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Park Factors: The Citifield Myth


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#1 Hoovbacca

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:43 AM

So with one season down, is Citifield a pitchers park or a hitter's park? The stats are obviously inconclusive, since its only one season, and let's be honest, the Mets sucked this year, but i was looking at the Park Factor stats for 2009 and found that there wasnt much difference between the essentially neutral Shea Stadium and Citifield.

For the purpose of this illustration, i am going to show 2004 (the last year the Mets were below .500, 2006 the last year the Mets were in the playoffs, 2008 the lasy year of Shea, and 2009 in Citifield

The way park factors work is taking the stats at home vs the road (factoring in visiting ballcubs). A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher. Teams with home games in multiple stadiums list aggregate Park Factors.

(Stat Source: http://espn.go.com/m...tats/parkfactor)

YEAR.........STADIUM...............................RUNS.....HR.....HITS......2B.....3B....BB
2004 Shea Stadium (Flushing, New York) 0.974 0.804 1.033 0.976 0.467 0.978
2006 Shea Stadium (Flushing, New York) 0.606 0.575 0.660 0.714 0.485 0.691
2008 Shea Stadium (Flushing, New York) 0.946 1.081 0.926 0.935 0.500 1.088
2009 Citi Field....(New York, NY)..............0.943 1.057 0.955 0.955 1.200 0.942

the interesting thing is, with a much weaker team in 2009, the stats between Shea in 08 and Citi in 09 are remarkably similar in ever category except 3B which in case you are wondering, Citi ranks 7th among parks in Triples for 2009. It runs 12th for HR.

The amazing thing to me is, 2006, when the Mets came within an inning of the World Series, the Park Factor on Shea was SO pitcher heavy, that literally Shea was dead last in every category except 3B (which oddly enough was held by the previous Yankee Stadium. In other words, Shea in 2006 was the premier pitchers park in baseball, though most years it hovered around the middle of the pack...what we would consider "pitcher friendly leaning average"

Now i know someone will inevitably ask...so here is a comparison for the "other" team in town...since their new park has the Homer friendly reputation.....is it founded? we'll look at the same years, and then compare Citi and Yankee Stadium side by side.

YEAR.........STADIUM...............................RUNS.....HR.....HITS......2B.....3B....BB
2004 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 0.694 0.776 0.791 0.785 0.397 0.791
2006 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 0.877 1.023 0.958 1.007 0.375 0.938
2008 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 1.040 0.982 0.980 0.997 1.045 1.000
2009 Yankee Stadium (Bronx, New York) 0.965 1.261 0.995 0.810 0.500 1.104

Now obviously the HR count defintely shows new Yankee Stadium to be more HR friendly than it's predecessor, but statistically speaking thats the only notable difference....in 4 of the 6 categories, the stadium actually favors pitchers. And yes, Yankee Stadium has the highest ranked PF for HR's...Angels Stadium is 2nd, Rangers 3rd, US Cellular 4th and Oriole Park 5th (for those wondering Citizen's Bank is 16th, 4 below CITIFIELD at 12th...yes folks, thats right, statistically speaking in 2009 Citifield was more HR friendly than CBP. Worth noting too, about New Yankee stadium, is that they added Tex this year and he led all Yankees with 24 HR at Yankee Stadium this year, by 7 HR (24 HR at home, next highest is A-Rd with 18, and Damon with 17), and that could skew the stats a little as well....

so how do Citi and new Yankee match up side by side?

YEAR.........STADIUM...............................RUNS.....HR.....HITS......2B.....3B....BB
2009 Citi Field (New York, NY)................. 0.943 1.057 0.955 0.955 1.200 0.942
2009 Yankee Stadium (New York, NY) .... 0.965 1.261 0.995 0.810 0.500 1.104

While the numbers aren't all that similar, both stadiums favor pitchers in 4 out of the 6 categories. That being said, while Yankee Stadium clearly favors hitters in 2009 the home lineup certainly featured better all around offense in 2009, leaving one to wonder, would or could the Mets have done any better with Yankee Stadium as their home in 2009? And would the Yankees have done worse at Citifield? I am thinking the answer to that is a fairly surprising no.

What i do think that time will show is that the difference is the early season...much like Shea was, in April and May HR's will die in the outfield, while the humid summer months will feature far more HRs and offense. Yankee Stadium, i expect to be somewhat opposite....i wouldnt be surprised if it remains a HR haven in the early season and becomes more average in summer months. That seemed to be the pattern this year, and i wouldnt be surprised to see that happen this year.....

