Let's start with the fact that I have a good working knowledge of normalization. In the league I use for an example, a 1916/96 progressive, I would expect to see hitters on pace for about 65-75% of their RL HR totals.
I know that modern HR hitters are not going to hit as many HR's as in real life. My issue is that the high BB sluggers (let's say Frank Thomas or Garry Sheffield) don't homer at the same rate as sluggers from the same year with lower walk rates.
In a progressive league, facing pitchers from 1996 and 1916, at the halfway point, we have
1996 Garry Sheffiled (RL . 465 OBP, 42 HR) - League play: .472 OBP 6 HR
1996 Frank Thomas (RL .459 OBP, 40 HR) - League play:.425 OBP, 6HR)
1996 Barry Bonds (RL: 461 OBP, 40 HR) - League Play: .458 OBP, 10 HR)
Yet hitters who don't have many BB are closer to being on pace to a reasonable HR Total For example
1996 Ken Griffey JR (RL: .398 OBP, 49 HR) - League Play .380OBP, 19HR
1996 Tim Salmon (RL: .386, 30 HR) - League Play .389 OBP, 16 HR
1996 Ryne Sandberg (RL .316 OBP, 24 HR) - League Play (.356 OBP, 14 HR) - He's overachieving on all fronts....Outlier
1996 Vinny Castilla (RL .343 OBP, 40 HR) - League Play (.348 OBP, 13 HR).
Someone please explain to me why elite BB/HR players drastically underperform in HR totals, while the more normal BB hitters approach an expected HR total.
It's not related to home stadium, I pulled examples for each from hitters and pitchers parks.
I've seen this pattern in many leagues, enough that I generally avoid paying the price for high BB / high HR guys.