The mantra of the people not in the know on the Colorado Rockies is that they play well at Coors Field because of the altitude. Instead of looking at traditional stats, you need to delve into the park-adjusted stats.
Spring Training has finally started and that sweet, sweet sound of the crack of the bat is back in the air at Salt River Fields. That glorious sound will finally be back at Coors Field on April 3 in the Rockies’ home opener against the San Diego Padres. And as much as we love to hear that sound so consistently when the Rockies are up at the plate, we’ll have to dig our heels in to get ready to combat another sound that we hear way too often: “Coooooooooooooooors.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Coors” take, it’s simply attributing a hitter’s success with the Rockies to the fact that he plays at a higher altitude. You know the type: “Oh, he’s terrible on the road and wouldn’t be able to put up these numbers in a REAL ballpark.” It’s moon baseball or bust for these folks.
The fact is that yes, altitude does artificially inflate raw statistics. But it’s 2020 and baseball isn’t dominated by Batting Average like it was in decades past. We now have access to so many different stats that can make us better informed at how to evaluate players, including Park Adjusted Statistics.
And if you’re a fan of a team in the NL West (where your team plays in the extreme environments of places like Coors Field, Petco Park and Oracle Park) then you probably should indulge in learning what these stats are and how well they evaluate players. You don’t need to be a genius but it will greatly help you understand baseball better and see how front offices are running their teams now. Sabermetrics are running baseball and it’s because they assess players more accurately than we could have before!
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely seen my Coors thread. It’s used constantly in Twitter wars (for better or worse) and whenever I see it’s been re-posted I always hope that the person it’s being shown to takes the time to dig in and learn a little more about the “Coors Effect” and hopefully it changes their opinion of “Coors makes a player a better hitter,” because it’s simply not that easy.
We’re going to dig into my thread here to prove that A) Coors doesn’t make a player a better hitter and B) That you should evaluate Rockies hitters using Park Adjusted Stats instead of raw, traditional stats.
Let’s get going!