign with Colorado after his contract expires, which probably won’t happen.
Nonetheless, I think this shows that Mike Trout doesn’t even need Coors to put up historic numbers, but if he had that advantage, his numbers would be otherworldly.