Houston Astros: 3 fascinating results from fan’s trash can bang logs

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Carlos Correa
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Carlos Correa /

Yesterday, Houston Astros fan Tony Adams revealed the results of an arduous independent study.  Here are three fascinating results of his research.

This MLB offseason continues to belong to the fans as they have pretty much single-handedly exposed the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal via time-consuming, arduous methods. First, Jomboy revealed how Houston used trash cans to relay signs to hitters in real-time. Now, Tony Adams, an Astros fan, logged every trash can bang for every available home game.

Adams’ consisted of watching over 8200 pitches in order to determine whether there was any banging before each pitch was delivered. In all, Adams was able to review 61 home games worth of pitches. For the remaining 20 home games, Adams did not have access to video.

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In all, Adams found that of the 8274 pitches delivered by opponents of the Astros in Minute Maid Park, trash can banging can be heard before 1142 (~14%) of them.

After reviewing Adams’ research, here are three things that really stood out to me.

1. Marwin Gonzalez had the largest number of trash can bangs

It’s no surprise why the 2017 MLB season was such a good one for Marwin Gonzalez. Of the 776 pitches logged for Gonzalez, bangs can be identified before 147 of them, the highest of any Astros player by far.

That season, Gonzalez set career highs in hits (138), home runs (23), AVG (.303), OBP (.377), and SLG (.503). Prior to that, Gonzalez slashed just .257 / .298 / .389.

2. Jake Marisnick had the highest Bangs % of any regular player

Prior to the 2017 MLB season, Jake Marisnick had played three MLB seasons with the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros. In those three years, Marisnick slashed just .225 / .268 / .339, amassing just 18 home runs.

Then, in 2017, like many other Astros players, he broke out. Though he only appeared in total of 106 games, he still managed to post career highs in home runs (16), OBP (.319), and SLG (.496).

According to Adams’ study, Marisnick saw 364 pitches at home in 2017. Banging can be heard prior to 83 (22.8%) of those pitches. As a result, Marisnick’s home/away splits are rather upsetting:

  • Home: .308 AVG, .373 OBP, .636 SLG
  • Away: .187 AVG, .273 OBP, .374 SLG

3. Jose Altuve appears the lesser of many evils, but is he really?

Of the 20 players that appeared in this study, Jose Altuve ranks 19th in Bangs %. The only player to rank to lower than him, Tony Kemp, only saw 23 pitches at home in 2017, the fewest of any player to appear in the study.

That doesn’t exactly absolve Altuve of any wrongdoing, however. Trash can bangs can be heard prior to 24 of the 866 pitches according to Adams’ research. On the other hand, that’s significantly less than some of the other core players on the Houston Astros:

  • Alex Bregman: 133 total bangs, 800 total pitches, 16.60% bangs % – 4th most
  • Carlos Correa: 97 total bangs, 594 total pitches, 16.30% bangs % – 6th most
  • George Springer: 139 total bangs, 933 total pitches, 14.90% bangs % – 2nd most

At the same time, let’s remember that non-bangs are just as significant as the bangs themselves. Why? Well, because a non-bang meant the pitch to be delivered was a fastball.

In conclusion, the proof is in the pudding. Astros players benefitted greatly from sign-stealing and still, no legitimate apology has been made by any of them. In fact, it turns out MLB granted them immunity in exchange for information.

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That, however, doesn’t mean anything in the court of public opinion. Though they get to keep their rings, in the minds of baseball fans, they’re not legitimate 2017 World Series champs. They’re merely a group of unmitigated cheaters.