Was McLouth’s power legitimate?

In Nate McLouth‘s breakout 2008 season, he hit .276/.356/.497. With the Pirates this year, he hit .256/.349/.470. Since he was traded to Atlanta in early June, he has hit .259/.343/.418. Obviously, McLouth’s slugging percentage has dropped considerably since he moved south. Thinking PNC Park’s short porch in right field may have contributed to that, I decided to take a look at his hit charts.

From MLB.com, here is every 2009 ball in play off McLouth’s bat at Turner Field.

As you can see, he has homered just once in Atlanta this year. Now, let’s add the location of PNC Park’s outfield wall.

This is not an exact measurement, as the outfield walls are different heights. Obviously, the Clemente Wall at PNC Park is 21 feet high, which could affect our results. But if we ignore that issue for simplicity’s sake, we see that McLouth likely would have seen four doubles and one fly out turn into home runs if he were still playing at PNC Park.

All else being equal, those extra five home runs would bring McLouth’s Atlanta numbers up to .264/.347/.473, very similar to his Pittsburgh numbers. At first glance, it appears McLouth has lost his power since leaving Pittsburgh. In reality, his power was mostly a product of PNC Park.

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BRAVESNATION4EVER

Oh Nate McLouth is a totally decent slugger,thank you very much,because he plays in Turner field and Turner Field is a huge ballpark,it’s not yankee stadium at all because yankee stadium is nothing but someone’s backyard,but PNC Park may be decent sized ballpark,but not as big as Turner Field.GO BRAVOS.

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