Summer heat a factor in home run frequency at AT&T Field
You've heard of rain delays, but it's more than rain that affects how players perform. Turns out, home runs soar during the hotter months.
Lookouts Manager Tommy Watkins tells Channel 3, after a cool start to the season in April, he knows his players appreciate the warmer temperatures in the forecast.
"I think the guys feel good, and the ball just flies when it's hot," Watkins said.
The home run data proves Watkin's right. During the last two seasons, the lookouts hit an average of 11 home runs between April and May. The number doubles in June and July! In August it falls to 15 and quickly drops to an average of two in September.
Lookouts Outfielder Lamonte Wade says the grip of the bat changes by the month.
"When we first got here in April, it was really cold. You won't see as many home runs just because guys hands are freezing, and you can't really get a grip on the bat as well," Wade said.
The warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. The cool and drier atmosphere is dense, and therefore requires more force for a home run. Lookouts Infielder Alex Perez says when the air is stagnant, the ball won't travel. A little though from the Tennessee River helps.
"It's humid and hot, and the ball will go absolutely nowhere," Perez said.
Perez is from Miami and says the stadium makes a big difference. Minor league fields have an advantage over larger major league stadiums.
"If there's a huge stadium and there's like all enclosed, then I don't think the wind will have much of a factor, that's when the heat will come into play," Perez added.
As higher temperatures come into play, players say they're ready for the sweet spot summer brings.
Last month the team hit 14 home runs, better than the last two April's. As warmer temperatures are in the forecast for the remainder of the week and into this weekend, it will be interesting to see the Lookouts play, as they'll be home through May 16th!
st Brittany Beggs.