Metrodome morphs into AL’s toughest hitters park

Posted on November 14th, 2008 – 11:23 AM
By Joe Christensen

Remember when the Metrodome was known as a hitter’s paradise? Not anymore. American League hitters probably can’t wait to say good riddance to the place after the 2009 season, even if there are cold days ahead at Target Field.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Dome was tied with Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium this year as the least-friendly hitter’s park in the AL.

The site uses a Total Baseball formula called park adjustments to determine which ballparks favor hitters and which favor pitchers. A number above 100 is better for hitters and below 100 is better for pitchers.

I’ll be away from this blog for a few days, as La Velle keeps tabs on the Twins, but in the meantime, think about some of these numbers as you continue pondering various offseason moves.

(*) Are Garrett Atkins’ numbers helped by Coors Field in the Humidor Era? Yes.

(*) Would Kevin Kouzmanoff’s numbers improve if he left Petco Park? Oh, yes.

(*) What about Adrian Beltre, coming from Seattle? J.J. Hardy from Milwaukee? Yunel Escobar from Atlanta?

First, here’s a look at each team’s batting park factors (BPF) and pitching park factors (PPF) from this season. You can find them at the top of each team’s page on Baseball-Reference.com.

American League

Team – BPF PPF
Twins – 94 94
Royals – 94 95
Mariners – 95 97
Athletics – 97 97
Blue Jays – 99 98
Angels – 100 99
Indians – 100 100
Tigers – 102 103
Orioles – 102 103
Rays – 103 102
White Sox – 103 103
Yankees – 103 103
Rangers – 103 104
Red Sox – 105 103

National League

Team BPF PPF
Padres – 88 89
Pirates – 94 95
Dodgers – 95 94
Marlins – 97 97
Brewers – 98 97
Cardinals – 98 98
Mets – 100 99
Braves – 101 101
Nationals – 101 102
Phillies – 102 101
Cubs – 102 101
Astros – 103 103
Giants – 103 104
Reds – 104 105
Rockies – 105 106
D-backs – 108 108

The NL MVP award will be announced Monday, followed by the AL MVP on Tuesday, and I’d expect Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both to finish among the top seven AL vote getters.

When you look back on their seasons, compared to, say Dustin Pedroia’s for Boston, you realize how much tougher it was putting up those numbers in the Metrodome.

Let’s stroll back through time, looking at the batting and pitching park factors at the Metrodome over the years, seeing the ride it’s taken from Hitter’s Haven to Hitter’s Hades.

Metrodome history

Year – BPF PPF
2008 – 94 94
2007 – 92 93 (This wasn’t the AL low; Oakland had 89, 89)
2006 – 99 99
2005 – 104 103
2004 – 104 104 (FieldTurf installed before the season, slowing ground balls)
2003 – 101 100
2002 – 97 97
2001 – 102 102
2000 – 106 107
1999 – 105 107
1998 – 99 100
1997 – 99 100
1996 – 104 104
1995 – 101 103
1994 – 97 99 (LF Plexiglas removed, dugouts moved three rows closer to field)
1993 – 102 103
1992 – 101 100
1991 – 106 104
1990 – 108 109
1989 – 106 106
1988 – 106 106
1987 – 95 95 (Unexplained dip as Twins win first World Series title)
1986 – 107 108
1985 – 103 104
1984 – 105 105
1983 – 105 107 (LF Plexiglas installed; Baggie added, RF fence 23-feet tall)
1982 – 101 102

Comments are closed.