Can Ryon Healy continue to provide the Oakland Athletics with good home run numbers or will the Oakland Coliseum get in the way?
The Oakland Athletics received a somewhat surprising performance from rookie third baseman Ryon Healy last year. As high as they were on him, Healy exceeded expectations. The most notable attribute he provided during his half season in Oakland was some good power.
Last year’s power performance should land Healy somewhere in the middle of Oakland’s lineup in 2017 where he will continue to build on a strong rookie year. Unfortunately, he may have overachieved last season.
During his time in the minor leagues, Healy hit with decent power. The home runs did not come as frequently as they did when he suited up for the Athletics. Healy managed hit 13 home runs in under 300 plate appearances. This helped him finish the year with an incredibly solid 162 game average of 29 home runs. The total was a promising one for a guy who had never hit more than 16 in any professional season. Can he keep it up in 2017?
This year, Healy should play a significant role on the Athletics for the full season. He only had a chance to contribute for 72 games last year as he began the year in Double-A.
Playing half of his games at Oakland Coliseum will certainly make it tough to hit home runs at a high rate. As per the 2016 ballpark factors, the Athletics’ stadium was the second hardest place to hit a home run last season. Only AT&T Park across the bay had a lower percentage of home runs throughout the season.
Oakland Coliseum is regularly a tough place on batters. It usually ranks among the toughest places to hit a home run. This, of course, also has a lot to do with the Athletics’ pitching and their offense in any given year.
To get an idea whether this will affect Healy, it might be worth looking at how some of their other sluggers have fared while at home. Outfielder Khris Davis smashed 42 home runs for the Athletics last season which was good enough for third place in the league. One could say Oakland Coliseum limited Davis as he hit 19 at home and 23 on the road. Other numbers were also far better when the Athletics were the visiting team.
Shortstop Marcus Semien, who quietly hit 27 home runs last year, also suffered in the power department at home. He hit 10 of his 27 home runs at home. Again, his batting average and other offensive numbers were superior away from Oakland Coliseum.
Of course, this does not mean Healy will fall victim to this same common occurrence. Good players can hit at any ballpark. In fact, last year Healy hit eight home runs at home with the other five coming on the road. However, his other statistics were better overall away from Oakland Coliseum.
The American League West does offer a few havens for sluggers. The Texas heat could help Healy when playing on the road against the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers in the summer months. Healy will get regular chances at those two ballparks to put up gaudier numbers throughout the year. Other opportunities at hitter’s ballparks will come along throughout the year as well.
Healy can absolutely continue to hit with good power at the major league level. Although Oakland Coliseum will play a factor, he and his teammates find their ways to overcome hitting at a pitcher’s park for 81 games a year.