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Thursday, June 03, 2021

Examining Home Run Rates by Ballpark

What’s interesting to note here is that 25 of the 28 parks listed experienced some level of decrease in home run rate, which aligns with the broader trend that I broke down about last month. It is also interesting that Oracle Park in San Francisco has seen a 15.5-point bump in home run rate, likely due to the Giants moving their fences in for the 2020 season. If we’re comparing 2019 to ’21 data, that change would explain the large positive difference in home run rate there.

On the other end of the spectrum, look at Oakland, which saw a drop of almost 32 points in home run rate on these “wall-scrapers.”...

Ultimately, the answer to why certain parks might have been more impacted by the new run environment than others is difficult to unpack. As mentioned, we don’t know for sure which parks added the humidor. Additionally, the interaction between outfield space and outfield wall height may also play a role, as could climate and, more specifically, weather so far this season. And, as always, there’s definitely randomness in here as well. But perhaps more than understanding why we’re seeing such significant changes at the ballpark level, it’s first important to acknowledge that some huge differences exist in how the baseball (and potential humidor) is affecting how the ball flies in each environment.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2021 at 05:01 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: park factors

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   1. Moeball Posted: June 06, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6022837)
What is interesting to me are two specific phenomena:

1) Every one of the West Coast parks has typically been favorable to pitchers over the last several years. San Diego, L.A., Anaheim, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle have all become places hitters don't like. To some degree it may have been because weather patterns have made HRs difficult to get but I don't think that's all of it. In many cases all extra base hits have been down compared to the average park. Not really sure if it is park design causing this or some other factor. Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, for example, were both quite vocal about the change in Seattle going from the homer friendly Kingdome to not so friendly Safeco and they weren't happy about it.

2) Padres batters spent many years complaining that it was too difficult to hit balls over the fences at Petco (while conveniently not mentioning that they were getting outhomered there by the opponents, and some visiting batters such as Andruw Jones had no difficulty reaching the seats at all, so maybe the problem wasn't entirely the park). So several changes have been made over the years to bring the fences in and even to lower the fences. The home run rate at Petco has increased in recent years, but overall scoring hasn't. It still plays primarily as a pitchers park. So it's more than just a reduction in power output that influences these parks and I'm not really sure what the cause is.

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