At his website, HitTrackerOnline, Greg Rybarczyk tracks the actual distance of every MLB home run hit. He categorizes each home run into three categories, based on the distance by which they cleared the fence: Just Enough (JE), Plenty (PL), and No Doubter (ND). In a 2007 article from The Hardball Times, Rybarczyk surmised that if a player hit a lot of Just Enough HRs, but few No Doubters, his overall home run total may well decline the following year. Likewise, if a player crushed a ton of No Doubters, but got only a couple of Just Enoughs, he probably got a bit unlucky and will tend to see his HR total rise the following season.

Rybarczyk notes that the league average ratio of NDs to JEs is .67. Using the parameters from his article and the ND/JE ratios from 2009, we can determine which 2010 Yankees can expect to see better or worse days in the HR department. If a player’s 2009 ND/JE ratio is above 1.50, he is likely to increase his HR output in 2010. If his ratio is below .33, he is likely to see a dropoff.

Here are the players’ 2009 ND/JE ratios (min. 15HRs):

Teixeria 2.67
Granderson 1.00
Posada .56
Cano .56
Rodriguez .45
Swisher .36
Jeter 0.00


- How good is Mark Teixeira? It appears he got unlucky, and yet he still hit 39 dingers last year. His ability to pop 35 HRs is cemented, and look for him to make the push for 40 this year.

- Derek Jeter hit zero No Doubt bombs last year. 10 of his 18 HRs just squeaked over the fence. This ratio, along with age and regression, mean that Jetes is in for a significant decline in HRs.

- The other Yankees here all fit within Rybarczyk’s conservative parameters for stable HR totals. But, Nick Swisher barely does so. He’ll be hard-perssed to repeat his 29 homer season. On the other hand, Granderson has a fairly strong showing. Combined with the stadium move, Curtis should be able to put up another 30 HR season.

- ARod has age working against him, but his ND/JE ratio last year may well have been affected by his hip. His ratio the previous year was 3.33. Expect ARod to maintain his status as a prime power source.

- Nick Johnson fails to make the list because of his meager 8 HRs last year. His .33 ratio (in a very small sample) doesn’t point to a rebound. Fortunately, there are more powerful factors at work for Nick Johnson. The first is his move to Yankee Stadium as a lefty hitter. The second is regression. Stick’s career HR/FB is 13%. Last year it fell to 6%. It is unlikely that Johnson really lost that much power by turning 31. Provided even decent health, he’ll comfortably surpass his mark from last year.

- Lastly, our dear departed Melky may have more potential than Yankee fans gave him credit for. At age 25, Cabrera posted 13HRs in 540PAs. His ND/JE ratio was 4.00. We’ll still take Javy of course, but perhaps the Melkman will be an above average bat after all.