The Arizona League Reds play their home games in Goodyear at the spring training complex. It’s been their home since the team moved to Arizona from Sarasota in 2010. The Arizona Rookie League is a hitter friendly league, sort of. The league doesn’t boost power like many other known hitter friendly leagues, but it does boost runs overall.

Before jumping into the numbers, we need to note that these are simply compared to other ballparks in the league, and not to all of the Minor Leagues.

How did the 2017 season play out for the AZL Reds?

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 -.007 -1.0%
To CF -.057 -10.6%
To RF -.008 -1.4%

The change from 2016 to 2017 was rather interesting for the Arizona League Reds. In 2017 the ballpark hurt average to each part of the field. Realistically, though, it was only on balls hit to center that were harmed. In 2016 balls to left field were hurt a bit more, while balls to right field were helped by 11% more. Center saw things go from helping by 2.6% to hurting by 10.6%.

Of course, it’s usually how power plays in a ballpark that gives a place it the reputation for being pitcher or hitter friendly. Let’s take a look at how things in the AZL played when it comes to power by looking at Isolated Power, which is average subtracted from slugging – essentially just looking at extra-base hits.

dIsoP %Change
To LF -.195 -63.5%
To CF .007 3.1%
To RF .081 38.0%

If the last two years have told us anything it’s that fly balls going to left field might as well not even try. In 2017 the hitters were hurt on isolated power by 64%, and the year before it was 66%. While in one given season you could claim a small sample size, two years in a row gives it a lot more credit. Right field barely changed, too. In 2016 power was boosted by 43% and in 2017 it was boosted by 38%. The change in center was strange. As we saw above, it went from helping to hurting the hitters batting averages. In 2016 it crushed power output by 40%. Last season it slightly boosted power by 3%.

What do we know about the ballpark?

With the Arizona League in particular, but short season leagues as a whole, the more data you use, the better. In Arizona they are only playing 55 games – which means the sample you’re working with for any given ballpark is less than 30 total games. And in these developmental complex levels, it’s rare that anyone is playing every single day. So you’ve got limited games and varying lineups. It causes a mess of accuracy issues to deal with. Still, it would seem that we do know that left field is going to kill power in Goodyear. Beyond that it’s probably best to kind of throw your hands in the air at one seasons worth of information.

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