Louisville Bats Park Factors for 2017 Doug Gray January 25, 2018 The Louisville Bats play their home games in Louisville Slugger Field. It’s been the home ballpark since 2000 for Louisville. The ballpark is 325 feet to the left field line and 340 feet to the right field line. It’s 405 feet to dead center field. In the past the ballpark has been both a hitter friend ballpark as well as a pitcher friendly ballpark. Sometimes weather comes into play, and sometimes it could be that other new parks opened up and changed the overall hitting or pitching status in the league. Before jumping into the numbers, let’s be sure to note that the park factors are only against the other parks in the International League. They aren’t against all of the minors or even the other Triple-A league. In the 2016 season the ballpark hurt a players average to all parts of the field. To left field it also hurt a players ability to hit for power. However, to center field and to right field, the ballpark boosted power output. How did the 2017 season play out for Louisville Slugger Field? The first thing to look at is how batting average was altered by the field in comparison to the rest of the league in 2017. dAVG %Change To LF -.026 -4.4% To CF .028 5.1% To RF .048 8.1% Left field, which also hurt hitters in 2016, did the same thing in 2017. In fact, it did so even more last year. The difference wasn’t enormous, but going to left field certainly hurt a players average at home versus doing so on the road. Unlike in 2016, though, going to center or right field helped out in the average department. It’s not the average that gives a ballpark it’s reputation as a hitters or pitchers park. It’s how much power a ballpark gives up. Here we are going to look at isolated power (SLG-AVG) in Louisville versus the other parks in the league. dIsoP %Change To LF -.070 -20.1% To CF -.002 -1.0% To RF .043 11.7% In 2016 left field also hurt power output to left field by comparison to the league. In 2017, it took things a step further. Left field sapped power significantly in 2017 at Louisville Slugger Field. Going to center didn’t change much at all. If you hit the ball to right field, for the second straight season, the ballpark boosted your power output. The home run per fly ball rate jumped from the previous year, going from 9.6% to 10.8%. The rate on the road also jumped up, going from 9.1% to 10.2%. The baseball was juiced, so-to-speak, in the Major Leagues. It wasn’t in the Minor Leagues, at least according to the players, who said they could definitely feel the difference when throwing (pitchers), or hitting it and seeing how it jumped off the bat and carried (hitters). Depending on what kind of hitter you were in 2017 depends on how the ballpark played for you. If you hit the ball to left field often, the park did you no favors at all. But, if you hit the ball to right field frequently, then Louisville Slugger Field probably boosted your offensive profile a little bit.