The Best and Worst Hitters’ Parks in MLB Baseball 2016
Back 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 several posts on this subject, which have proven quite popular, the last about two years ago, so it feels like a good time for an update.
As we enter the 2016 season, below are the average park factors for all major league ballparks over the last six seasons, 2010 through 2015 (four seasons for Marlins Park which opened in 2012).
1. Coors Field (Rockies) 1.427. Coors Field remains far and away the best hitters’ in MLB by a wide margin. Every other stadium had a season or two between 2010 and 2015 well out of line with its overall average position except Coors Field. It was the best hitters’ park in MLB five of the six seasons, usually by a lot, and a strong second in the sixth season.
2. Globe Life Park at Arlington (Rangers) 1.144. Globe Life Park remains the best hitters’ park in the American League.
3. Fenway Park (Red Sox) 1.107.
4. Chase Field (Diamondbacks) 1.093.
5. Camden Yards (Orioles) 1.083.
6. Miller Park (Brewers) 1.072.
7. Yankee Stadium 1.059.
8. U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox) 1.058. One of the more variable parks in MLB, U.S. Cellular Field was a pitchers’ park in 2015, but a strong hitters’ park in 2010 and 2012.
9. Rogers Centre (Blue Jays) 1.047. A pitchers’ park in 2015, Rogers Center was a hitters’ park every other year of the last six.
10. Great American Ball Park (Reds) 1.045.
11. Wrigley Field (Cubs) 1.034. Long regarded as one of the best hitters’ parks in MLB, Wrigley was a pitchers’ park in 2014 and 2015, bringing it’s six year average down considerably.
12. Comerica Park (Tigers) 1.026.
13. Kauffman Stadium (Royals) 1.027. 25 or 30 years ago, Kauffman Stadium was one of the best hitters’ parks in baseball. However, the newer parks built starting with Camden Yards in 1992, have for the most part been much better hitters’ parks than the ballparks they replaced. The casual fans want to see offense, and the modern parks have largely catered to that desire with resulting attendance increases.
14. Target Field (Twins) 1.013. The Twins’ new ball park looked like it was going to be a pitchers’ park after the first couple of seasons of play there. However, it now looks to be a slight hitters’ park.
15. Citizens Bank Ballpark (Phillies) 1.005.
16. Nationals Park 1.004.
17. Marlins Park (2012-2015) 1.000. The Marlins’ new park appears to be as close to a perfectly level playing field for pitchers and hitters as currently exists in MLB, at least based on the first four seasons of play there.
18. Progressive Field (Indians) 0.992. Progressive Field was the second best hitters’ park in MLB last year, after five consecutive seasons as a moderate pitchers’ park. 2015 was almost certainly a fluke.
19. Minute Maid Park (Astros) 0.987. Once known as Ten-run Park, when it was named after failed energy company Enron, Minute Maid Park varies wildly between a hitters’ park and pitchers’ park from season to season.
20. Turner Field (Braves) 0.972.
21. Busch Stadium (Cardinals) 0.957.
22. Oakland Coliseum (A’s) 0.941. O.co isn’t as much of a pitchers’ park as it once was, more or less switching places with Angel Stadium, another now antiquated multi-use stadium from the 1960’s.
23. PNC Park (Pirates) 0.927.
24. Dodger Stadium 0.906.
25. Tropicana Field (Rays) 0.894.
26. Angel Stadium 0.877. The fact that Angel Stadium is now one of the worst hitters’ parks in MLB gives one additional appreciation of just how good Mike Trout is as an offensive player.
27. Citi Field (Mets) 0.876.
28. Petco Park (Padres) 0.857.
29. Safeco Field (Mariners) 0.842. The Mariners and the Padres moved their outfield fences in before the 2013 season in order to goose offensive production. It hasn’t helped a whole lot, as both parks remained among the worst hitters’ parks in MLB from 2013-2015.
29. AT&T Park (Giants) 0.842. AT&T varies a lot season to season, but in 2011, 2012 and 2015 it was a strong pitchers’ park.