Car-Go’s Home/Road Splits

A lot has been made about Carlos Gonzalez’s home/road splits. Some seem to see the disparity between his home/road numbers as a sign that he will be a fantasy bust in 2011. While I would agree that a regression is likely for Car-Go, I think it is less about his home/road splits and more about the unsustainable 384 BABIP.
 
As long as Car-Go continues to play 81 home games at Coors, he should continue to put up great numbers there. Some star players just love to hit at their home park. Car-Go’s home/road splits are similar to another MVP candidate Josh Hamilton.
 

Car-Go

AVG

OBP

SLG

HR

Home

0.380

0.425

0.737

26

Road

0.289

0.322

0.453

8

Josh Hamilton

AVG

OBP

SLG

HR

Home

0.390

0.438

0.750

22

Road

0.327

0.382

0.512

10

 

Hamilton put up similar home/road splits in his breakout 2008 season as well.
 
Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez doubles in the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on September 12, 2010 in Denver. The Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 4-2 to win their tenth straight game.   UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom
The main reason I expect a regression from Car-Go in 2011 is the fact that he isn’t a very patient hitter and his .384 BABIP in 2010 looks completely unsustainable. Car-Go hit .369 over the season’s final three months with BABIP’s of .441, .353 and 440 in July, August and September/October. A hot streak is one thing, but to sustain one over three months is extremely hard to do. It would be risky to expect such a streak repeating itself in 2011. This is especially true with a hitter like Car-Go, who is ultra aggressive at the plate and swings at a ton of bad pitches.
 
At home in 2010, Car-Go was a monster. 26 of his 34 home runs came in Coors where he had a very high 27.7 percent HR/FB rate, which is almost a 10 percent increase from 2009. He also hit .380 at home with a .391 BABIP, which is a huge increase from his .305 AVG/.333 BABIP in 2009.
 
For the reasons stated above, I don’t think we’ll see MVP type numbers from Car-Go in 2011. However, that doesn’t mean that he won’t continue to be a fantasy stud.
 
Car-Go has always had tremendous talent and his power/speed combo is more than legit. In 2009 he hit 23 homers and stole 22 bases between triple-A and the major leagues. While I think the AVG/OBP/SLG stats will regress a little in 2011, they should still be good enough to not hurt fantasy owners. Then again, he is likely going to be viewed as a first round pick in 2011. Those who pay top dollar for Car-Go in 2011 may end up a bit disappointed. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if his numbers were close to those of Shin-Soo Choo at the end of next season.