The Dayton Dragons play their home games at Fifth Third Field. That shouldn’t be confused by the ballpark with the exact same name in Toledo. It’s been the home for the Dragons since they were birthed into existence (or were they hatched? Dragons are hatched, right?) in 2000. It’s 400 feet to dead center field, with it being 320 feet to each corner.

For as long as I’ve been running park factors, the park in Dayton has played out as a hitter friendly when compared to the other parks in the Midwest League. Just a reminder that all of the numbers below are only for a comparison between Fifth Third Field and other parks in the league, not against other parks in all of the minor leagues.

How did the 2017 season play out for Fifth Third Field?

The first thing we are going 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 .020 3.6%
To CF .002 0.4%
To RF .018 3.5%

This was a rather big change across the board from the 2016 season. Left field and center field both continued to help hitters out, but both did so by a much smaller amount during the 2017 season. Right field, though, went from hurting hitters in 2016 to helping them – at least in terms of average. The difference was a 10% overall boost to right, going from just over -6% the year before to 3.5%.

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 Daytona versus the other parks in the league.

dIsoP %Change
To LF .045 12.9%
To CF .051 19.2%
To RF .088 30.1%

The past reputation of Fifth Third Field held up. While there were some differences from the previous year, all three parts of the field boosted power. Left field didn’t help as much as it did in 2016, going from 21% down to 12.9%. Center field was pretty similar, but also took a step backwards. In 2016 it helped power by 24%, while it dropped to 19% in 2017. It was right field that took a step forward. In 2016 it helped boost power by 19%, but jumped up to just over 30% last season.

The park in Dayton is one of the more hitter friendly parks in the Midwest League. The league overall is a little bit pitcher friendly, though that too can be a little deceiving. Early in the year it’s cold and the ball doesn’t travel as well, but as things warm up in the summer it starts to fly quite well. Given that the league itself favors pitchers a little bit, when comparing the overall numbers Dayton hitters don’t get as much of a boost as the home numbers would suggest. But by comparison to the league, the hitters are helped and the pitchers should be given a little more credit.

8 Responses

  1. MK

    The West Michigan Whitecaps also have a stadium named after Fifth Third Bank. I believe there is one in Georgia as well.

  2. The Duke

    A factor I think you have to consider in why the average didn’t play up as much as in years past was that Dayton had a ridiculously good defensive outfield. Jose Siri is a plus to maybe plus plus defender in CF and Taylor Trammell has crazy good range for LF. TJ Friedl also played half the season there with great speed and good defense and while Michael Beltre isn’t quite up to those 3 defensively, he certainly wasn’t a liability either. If the ball was in the air and in the stadium, odds were good that it was getting caught.

  3. Kap

    Not to change the subject, but I just thought of a fine trade idea sometime during the season…

    Reds trade Duvall to the Indians (assuming Brantley gets hurt again or someone in the outfield under performs) for Roberto Perez and Tyler Naquin

    This is under the assumption that Devin is hurt again or is traded mid-season himself and Stuart Turner is not inspiring hope in Triple A. Not to mention Francisco Mejia being ready for the Indians. The Reds will have their backup catcher for the next two seasons that is cheap and can do that until Okey or Stephenson is ready. Naquin can challenge Billy for the future center fielder job, if not, oh well as he really doesn’t have a place on the Indians roster moving forward. Long story short (too late), The Reds need to have Winker start everyday and this is a way to do so while helping the team out in the immediate future.

    With nothing really going on in the baseball world currently, this is the stuff I like to think about to get me through these boring days.

    • Alex

      Don’t think we can get that much for duvall unfortunately. I expect interest for him to increase once j.d. Martinez signs. He could be a back up plan possibly for a team looking for power that lost on j.d

      • Kap

        True. I can honestly see the Diamondbacks being a possibility. Don’t think they really have a chance at JD

  4. Bill

    What would you think about taking on the Matt Kemp contract if we could bring back Verdugo as the front-liner? Perhaps, Billy Hamilton to the Dodgers for Verdugo, Dustin May and Jake Peter. This would push the Red’s payroll up by a net of $14.65M this year and $19.25M next year. Assuming the Reds can afford the additional payroll, is Verdugo good enough defensively to play CF and would it be worth forgoing the financial flexibility in 2019?

  5. Daytonian

    Hitter friendly? Even more important, The Dragons ballpark is FAN FRIENDLY!