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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Minor League Park Factors

Baseball America today publishes minor league park factors. Here's the rundown for the Angels and Dodgers. Factors are based on 1000 as neutral, higher favoring hitters, lower favoring pitchers.

ACedar Rapid Kernels1027Vero Beach Dodgers1102
ARancho Cucamonga Quakes946Columbus Catfish1038
AAArkansas Travelers1097Jacksonville Suns912
AAASalt Lake Stingers1145Las Vegas 51's1012

What's surprising is how the majority of parks in both systems are hitter's parks, though the big surprise is that the so-called hitter's park of Cashman Field -- home of the 51's -- ain't all that. But Jacksonville's home field is a pronounced pitcher's park. Could that be the reason why the Dodgers weren't initially interested in seeing Edwin Jackson go to AAA, in that the lessons he might learn there would be next to useless in the very pitcher-friendly confines of Chavez Ravine? On the other hand, if you can pitch your way out of Salt Lake, you're just about ready for Coors Field. What's interesting to note is that virtually all of the A's minor league parks are pitcher's parks. The question I'd like answered: Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to have your minors' parks play similarly to your home park? The accompanying article seems to indicate that a number of clubs have decided it's an advantage and are moving in that direction, with the Rockies and Braves among them. If the trend continues, it could be very bad news for many of the clubs in the Pacific Coast and California Leagues, as many of those parks are far more extreme than most major league parks.



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