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Nolan Arenado will hit 94 Home Runs

From what I have seen in the Rockies inter-squad summer camp games, Nolan Arenado might just be the second coming of Christ. I swear he is hitting like 2 home runs per game or something insane like that. I don't know if he made some adjustments in the offseason, if Coors is feeling super friendly at the moment, or if something else is going on. All I know is that Nolan has been on absolute fire recently. Here's where the numbers get involved.

If he hits 2 home runs per game, and plays 60 games, he will hit 120 home runs. Pretty easy math, right? To pass Barry Bonds, he will have to hit 73 home runs, or 1.21 home runs per game. Some analytic nerds might say "Nooooo you can't just hit over a home run per game" but they are empirically wrong. Here is why:

Here is a video of Nolan Arenado hitting a home run against the Giants last year. According to ZiPS projections, Arenado will have around 4.26 plate appearances per game. If Nolan hits a home run every single time he is up to bat, he will hit 4.26 home runs per game. 4.26 is a lot greater than 1.21, as it would end up being around 256 home runs in the season.

Of course I am joking. This is very misleading. Obviously Nolan isn't going to hit 256 home runs. After all, ZiPS only projects him to play 56 of his team's 60 games. In a world where he played only 56 games, he would slug just 238 home runs. That is still 4.26 home runs per game, but just 238 home runs over the season. Fortunately, Barry Bonds only hit 73. Nolan has some room for error, but he now needs to hit over 1.3 home runs per game to keep up. We also need to add some more adjustments. 

Here is a video of Nolan hitting a double off of former Dodger and now Blue Jay Hyun-Jin Ryu. Unfortunately, this will sometimes occur. Nolan got a bit on top of this one, a rare mistake, and it ended up just being a double. Over a long season, Nolan might get a little tired. Because of this, I will pencil him in at 20% of his at bats ending up as doubles off the wall. I know this might undersell Nolan's skill a bit, but I am trying to be as unbiased as possible. As a result of this adjustment, Nolan is now only projected to hit 3.4 home runs per game. 

What about robbed home runs? I doubt that Nolan would hit a fly ball weak enough to be robbed, but it might happen. After adjusting for robbed home runs, Nolan is now projected for just 3.35 home runs per game, but that is still quite a lot. Even for a guy like Arenado, slugging 188 home runs in a season would take a lot of effort and energy. Nolan is a very motivated guy, but he isn't perfect. Here's how to fix that: A common practice in the analytical community in reaction to a potential outlier is to simply just divide the potential outlier by 2. It doesn't really matter what the context is, but always just divide by 2. This is very important. When we divide by two, we get around 1.68 home runs per game. This is closer to our number of 1.3 and it is a very reasonable projected outcome. Over a 56 game stretch, 1.68 home runs per game will amount to 94 home runs, 21 more than what Barry Bonds hit in 2001. That is the final projection, there are no other adjustments to be made, so you should expect around 94 home runs from Nolan Arenado this season.