Take me out to the ballpark

Three items entered the Billy-Ball.com newsroom over the last day that brought the subject of ballparks into the spotlight.

First, congratulations in advance to the folks over at BallparkDigest.com who will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in a few weeks.

Next, an interesting column by Nick Cafardo in today’s Boston Globe as he takes notice of a new phenomenon at Fenway Park: the late arriving fan.

Finally, Brandon Phillips homered in the Reds 5-4 win over the Pirates making it the 52nd consecutive game at Great American Ball Park with at least one homer. It’s the longest active streak for any ballpark in the majors. The last homerless game in Cincinnati was July 29.

With the start of the last ever full-blown interleague portion of the schedule, it seemed to be a good time to look at some stats relating to various parks that might enable some of you who are not familiar with how the parks are playing this season.

  1. The ballpark that has produced the majors’ highest batting average is Colorado’s Coors Field where teams are hitting .297. The Mets have hit .375  there this season, while the home team is at .287. The AL ballpark that has the best average is the Twins’ Target Field where hitters are at .277. The Twins are hitting .266 there (the Tigers are hitting .367 at Target and the A’s .220).
  2. The lowest batting average is at Safeco Field in Seattle where batters are hitting a pitiful .206, where the Mariners are hitting .193. So much for home field advantage, huh? The worst place for hitters in the NL is Pittsburgh’s PNC Park that has a .217 batting average. The Bucs are the biggest offenders at .214 at home.
  3. Which ballpark is this season’s homer haven? The White Sox’ US Cellular has yielded 84 homers, the most of any park. Stat that I love: Of the 84 homers at US Cellular, the White Sox have hit 42 and the visitors have hit 42. Coors Field has allowed 80 homers, 43 by the home team. In case you are curious (I was), so far this season the home team has hit 838 homers, the visitors 815. I thought the disparity would be greater. The Blue Jays lead with 47 home homers and they are led by Edwin Encarnacion who has 12 homers north of the border, the most of any player this season at home.
  4. The hardest place to go deep, and it’s not just really good pitching, is San Francisco’s AT&T Park where just 22 homers have been hit. I must admit I’m not surprised as AT&T was my cellular provider and I always had trouble connecting. In a most remarkable number, the Giants have gone deep only six times in San Francisco. In 2001, Barry B*nds hit 37 at home.
  5. The place for doubles is no surprise: Fenway Park is the place to double your pleasure as the home of the Green Monstah has offered up 144 doubles, 86 by the home team (the Sox have hit 56 on the road) and 81 more than Safeco. Miller Park in Milwaukee has been the home for 124 doubles, the most in the NL. Stat that I love: Of the 124 doubles at Miller Park, the Brewers have hit 62 and the visitors have hit 62.
  6. If you love triples like I do the place to watch a game is San Diego’s Petco Park where 26 have been hit this season. The fans at Camden Yards in Baltimore and Progressive Field in Cleveland have each seen only four triples. The Orioles have hit three at home while the Indians have hit two.
  7. Coors Field has the highest OPS at .850 followed by Fenway and St Louis’ Busch Stadium at .787.
  8. Coors Field has the highest Batting Average for balls in play at .336 while the lowest BAbip is at Safeco where it’s .246.
  9. And what parks are conducive to sac flies? Fenway has yielded 22 as has the Marlins new home in Miami On the topic of Marlins Park, while it leads in garish home run structures (it doesn’t mean I don’t like it), it has offered a .268 batting average with 36 homers, 99 doubles and 19 triples. There have been 258 runs scored there, 10th most in the majors (Coors leads with 375 and Safeco is at the bottom of the pack with 149).