Brewers: Can the Three True Outcomes Reveal Success?
Home Run Percentage
The Brewers have also made it known they are fans of the long ball. Chris Carter tied for the National League lead in Home Runs in 2016, and Christian Yelich has been on Triple Crown watch since coming to Milwaukee.
The Brewers have consistently placed in the top half of the league in total home runs, with the exception being 2020, where they placed 16th out of 30 teams. When converting the raw numbers into a rate (HR per PA), the Brewers continue to be above league average. With the exception of 2020, the Brewers were well above league average.
The Brewers have hit over one home run a game every season for the past five seasons, hitting over 200 from 2017 – 2020, after hitting 194 team home runs in 2016. Home run potential is another key part of players David Stearns likes, left-handed hitters with power always seem to be high on his wish list.
With big mashers such as Chris Carter, Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar, Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Travis Shaw and Keston Hiura all spending time in the Brewers lineup, they have become well accustomed to sending Bernie down his slide.
Just as with strikeout percentage, you can plot the home run percentage opposed to win percentage over the past five seasons.
What it shows is not a strong correlation, but there is some semblance of a positive trend, indicating teams that hit home runs at a higher rate, also tend to win games at a higher rate in the regular season.
The R^2, for home run percentage is 0.24, which again is not a strong correlation, but it does show it can be more predictive than strikeouts for winning games in the regular season.
In the post season however, it is not so clear cut. In 2020, the Dodgers did hit home runs at the highest rate over the past five seasons, topping 5%, but unlike strikeouts, the past World Series contestants all placed in the top half of the league, with the exception being Cleveland (20th, 3.0%) and the Cubs (16th, 3.14%) in 2016.
Fortunately for the Brewers, using home run percentage as an indicator of postseason success paints the Stearns Era as more successful than using strikeout percentage. Again, this is not to state that if the Brewers are to hit home runs at a particular rate, they are guaranteed to win the World Series. It is more pointing out that teams that win more, hit more home runs.
Home Runs are the most efficient way to score runs in baseball. They are the only play that is guaranteed a run, and statistical analysis has shown that a home run increases run value by more than one run.
The Brewers have been big bashers for the better part of this century, and under David Stearns that has continued.