For those of you that don't know me, I am a pretty big fan of the left-fielder for the Oakland A's. I have been following the career of Matt Holliday for many years and he is someone that I would love to see in pinstripes.
While he has produced outstanding and consistent numbers for the past several years, there are many critics out there that believe Holliday's impressive stats are a reflection of the fact he has been playing at Coors field. Granted, there is an obvious advantage that a hitter has playing in Colorado, it is important to look closely at the numbers he has put up both at home and away from Coors.
In looking at Holliday's stats, he has hit over .300 in his four out of five seasons in the major leagues. His best season so far was in 2007 in which he hit .340 with 36 hrs and 137 RBI. Since it isn't his numbers that are debated, it is important to look at the comparison to games that were played at home to those played away.
I made this chart (sorry it's not creative, but it's the best I could do). Anyhow, these are Holliday's stats for home games. I chose to include the number of strikeouts in both of these charts to see any further discrepancy that may exist between his lay at home and away. Below are his stats for games when he is away from Coors:
It may be hard to see, but there is a discrepancy in the number of homeruns that were hit at home and away. That is just something happens when you are a power hitter that is fortunate to play in a hitter friendly ballpark. When looking at the stats for the past five years (which may be hard to see), Holliday hit 10, 12, 22, 25, and 15 homeruns at Coors and 4, 7, 12, 11, and 10 homeruns away from Coors. When you further dissect that, the only vast in the number of homeruns really occurs during the 2006 and 2007 season in which he hit over 10 more homeruns at home than away.
However, when you look at his stats, I think it is important to note that while his numbers are inflated at Coors, the man is putting up some good number in general. His batting average away for the past two years was over .300 and his OPS is continuing to improve. In fact when you look at his stats away from home, his batting average, OBP, SLG, and OPS are all on an incline. Below is a chart of his stats away.
Regardless, it is an interesting debate. I will be the first to admit that there is an obvious discrepancy between the number at home and away from Coors. I do think it is unfair to judge him solely on that discrepancy because he has also had success when away from Coors. I think it will be interesting to see how well he does playing in Oakland- but to judge the results very carefully. He is playing in a new league and is still working on learning the pitchers.
Final Point: He is a Boras client so he is going to want the big bucks. I am not one to really seek after the big players, in fact I am the type of person that would rather see the little guy prevail and be successful. However, I have been a watching this guy closely for many years and now that free agency is approaching, I'd love to see him on our side.