Okay, here’s a problem for you all to solve: David Wright, for his career, has made 75 errors and has a .944 fielding percentage at home. He has made 50 errors and has a .962 fielding percentage on the road. This is a significant home and road fielding split, about a 7 or 8 errors difference per season if Wright played all his game at home as opposed to all his games on the road. (This info is all courtesy of Retrosheet, by the way.) I have no idea why this split exists, but here are some things I don’t think explain it:
- It’s not just Citi Field as opposed to Shea Stadium, or vice versa. Wright has a .943 fielding percentage at Citi Field against .944 at home overall.
- It could be that the official scorer is more likely to award hits to hometown players, leading to fewer errors on the road. But Jose Reyes has a .970 road fielding percentage and a .979 home fielding percentage, which is a less drastic split that leans the opposite way. Why would a scorer be more or less likely to award a hit when Reyes misplayed a ball? I don’t know.
- I don’t think it’s the size of foul territory. If the road parks have more foul ground, Wright could fatten up his fielding percentage by catching more foul popups. But Wright doesn’t have a higher percentage of putouts on the road, which would be the indicator that he was catching a lot of popups.
- Just to make things weirder, both Total Zone (as seen on Baseball-Reference) and Ulitimate Zone Rating (as seen on Fangraphs) suggest that Wright is a much better fielder at home, despite the rise in errors. Baseball Reference says Wright has cost the Mets 5 runs at home, against 38(!?!) on the road. Fangraphs says Wright has cost the Mets 7 at home against 11 on the road.
So help me out here, Internet. I’m looking for suggestions as to why a third baseman would have a significant home/road errors split. Or suggestions at to why David Wright is a sloppier (yet somehow better) fielder when the Mets are home.