The Best and Worst Hitters’ Parks in MLB Baseball 2014
In the summer of 2012 I discovered that espn.com provides stats for what it calls “park factor”, which for purposes of this post means the ratio between the number of runs scored at a ballpark in any given season divided by the number of runs scored by said ballpark’s occupant (and its opponents) in away games that same season. I’ve written a couple of posts on this subject, and they’ve been popular, so I’m now updating the post yearly.
As we approach the 2014 season, below are the average park factors for all major league ballparks over the last seven seasons (or less for the five ball parks that have opened more recently). I’ve decided to use seven seasons worth of park factor stats going forward, because ballparks (with a couple of exceptions) are subject to wild swings in any given year.
For example, over the six seasons ending with 2012, Rangers’ Park at Arlington, Chase Field and Fenway Park were the second, third and fourth best hitters’ parks in baseball. In 2013, these parks were all slightly below average hitters’ parks, finishing 17th, 18th and 20th, respectively. However, over the seven seasons ending in 2013, they’re still 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall. Using seven seasons of stats means that changes in rankings from year to year will be small, but I think it will provide more accurate representations of good and bad hitters’ parks over time.
1. Coors Field (Rockies) 1.297
2. The Ballpark at Arlington (Rangers) 1.125
3. Chase Field (Diamondbacks) 1.111
4. Fenway Park (Red Sox) 1.107
5. Wrigley Field (Cubs) 1.101
6. U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox) 1.095
7. Camden Yards (Orioles) 1.077
8. New Yankee Stadium (2009-2013) 1.070 [Old Yankee Stadium, 2004-2008, 1.002]
9. Comerica Park (Tigers) 1.058.
10. Great American Ball Park (Reds) 1.047.
11. Kauffman Stadium (Royals) 1.027
12. Rogers Center (Blue Jays) 1.025
12. Miller Park (Brewers) 1.024
14. Citizens Bank Ballpark (Phillies) 1.022
15. Marlins Park (2012-2013) 1.018 [Sun Life Stadium, 2007-2011, 1.038]
16. Nationals Park (2008-2013) 1.001 [RFK Stadium, 2005-2007, 0.892]
17. Minute Maid Park (Astros) 0.999
18. Target Field (Twins, 2010-2013) 0.992 [Mall of America Field (the Metrodome), 2005-2009, 0.966]
19. Turner Field (Braves) 0.975
20. Progressive Field (Indians) 0.956
21. Angels Stadium 0.943
22. PNC Park (Pirates) 0.932
23. Busch Stadium (Cardinals) 0.930
24. Oakland Coliseum (A’s) 0.915
25. AT&T Park (Giants) 0.912
26. Dodger Stadium 0.908
27. Citi Field (Mets, 2009-2013) 0.897 [Shea Stadium, 2004-2008, 0.886]
28. Tropicana Field (Rays) 0.895
29. Safeco Field (Mariners) 0.882
30. Petco Park (Padres) 0.811
Coors Field in 2013 was once again far and away the best hitters’ park in MLB. Safeco Field and Petco Park, the two worst hitters’ parks in baseball in recent years, famously had their fences moved in the 2013. It didn’t have much impact in San Diego, which was still the worst hitters’ park in 2013, but in Seattle Safeco was only a slightly below average hitters’ park (0.991) and finished 15th in baseball. We’ll have to wait to see what future seasons bring before we can Safeco conclude is no longer an extreme pitchers’ park.
The weather must have been hot and wind blowing out a lot at Wrigley Field in 2013, because it was the best hitters’ park in baseball last year after Coors Field, moving Wrigley back into the top five best hitters’ park in baseball over the last seven seasons. We can also be pretty sure, based on seven seasons worth of stats, that Nationals Park in D.C. and Houston’s Minute Maid Park and the most offensively and defensively neutral ballparks in MLB.
With another year in the books, the Mets’ Citi Field is proving to be nearly as much of a pitchers’ park as the old Shea Stadium.