Pensacola Blue Wahoos Park Factors for 2018 Doug Gray October 5, 2018 4 Comments The Pensacola Blue Wahoos will not be affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds moving forward. The two teams joined up with different clubs for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. But they did work together in 2018. The history of the stadium in Pensacola is short, but even in the seven years it’s existed, it’s shifted how it’s played. Some of that is due to how they moved the fence back in left and left-center to make it acceptable for a local college football team to use. That said, it’s generally played out as hitter friendly park – with some caveats. Before we dive into the numbers below, this is your reminder that they are only being compared to the other parks in the league and not to all parks in the Minor Leagues. How did Pensacola’s home ballpark play in the 2018 season? The first thing we are going to look at is how the average was changed by the home ballpark versus the road ballparks. dAVG %Change To LF -.004 -0.7% To CF .056 11.8% To RF .051 9.9% The park played out as one that helped batting average. It’s not much change from how it played in 2017, though it was a tad more friendly for hitters. Both center and right field was more friendly for a hitters average in 2018 than in 2017, but left field went from slightly helpful to the tiniest bit possible on the other side of helpful. But, it’s not usually the boost in batting average that gives a ballpark it’s reputation as hitter or pitcher friendly. It’s how the power plays in the ballpark. For that, we are going to look at isolated power (SLG-AVG) in Pensacola versus the other parks in the league. dIsoP %Change To LF .030 5.8% To CF .009 4.3% To RF -.123 -57.5% This is where things get interesting. Historically speaking, right field has crushed power in Pensacola. It’s a deeper part of the park as it is. But when you add in that there’s a cross wind coming off of Pensacola Bay and it pushes everything towards center and you get a double whammy. Since the fences were moved back in left field, it’s played hitter friendly but not to the extremes that it used to. That held up again in 2018. But, it’s what happened in right field that was stunning. It absolutely killed any and all power. What do we know from this data? The hitters who tried using right field during the season did themselves no favors if they did so at home. While they may have picked up a hit or three throughout the season because of it, their power was erased and then some. The rest of the ballpark played out very slightly hitter friendly, but overall, the ballpark in Pensacola during 2018 was pitcher friendly. If you were a hitter that went to right field more than any other part of the field, it really hurt your numbers. 4 Responses Kap October 5, 2018 Ryu should be the main target for the Reds this offseason. As long as he’s healthy, he’s a borderline ace. Definitely would be their #1 and should be within their price range. I would do 3 yr/ 45-50 mil. No reason they shouldn’t be able to do that. redlegs4ever October 5, 2018 32 by Opening Day, never pitched a full season, multiple arm operations, and FIP sees him as a Dodger Stadium darling. He wants a 1 year deal to show he’s healthy he will assuredly get it somewhere better to pitch but I’m open to it. Other than that, PASS. MK October 5, 2018 Would give him a one year contract with small guarantee with competitive incentives and two years of team renewal. AirborneJayJay October 5, 2018 Good riddance to Pensacola. With several LH hitting top prospects coming up through the ranks it is just as well to get to a different stadium. Corbin will be going to the Yankees. Morton stays in Houston. Keuchel and Gio will be highly sought after. I’d look for the Reds to shop in Tier 2 for a free agent starting pitcher. The risk gets a little higher, but the reward could be even higher. The Reds should sign one of Trevor Cahill, Nathan Eovaldi, Wade Miley, Lance Lynn, Garrett Richards, Drew Pomeranz, or Hyun-Jin Ryu. Garrett and Ryu have big injury histories. Pomeranz, Cahill, Miley and Eovaldi had big DL stints in 2018. Miley probably stays in Milwaukee. The free agent signing probably would come down to Lynn and Eovaldi. Lynn is a work horse and Eovaldi the flame thrower that averages 97.5 on his fastball. Would be nice to pair him with Castillo. Eovaldi is scheduled to pitch game #4 for Boston vs. NYY and maybe Lynn.