The Arizona League Reds play their home games in Goodyear at the spring training complex. They’ve been there since the 2010 season. Overall, the Arizona League is considered hitter friendly. It’s not a league that boosts power like some other hitter friendly leagues. What it does, though, is boost runs overall.

Before we jump into the numbers below, let’s note that these numbers are only compared to other leagues in the Arizona Rookie League and not all of Minor League Baseball.

How did the 2018 season play out for the AZL Reds

The first thing we should look at is how batting average was altered by the field in comparison to the league.

dAVG %Change
To LF -.049 -8.1%
To CF .085 15.8%
To RF .092 16.0%

The change from the 2017 season was pretty big. Whether that was due to the hitters and small sample size from a short season league, or weather issues, it’s tough to say. In 2017 average was hurt to each part of the field, but it was nearly neutral to both corners. To center it hurt average by nearly 11%. In 2018 when the ball was hit to left it hurt the average by a decent amount. But to center and right field a player saw a rather big boost in their average by comparison to when they did so on the road. Overall, hitters saw their average boosted by comparison – but it may depend on how a player used the field as to how it played for them specifically.

With all of that said, it’s the power and how it plays in a ballpark that gives it the reputation between being pitcher or hitter friendly. Let’s take a look at how that played out in Goodyear by comparison to the league.

dIsoP %Change
To LF .071 20.3%
To CF .073 44.0%
To RF .071 19.3%

There was a big difference in how the power played out in Goodyear by comparison to 2017, too. Power to left field in 2017 was drastically down compared to the league, and to center it was neutral. In 2018 power to left field was boosted by the ballpark, and to center it really got help at home. To right field the difference in isolated power was about the same as it was in 2017, but the road isolated power was very different. That led to the difference between home/road to right field being about half of what it was in 2017 – still helpful, but not nearly as much.

What do we know from this data?

Well, it’s a fun exercise to look at the data. But unfortunately this league playing so few games means that there could be a lot of noise in the data. Limited to less than 30 home games works against the data. Many players not playing every day because of large rosters works against the data. As I said last season, it’s tough to know much on one season of data. What happened in one season could be the players making the difference rather than ballpark.

Looking simply at the raw data there’s some interesting things, though. In games played by the Reds in Goodyear there were 37 home runs hit between the two teams. In road games involving the Reds there were only 17 home runs hit between the two teams. There were about 150 more balls in play in Goodyear than on the road. That does not account for the home run difference. The ballpark also yielded a larger number of doubles in those games, 110 to 74. Triples, on the other hand, were down in Goodyear. There were 25 in Goodyear and 32 on the road. There were also a lot more infield hits, 82 to 66.

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