How have Toronto Blue Jays hitters and pitchers fared at Coors Field in the past?

Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays will be taking their talents to Denver, Colorado’s Coors Field for a three-game set this weekend.
And when it comes to the sport of baseball, elevation really plays a difference in what happens with the ball. With Coors Field nestled right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the elevation sits at 5,200 feet above sea level — far and away the stadium with the highest elevation nearly five times higher than that of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field.
Coors Field has built a reputation around baseball for being the league’s most hitter-friendly park since it opened in 1995. That elevation causes the ball to travel through the air easier allowing longer hits. For power hitters, this is their dream. For pitchers, however, it’s their nightmare as that thin air causes breaking balls to break less, offering hitters meatballs at a much higher rate.
Here, for example, is a few statistics looking at the difference in numbers.
As noted above, hitters have a blast at Coors Field with numerous key offensive numbers rising — most significantly, their slugging percentage and OPS. Their weighted runs created plus, which takes runs created statistics and accounts for external factors — such as ballparks — skyrockets 20 percent.
Pitchers, meanwhile, see their ERAs plummet from 4.07 to 5.38, while allowing 18 percent more home runs. The batted ball numbers are interesting, too, showing that pitchers are making it a point to induce as many groundballs as possible and limit their flyballs. Can you blame them?
These numbers aside, it got me thinking — how have the Toronto Blue Jays players historically fared at Coors Field? Below is a list of the Jays’ players and their splits in Colorado, and outside of Colorado over the course of their MLB careers, in order from most career at-bats, to least.
At Coors Field2931618.30.3170.5630.9380.2460.398155
Not at Coors Field424116825.20.2570.4520.8070.1950.348122
At vs away-6.90.0600.1110.1310.0510.05033
George SpringerABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
At Coors Field37218.50.3240.5410.8830.2160.374141
Not at Coors Field409722518.20.2670.4860.8420.2190.361132
At vs away0.30.0570.0550.041-0.0030.0139
Whit MerrifieldABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
at Coors Field14114.00.3570.5710.9050.2140.374143
Not at Coors Field38378445.70.2850.4250.7560.1400.324102
At vs way-31.70.0720.1460.1490.0740.05041
at Coors Field21121.00.3330.5710.9560.2380.389154
Not at Coors Field283614519.60.2430.4670.7960.2240.340119
At vs way1.40.0900.1040.1600.0140.04935
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.ABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
at Coors Field12112.00.4170.8331.2950.4170.523237
Not at Coors Field215911518.80.2850.5020.8590.2170.366134
At vs way-6.80.1320.3310.4360.2000.157103
at Coors Field#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Not at Coors Field18457823.70.3010.4950.8380.1940.358129
At vs way#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
at Coors Field9000.2220.2220.6390.0000.31898
Not at Coors Field11874228.30.2270.3940.7340.1680.323103
At vs way
at Coors Field3000.3330.6671.1670.3330.477205
Not at Coors Field10785519.60.2210.4230.7260.2020.31397
At vs way
at Coors Field46411.50.2830.6521.0050.3700.418168
Not at Coors Field10914723.20.2380.4310.7370.1920.318101
At vs way-11.70.0450.2210.2680.1780.10067
at Coors Field#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Not at Coors Field7972334.70.2670.3950.7500.1280.331114
At vs way#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Santiago EspinalABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
at Coors Field#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Not at Coors Field8071080.70.2710.3660.6970.0940.30897
At vs way#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
at Coors Field3000.0000.0000.4000.0000.27580
Not at Coors Field286395.30.2100.2690.5290.0590.23851
At vs way
Davis SchneiderABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
at Coors Field#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Not at Coors Field2638.70.3850.7311.2150.3460.506232
At vs way#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Spencer HorwitzABHRHR/ABAvg.Slg.OPSISOwOBAwRC+
at Coors Field#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
Not at Coors Field8000.2500.2500.6500.0000.316100
At vs way#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A
There’s nobody on the Jays who sees more success at Coors Field than that of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. His wRC+ climbs a staggering 103 points there with his OPS rising from .859 to 1.295. He is, quite simply, unstoppable there.
Another notable player with a big increase there is Daulton Varsho, whose 46 at-bats at Coors Field are the second most among Blue Jays next to Brandon Belt. Varsho sees his wRC+ climb 67 points with his OPS rising from .737 to 1.005. A big series from him would be great.
Speaking of Belt, who is considering retirement at the end of this season, he’s also seen a nice jump in his numbers over a significant sample size of 293 at-bats, far and away the most of any Jays player. That makes sense given his entire career before joining Toronto was spent in the NL East.
His wRC+ climbs 33 points at Coors Field, which is as significant as the other two players mentioned above given it’s over a much larger sample size.
This weekend the Jays will roll out Hyun-Jin Ryu Friday, Yusei Kikuchi on Saturday, and Kevin Gausman on Sunday with the first and last of the trio having prior experience at Coors.
At Coors Field23.13.472.30.83036.40%43.60%25.00%
Not at Coors field1398.03.911.11.20042.60%35.40%12.40%
At vs away-0.441.2-0.370-0.0620.0820.126
At Coors Field26.
Not at Coors field980.
At vs away3.941.8-0.550-0.0940.0680.106
While the sample size is small, it’s interesting to see Gausman’s ERA dip, but his batted ball numbers move in directions opposite from what you would want at Coors. Ryu, meanwhile, has been shelled there in his limited sample.
Buckle up, folks, and don’t shy away from taking the over.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.


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