The Daytona Tortugas play in the oldest park in the Cincinnati Reds system. By far. Jackie Robinson Ballpark has been around since the summer of 1914. It’s been renovated multiple times throughout it’s history, most recently in 1999. The ballpark is just 317 feet to the left field corner, 400 feet to center field, and 325 feet to the right field corner.

The Reds were in their third year with Daytona as their advanced-A affiliate in 2017. In the previous two seasons the ballpark had played as hitter friendly overall. But, in 2015 the park did hurt players going to right field a little bit, both for power and for average.

Before we jump into how the ballpark played in 2017, let’s be sure to note that the park factors below are only against the other parks in the Florida State League. They are not being compared to ballparks at other levels or other leagues.

How did the 2017 season play out for Jackie Robinson Ballpark?

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 -.008 -1.2%
To CF .046 8.8%
To RF -.009 -1.6%

This was a change from the 2016 season, particularly in left field. The difference was about 10% from the previous season, going from helping to hurting the hitters. The 2017 season was slightly harmful, but rather neutral for average when the ball was hit to left. When the ball went to center field it was helpful once again, but even more this past year. Right field went from slightly helpful in 2016 to slightly harmful in 2017. The difference between the two years was just 3.5%, with each year just floating on the opposite sides of zero.

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 .107 32.9%
To CF .091 45.3%
To RF .003 1.1%

In 2016 the ballpark boosted power to all fields. That held up again in 2017, but to both left and center it boosted it even more than in the past. The ball absolutely flew out to left and center in Daytona during the last season, with huge increases in power output. Right field, though, was about as neutral as you could get with just a .003 increase. That’s down, big time, from the .053 that it boosted power in 2016 (23%).

Jackie Robinson Ballpark is known as the hitters park among the Florida State League parks. It’s dimensions are a little smaller than the rest of the league, which is full of big league parks that teams use for spring training. Overall, the league is the best pitchers league in all of Minor League Baseball. With that said, the home confines in Daytona are very friendly by comparison to the rest of the league.

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13 Responses

  1. Norwood Nate

    So it sounds like, provided health, 4 of 5 rotation spots are locked in and with the Hernandez signing 5 of 7 bullpen spots are locked in (outside of the off chance Lorenzen wins a rotation spot). DW reportedly said Gosselin will likely fill the backup SS role. I would assume the bench to be Duvall/Schebler, Mesoraco, Herrera, Ervin, and Gosselin.

    Looking like only 3 spots up for grabs heading into ST.

    • jim t

      I think your right Nate. Barring injury or trade I think the starting 8 will be

      Hamilton CF
      Winker LF
      Votto !b
      Suarez #B
      Duvall/Schebler Rf
      Gennett 2b
      Barnhardt c
      Perraza ss

    • Krozley

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they go with 8 bullpen spots and 4 bench players with Ervin staying at Louisville in reserve. I hope a better option than Gosselin comes about before the season begins.

    • Shawn

      I think Gosselin will be stashed in AAA to use if needed long term. I would think Suerez or blandino( if he makes the roster ) can cover if needed for a game or 2

  2. jim t

    I would also sit Billy against Left handed pitchers. On those days he would be a used on the bases if opportunity presented itself or as a late inning defensive replacement. Ervin and Duvall would be in my outfield on days when Lefties are pitching. Either Winker or Schebler would also get a day off when lefties are throwing against us to help rest Duvall and take advantage of his right handed bat against lefties. Really shouldn’t be hard to find at bats for 4 of the 5 outfielders on the 25 man.

    • Norwood Nate

      I agree with this. At this stage there’s no reason to think Hamilton is a viable switch hitter. Ervin should spell Hamilton in CF against LHP and Hamilton becomes a late innings base runner/defensive replacement.

    • Shawn

      I would play Winker everyday and platoon Schebler and Duval. I would also not start Billy or Scooter against lefties

  3. Cinvenfan

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Winker will be a fixed starter at LF. Duvall will play there agaisnt LH pitchers (and many RH) and Winkler will move to RF because Schebler’s splits against southpaws are so poor. Schebler/Ervin will play some CF too, so BHam rests against LH.
    In april, 5 starters won’t be needed until the second week, so they will pobably carry 4 and a 8-man bullpen and a 5-man bench.

    • jim t

      I can agree with this. 4 of the 5 will get most of the at bats with Ervin being the one who gets less.

  4. Billy

    Doug, can we get a report on Gosselin? I’m finding it hard to believe that the front office thinks that they’re done adding to the roster and that Gosselin is the best option we’ve got to back up Peraza at SS. He’s a 28 year old who has played 52 games in his professional career at SS, and they think he’s the best option to be the backup SS to Peraza? Why? What if Peraza gets hurt or continues to suck? Doesn’t this have disaster written all over it?