Eddy: Minor league ballparks are driving performance

From Matt Eddy at Baseball America on March 19, 2013:

One of the most fascinating aspects of professional baseball, particularly at the minor league level, is the diversity of ballparks, how they play for hitters and pitchers, and the role that plays in the outcome of various events.

Depending on the park’s features, a team may gain an advantage from righthanded power hitters taking aim at a short left-field porch, speedy outfielders covering a vast territory, or groundball pitchers paired with a slow playing surface limiting the number of hits.

We often talk in generalities when discussing minor league parks, focusing on the league in which a team plays. For example, we might say the California League is a hitter’s league. Or the Florida State League favors pitchers. But to what extent are those statements true? Which parks in those leagues push the needle the farthest? Which parks are the exceptions?

To answer those questions and more, Baseball America gathered home and road data for all 120 full-season minor league teams dating back to 2010. Distinct patterns emerge over the course of three seasons—encompassing more than 200 home games and 200 road games for most teams—and differences in weather conditions and varying talent levels from year to year tend to even out.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/season-preview/2013/2614870.html

Originally published: March 20, 2013. Last Updated: March 20, 2013.