By: Noah Wright
We all know what the Coors factor is. Coors Field is one of the most notorious hitter friendly parks in the MLB. The thin atmosphere from being in the mountains makes the ball travel further and faster than in other fields. Currently, Coors gives up the most runs, most hits, 4th most doubles, 4th most triples, and the 8th most home runs on average in the entire MLB. A handful of the Rockies’ players are greatly helped by the fact they play half of their MLB games. Some are almost completely helpless outside of Coors. These kinds of players are called products of Coors Field. So here are some of the true products of Coors Field.
- David Dahl (OF):
If you ever want to see the definition of “product of Coors”, Dahl’s your guy. Dahl overall looks like a decent hitter. .300/.349/.516 career batting line in 701 plate appearances, 113 OPS+, 114 wRC+. That’s all all-star caliber. His defense is OK, but not great. This season he’s done extremely well. He has .318/.372/.512 line in 193 plate appearances. That’s good for a 121 wRC+. But Dahl outside of Coors is awful. Anywhere else, Dahl has a .250/.302/.414 line. His OPS drops a whopping .286 points.
- Carlos Gonzalez:
CarGo has played all but 115 of his career 1362 games outside of the Rockies Uniform. But Gonzalez, like Dahl, is another hitter who is greatly helped by the Coors factor. Between 2010 and 2016, Gonzalez posted a very strong overall line of .296/.353/.535 with 184 home runs, and 94 stolen bases. He had also shown some solid defense with a total of 12 DRS in the outfield across all 7 seasons. Aside from 2013, there was a very noticeable difference between Gonzalez’s home and away performance. In his career, Gonzalez at home has a career .320/.379/.584. Away, those numbers fall all the way to just .250/.306/.419. The only other park Gonzalez has comparable numbers in with at least 100 PA’s is the Reds’ Great American Ballpark, another one of MLB’s most notorious hitter friendly ballparks.
- Charlie Blackmon:
Blackmon has been one of the Rockies’ best batters since his breakout 2014 season, and even taking a bigger step in 2016. Since that all-star 2014 season, he has a .304/.364/.513. He has played every single game of his 966 game career with the Rox. His best season was probably the 2017 season when he had a .331/.399/.601 line in 725 PA’s, and 37 home runs. But his home/away splits that season paint the full picture. Sure he had an amazing .391/.466/.773 line in Coors, but a .276/.337/.447 away. That’s a drop of nearly .500 (.455) in OPS. In his career, Blackmon has a .346/.406/.580 line at home and .260/.312/.426 at other parks. The fact he has subpar defense, doesn’t help him either.
- Trevor Story:
Story was one of the top rookies in 2016. Despite missing about 60% of the season with a torn thumb UCL, he still blasted 27 home runs, had a .909 OPS, and showed plus defense. But even then, he showed he was supported by Coors with a 1.086 OPS at home and .747 OPS away. Although he struggled in 2017 both home and away, Story came back in 2018 with a great breakout season. In 656 plate appearances, Story batted a great .291/.348/.567 with 37 home runs, and 27 stolen bases. Plus he had kept up solid defense with 1 DRS, -2.2 UZR, but .9 dWAR. Although he showed he improvement away from Coors, he it’s still clear he’s a much better player in Coors. At home, he had a .306/.366/.678 line. Away, Story had a .276/.328/.452 line. That’s still solid, but a clear difference. Career wise, Story has a home OPS of .989 and away OPS of .750.
A lot of people kind of discredit Rockies’ batters because they play in Coors. While the names listed above are really boosted by Coors’ thin atmosphere, that doesn’t mean every single player to play with the Rockies are products of Coors. Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and Larry Walker are a few examples of great players that have good career numbers outside of Coors, or proved they could handle the move from Coors to a less hitter friendly environment.