A Pictorial Breakdown of the 2014 Colorado Rockies Offense

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Here at Rockies Zingers, well, we type a lot. By a lot, I mean, well, by a lot. Sometimes, we type a lot just to describe how much we type a lot. For example, it would’ve been much easier to say “We type a lot” and leave it at that. However, if we just said “We type a lot”, it would kind of dangle there and a reader might say, “Um, shouldn’t you type a bit more, perhaps to show that yes, you type a lot, as compared to the New York Times?” Then, we’d have to type a bit more to cite statistics about the New York Times (which as of 2006, clocks in around 1,200 average words in an article). We’d type some more words about how “professional bloggers” i.e. those who blog about blogging, recommend somewhere between 500-1000 words. Then we’d type about how much we type at Rockies Zingers and type about how, just for this article, we downloaded a WordPress plugin just to get some word count statistics. For example, after downloading said plugins (since one plugin on word counts is never enough), we’d type that I slacked with a spring training post at only 505 words. I blame my inability to keep my devices charged. Then we’d type about how Eric Garcia McKinley, while working on his dissertation, still managed to type up 8072 words as the second(!) part of a Season Preview. At 250 words a page, Eric should’ve just compiled Part 1 and Part 2 of his series into a novella. We’d type up a humorous ancedote about how, when I informed two of my friends who are professional sportswriters that I had typed up 2900 words on what Bill Geivett said at the SABR Analytics panel, their eyes bugged out. Then since we typed down that rabbit hole, we’d also note Eric leads the pack with an average word count of 2448, Juan Pablo Zubillaga clocks in at 1574 (bilingual!) and I am at 1562. Then, to defuse the situation (since it isn’t a word count competition), we’d type about how word count doesn’t matter as much as word quality and type that a silly introduction like the one for this article is just a way to lampoon just how much we like to type. Nonetheless, typing for Rockies Zingers can be a lot of fun (and sometimes silly) work!

Editor’s Note to Aspiring Writers: Sometimes a good ramble is a great way to break a bad writer’s block.

Hopefully readers like the reading as much as we like the typing. Still, sometimes pictures can get a message across in less than a thousand words. So for that, we’ll go a little lax on the typing and show some interesting charts that break down the Colorado Rockies performance so far. All charts are courtesy of ESPN’s Stats & Information through games completed as of 4/26/14.

The chart below shows the performance of the Colorado Rockies offense versus lefthanded pitchers (Y-axis) and righthanded pitchers (X-axis) in terms of OPS.

RockiesOPS

Pretty pretty. The Rockies lead major league baseball against left handers with a .840 OPS against left handers and are fourth in the league against right handers with a .806 OPS. More importantly, as indicated by how isolated the Rockies are on the top right because they perform so well against both types of pitchers, they represent a very balanced lineup. The Cardinals, meanwhile, do not, even though they led the National League in runs scored last year.

This next chart shows how the offense does away from Coors Field (Y-axis) and at home (X-axis) in terms of OPS.

RockiesHome

Not surprisingly, the Rockies offense goes bearded beast mode at home with a .984 OPS. On the road, they are pedestrians, waiting for the bus in the middle of the pack at .664 OPS between such “noteworthy” offenses such as the Mets (.669 OPS) and the Blue Jays (.660 OPS).

Below, we have the breakdown of the Rockies performance with no one on base (Y-axis) and with men on (X-Axis), again in terms of OPS.

RockiesMenOnTwo

Again, a balanced attack as the Rockies lead the league in OPS whether the bases are empty (.857 OPS) or if runners are on (.784 OPS). The aforementioned Mets, meanwhile, do not. It is significant, however, the disparity in OPS between the bases being empty and runners on base when, in theory, teams should hit better when there are runners on base.

Now, let’s break down the strike zone a bit. Below is a picture of the Rockies performance as a team on pitches inside the strike zone (Y-axis) and outside the strike zone (X-axis)

RockiesStrikeZone

They punish strikes to the tune of a .885 OPS. However, they don’t do nearly as well on pitches outside the strike zone to the tune of .634 OPS. They’re still in the top quarter of the league in pitches outside the strike zone and their disparity is nowhere as great as the Angels (.848 OPS on strikes, .550 OPS on pitches outside the strike zone), but since the Rockies only rank 18th in baseball in walks, it might be a good idea to take an extra pitch or two.

A few more charts for your viewing pleasure. Below is the Rockies performance in 1 ball counts (1-0, 1-1, 1-2) on the Y-Axis and 3 ball counts (3-0, 3-1, 3-2) on the X-Axis.

RockiesBallsTwo

While the Rockies are the best in the league in one ball counts with a .908 OPS, they are below average in three ball counts with a .859 OPS. The Rangers are an obscene 1.098 OPS and even the Blue Jays pound away at a 1.006 OPS.

That being said, the Rockies rock the league when they have a strike (Y-axis) or two strikes (X-axis) on them.

RockeisStrikes

They lead the league with a 1.094 OPS with one strike and are third in the league with two strikes with a .576 OPS. The Rockies are tied with the entire league with a .000 OPS with three strikes but I don’t think there is anything they can do to fix that.

Finally, in the general category of “Hard” (Y-axis) and “Soft” (X-Axis), we present the chart below. Hard pitches are fastballs, sliders, cutters and splitters. Soft pitches are changeups, curveballs, sliders and other junk pitches.

RockiesHard

The Rockies perform in the top quarter of the league on hard pitches (.804 OPS) but compared to the rest of the league, they slaughter soft pitches to the tune of an .821 OPS.

I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial of the Colorado Rockies offense. In other news, this post still clocked around 1100 words even if the intro was mostly fluff so I still haven’t learned how to cut things short quite…

About Richard Bergstrom

Originally from Chicago and after an extensive tour of most of the western United States, this is my second stint in Denver. I've lived here since 2004 and go to quite a few Rockies games, especially Rockies fireworks games! When I'm not writing about baseball, I enjoy karaoke downtown, a bit of poker and a bit too much of my iPad.
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