Ashley Marshall of MiLB.com, posted a terrific analysis on how varied park factors can be throughout minor league ballparks. I appreciate the incredible amount of time and research Marshall put into it as it includes a five-year window for each park factor to minimize all the anomalies. That couldn’t have been easy.
Most of us Mets minor league enthusiasts already know how difficult it is to homer at Savannah’s Historic Grayson Stadium. However, what I didn’t know until today, was that Grayson is the toughest ballpark to hit a home run in all the minors with a HR Park Factor of .480.
To put that number in perspective, the difference between hitter-friendly McCormick Field (Asheville) and pitcher-friendly Historic Grayson Stadium (Savannah) was 1,137 hits, 1,096 runs and 398 homers in just three years. That’s kind of difficult to wrap your brain around.
So how did our other Mets affiliates fare in Marshall’s study? There’s a couple of interesting things to take away, but nothing on the scale of Grayson and the Sally League.
However, I found it interesting that St. Lucie ranks as the second highest scoring park in the Florida State League. Knowing that, it makes their remarkable league leading pitching staff in 2012 all the more amazing, and this year it could be even better as some of the best right-handed arms in the Mets system guarantees a lethal rotation for the 2013 season.
Lastly, we already know that the PCL is a hitter-friendly league and that Mets position players will most likely enjoy hitting at Cashman Field for the next two years. Of the 18 teams in the league, Cashman Field allowed the third most home runs over the last five years and they were just a few shy of finishing second.
Park Factors are very underrated, but in recent years I see more and more fans getting behind them as they are useful in comparing a players performance on a more level playing field. Pun intended.