Yesterday we took a look at the park factors out in Arizona. Today we are going to look at how they were in Greeneville. While the ballpark existed before the Reds arrived, this was the first year in which the Reds played there. They took over the team from the Astros, who sold the team to them over the offseason. The stadium, Pioneer Park, is owned by Tusculum College.

Before jumping into the numbers, let’s note that these are only being compared to the other ballparks in the league. They are not being compared to other parks in the organization or in Minor League Baseball.

How did Pioneer Park play in 2018?

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 2018.

dAVG %Change
To LF  .033 5.3%
To CF -.080 -13.6%
To RF -.014 -2.6%

The ballpark in 2018 played a bit differently than it did in 2017. Center field played basically the same when it comes to average. It hurt the players at home versus on the road. It was the corners that played quite a bit different. In 2017 average was hurt by about 6%, while in 2018 it helped by 5.3%. Small differences, but a little bit of a change. Right field hurt hitters in both years, but in 2017 the difference was huge. In 2018 that difference was quite small.

In almost every case, though, it’s how power plays in a ballpark that gives it the reputation as being hitter or pitcher friendly. Let’s take a look at how Pioneer Park played out in 2018. We’re looking at Isolated Power in this case (SLG – AVG).

dIsoP %Change
To LF -.097 -21.6%
To CF -.077 -30.7%
To RF  .039  13.6%

Left field helped the guys average a little bit in Pioneer Park, but it crushed power output. That’s a stark difference from the 2017 season. Center field, much like average, played out about the same. It hurt players in the power department quite a bit. Right field was where there was a very big difference. We saw the big difference in average from 2017-2018 in average, too. In 2017 the difference in Isolated Power was -103 points. It jumped all of the way to plus .039 points in 2018.

What do we know from this data?

Despite the fact that there were 30 more balls in play to the outfield in Pioneer Park than in road games, the power difference in home runs was quite large. There were 58 home runs in road games, and only 40 in home games. The game played at Smokies Park in Kodak was not included in any of the numbers here – just in case you were trying to add up all of the home runs hit on the season and came up short – this is why. Doubles were identical for the home and road splits, while triples were favorable in Pioneer Park.

Another interesting thing was that there was a pretty big difference between infield hit rates. In Pioneer Park, on infield ground balls, players only hit .099. In road games players hit .127 on infield ground balls.

Much like things were with the AZL Reds ballpark in Goodyear, it’s not always easy to tell why a park played the way that it did. The sample size is quite small in rookie leagues, with 30-35 home games and as many road games to deal with. Then you toss in that the teams have larger rosters and more guys are in and out of the lineup on a daily basis than you typically see in full-season ball, and you get another sample issue at play. The stark differences from 2017 to 2018 suggests that maybe it could be the players rather than a ballpark, or even environmental factor. But, at the end of the day, most of the hitters for the Greeneville Reds probably saw their offensive numbers harmed by the home ballpark, while the pitchers probably saw their numbers helped out a little bit.

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8 Responses

  1. Joe

    Good thing the reds are finishing off th season with the marlins n royals or things could’ve gotten ugly..#positivemomentum

    • Joe

      Off subject but Jacob degrom is having a crazy historic season. I seen a thing we’re it said if Mets would’ve scored 4runs a game he’d b32-0 if they would’ve scored 3runs a game he’d b like 30-2! That’s crazy

      • Doug Gray

        deGrom is having a heck of a year. But it’s not as incredible as you seem to by making it out to be. Or maybe this is just how underappreciated Pedro Martinez is. deGrom has an ERA+ of 219 this season. That’s incredible. That would tie Pedro’s 1997 mark for his third best season. And Pedro did that with significantly more innings, too. That season pales in comparison to what Pedro did two and three years later when his ERA+ was 243 and the absolutely comical 291. What Pedro did from 1997-2003 is basically what deGrom is doing just this year. Except he did it over 1408 innings.

      • Joe

        I jus think your undervalued wat Pedro did. Especially the era he pitched in. Pedro one of my all time favorite non reds. Him on mound and vlad at th plate I could watch allday

      • Joe

        I knew he was good but wow didn’t realize Pedro was that good that is comical and made up looking lol

  2. Kap

    Just read about Yusei Kikuchi. Do you think the Reds will take a shot at getting him? If so, how much? Seems like a legit starting pitching target for them

    • Doug Gray

      Check back in a little bit. I’ve been working on an international thing because of the Mesa brothers, but mention him among a few other players.

  3. Redsvol

    Greenville’s park seemed huge to me compared to other appy league parks, but the tape doesn’t lie of course. If the home park helped the pitchers, I would hate to see that pitching staff play half their games in a hitter-friendly park. That staff was horrendous. Good thing its in a short-season league otherwise the bullpen would have had to be switched out mid-season!