One last thing worth noting, Here are the 2009 raw numbers for HR for Mets and Yankees and their opponents

TEAM.......HOME/AWAY......HR ALLOWED........HR HIT......DIFFERENCE
Mets..................Home..................81.................49.................-32
Mets..................Away..................77.................46.................-31
Yankees............Home.................101...............136................+35
Yankees............Away..................80...............108................+28

Obviously that shows how bad our own HR hitting was, but it also shows the fact that simply put, Citifeld, with the right hitters, and with them healthy, is not a place where HR's die. It's no homer haven, for sure....but the right guys can definitely get the job done. That being said, i think the Mets will always be best off matching the strengths of Citifeld, lots of spray hitters, good gap hitters, decent speed, and a few power types....

jb
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#2 tabes

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:47 PM

Hear hear!

I do NOT want them messing with the dimensions!
When the change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band....

-Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

#3 rossie6782

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:56 PM

Hear hear!

I do NOT want them messing with the dimensions!


exactly.
the only thing i would remotely want them to do is lower the outfield fence. otherwise, i think the dimensions are perfect.
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#4 Metsfan980

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:14 PM

Can right field be fixed?

I hate that corner.
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#5 ZachTavlin

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 03:51 PM

It's important to note that just like a player's batting average, a pitcher's ERA, platoon splits or really any individual statistic, we definitely need more than one season to get a clear picture of a park's effects. We might know more about CitiField than Jeff Francoeur, but don't expect run scoring to be the same next season, even after we adjust for the difference in skill level.
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#6 Hoovbacca

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 03:53 PM

It's important to note that just like a player's batting average, a pitcher's ERA, platoon splits or really any individual statistic, we definitely need more than one season to get a clear picture of a park's effects. We might know more about CitiField than Jeff Francoeur, but don't expect run scoring to be the same next season, even after we adjust for the difference in skill level.



absolutely...and i think i showed that not only by saying exactly that, but also by showing the variables that Shea itself had. The main point i was trying to show with all of that was, Citifield didnt lack home runs, it lacked Mets capable of hitting them. Not because the park is big, but because they simply couldnt do it.


jb
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#7 ZachTavlin

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:14 PM

absolutely...and i think i showed that not only by saying exactly that, but also by showing the variables that Shea itself had. The main point i was trying to show with all of that was, Citifield didnt lack home runs, it lacked Mets capable of hitting them. Not because the park is big, but because they simply couldnt do it.

I know you said it, I was just reiterating that point before someone jumped to a premature conclusion. It's still possible that Citi Field significantly depresses home runs, though unlikely that it matches, say, Petco in this regard. The hypothesis isn't inconsistent with the observation that the Mets were a poor power hitting team this year.
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#8 Hoovbacca

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 06:55 PM

I know you said it, I was just reiterating that point before someone jumped to a premature conclusion. It's still possible that Citi Field significantly depresses home runs, though unlikely that it matches, say, Petco in this regard. The hypothesis isn't inconsistent with the observation that the Mets were a poor power hitting team this year.


exactly...the fact remains that 2009 shows that its a reasonable assertion that the HR numbers at Citifield are reflective of the quality of hitters, since 120+ HR's were still hit there in a 81 game stretch, putting it around league average. But the home/road HR split of the Mets shows that the Mets simply were out-homered in every facet of their game....


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#9 ils

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 07:13 PM

If they consider bringing in the fences to add more seats or some other legit reason, I won't complain. If they do it because of a reaction to a single season from a bad team, I won't be happy about the team's decision making process.

#10 tabes

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:24 PM

If they consider bringing in the fences to add more seats or some other legit reason, I won't complain. If they do it because of a reaction to a single season from a bad team, I won't be happy about the team's decision making process.


It would take reaction to a single season in this ballpark for you to be unhappy about this team's decision making process?? I've been unhappy about this team's decision making process for quite a while now....
When the change was made uptown
And the Big Man joined the band....

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#11 ils

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:29 PM

It would take reaction to a single season in this ballpark for you to be unhappy about this team's decision making process?? I've been unhappy about this team's decision making process for quite a while now....

Well, if you've read any of my 10,000 posts about Jeff Francoeur (really, I don't hate him, sort of), then you'd see that I haven't been either.




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