Minor League Ballparks Cheat Sheet: Intervals And Park Factors For Each Organization

If you’ve ever wondered how the home ballparks play for prospects climbing the minor league ladder in your favorite organization, then you’re in luck because here we present a handy cheat sheet that addresses the subject.

In the following table, you can find the runs-per-game intervals between two sequential home ballparks in any organization’s minor league system. For example, Diamondbacks minor leaguers who begin at low Class A South Bend play home games in a park that featured 8.98 R/G during the three seasons, 2010-12, we sampled. A promotion to high Class A Visalia places Arizona farmhands in a home park featuring 10.70 R/G, an increase of 1.72 R/G, which is reflected in the +/– column of the table below. The move from Visalia to Double-A Mobile (8.64 R/G) shaves 2.06 R/G from the home-park context, while a bump from Mobile to Triple-A Reno (13.32 R/G) carries with it a dramatic upswing of 4.68 R/G.

You can find a R/G reading for any full-season minor league affiliate in our feature entitled Minor League Ballparks Drive Performance. See the bottom of this post for the fine print regarding ballparks with special circumstances since the 2010 season.

Runs Per Game Intervals Between Minor League Affiliate Home Parks, 2010-12
Org Low-A +/– High-A +/– Double-A +/– Triple-A
ARI South Bend +1.72 Visalia –2.06 Mobile +4.68 Reno
ATL Rome –1.16 Lynchburg –0.35 Mississippi +0.68 Gwinnett
BAL Delmarva –0.15 Frederick +0.03 Bowie –0.13 Norfolk
BOS Greenville –0.50 Salem +0.84 Portland –1.84 Pawtucket
CHC K County +0.28 Daytona +0.91 Tennessee –0.59 Iowa
CIN Dayton +1.39 Bakersfield –2.61 Pensacola +0.78 Louisville
CLE L County +0.57 Carolina –1.20 Akron +2.27 Columbus
COL Asheville –2.01 Modesto –1.22 Tulsa +4.70 C Springs
CWS Kannapolis +0.46 W-Salem –2.04 Birmingham +0.54 Charlotte
DET W Michigan –0.49 Lakeland +1.72 Erie –1.31 Toledo
HOU Q Cities +3.65 Lancaster –3.85 C Christi +0.38 Okla City
KC Lexington –1.79 Wilm’ton +3.13 NW Ark –0.83 Omaha
LAA Burlington –0.40 I Empire –1.68 Arkansas +4.10 Salt Lake
LAD G Lakes +1.55 Rancho –0.57 Chattanooga +4.67 Alb’que
MIA Greensboro –2.34 Jupiter +0.98 Jacksonville –0.40 N Orleans
MIL Wisconsin –1.46 B County +1.32 Huntsville –0.25 Nashville
MIN C Rapids –1.25 Ft Myers +0.86 N Britain –0.28 Rochester
NYM Savannah +2.57 St Lucie +0.02 Binghamton +3.22 Las Vegas
NYY Charleston +0.05 Tampa +0.02 Trenton –0.99 Scranton
OAK Beloit +1.19 Stockton –0.40 Midland –0.91 Sacram’to
PHI Lakewood +0.60 Clearwater +0.53 Reading –1.44 L Valley
PIT W Virginia +0.21 Bradenton –1.83 Altoona +0.57 Indy
SD Ft Wayne +0.25 Lake Elsinore –1.47 San Antonio +3.39 Tucson
SEA Clinton +5.73 High Desert –5.47 Jackson +0.16 Tacoma
SF Augusta +1.35 San Jose –1.40 Richmond +2.02 Fresno
STL Peoria –1.23 Palm Beach +2.58 Springfield –1.17 Memphis
TB B Green –0.25 Charlotte +0.92 Montgomery +0.12 Durham
TEX Hickory –1.50 Myrtle Beach +0.68 Frisco +1.23 R Rock
TOR Lansing –0.61 Dunedin –0.27 New Hamp +0.34 Buffalo
WAS Hagerstown –0.93 Potomac –0.85 Harrisburg +0.20 Syracuse

 

As depicted in the piece Large Swings In Home-Ballpark Context Cloud Evaluations, the Mariners system feature the widest disparity in home-ballpark context among any organization’s affiliates. A Seattle farmhand’s climb from low Class A Clinton to high Class A High Desert (+5.73 R/G) features the steepest uptick in scoring between levels in the full-season minors. Those players come right back down the mountain upon a promotion to Double-A Jackson (-5.47 R/G), which is the sharpest drop in the minors—and probably akin to whiplash.

Rounding out the 10 most diverse systems are the Dodgers, Mets, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Astros, Angels, Padres, Royals and Reds. The 10 most static in terms of home-ballpark context: Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays, Cubs, Twins, Athletics, Phillies, Braves and Brewers.

Full-Season Park Factors For Each Organization

We published three-year park factors for runs scored previously in Minor League Ballparks Drive Performance, so all we’re doing here is reorganizing them under the umbrella of parent club. A PF of 1.000 is considered neutral, favoring neither hitters nor pitchers but playing fair to both. Any PF value higher than 1.000 indicates that hitters benefit by playing one-half of games in that park.

For example, Triple-A Reno’s 1.156 PF signifies that Aces batters spend half their time in an environment in which runs are 15.6 percent more prevalent than in parks that they visit on the road. The Braves’ Double-A affiliate is just he opposite. Mississippi’s .937 PF indicates that runs are 6.3 percent less common for M-Braves batters based on playing half their games in Pearl, Miss.

Park Factor (Runs) For All 120 Full-Season Affiliates, 2010-12
Org Low-A PF High-A PF Double-A PF Triple-A PF
ARI S Bend 1.004 Visalia 1.011 Mobile 0.981 Reno 1.156
ATL Rome 1.042 Lynchburg 0.989 Mississippi 0.937 Gwinnett 1.017
BAL Delmarva 0.955 Frederick 0.993 Bowie 0.982 Norfolk 0.990
BOS Greenville 1.012 Salem 1.002 Portland 1.059 Pawtucket 0.957
CHC K County 0.978 Daytona 1.015 Tennessee 1.079 Iowa 0.917
CIN Dayton 0.995 Bakersfield 1.024 Pensacola 1.034 Louisville 0.981
CLE L County 1.006 Carolina 1.001 Akron 0.976 Columbus 1.141
COL Asheville 1.181 Modesto 0.945 Tulsa 0.995 C Springs 1.139
CWS Kannapolis 1.034 W-Salem 1.055 Birmingham 0.919 Charlotte 0.993
DET W Mich 1.006 Lakeland 0.973 Erie 1.063 Toledo 0.959
HOU Q Cities 0.993 Lancaster 1.162 Corpus 1.023 Oklahoma 0.990
KC Lexington 0.962 Wilm’ton 0.931 NW Ark 1.132 Omaha 0.985
LAA Burlington 1.057 I Empire 0.894 Arkansas 0.902 Salt Lake 1.069
LAD G Lakes 0.970 Rancho 0.945 Chattanooga 1.030 Alb’que 1.229
MIA G’boro 1.092 Jupiter 0.957 Jacksonville 0.985 N Orleans 0.886
MIL Wisconsin 1.012 B County 0.908 Huntsville 1.060 Nashville 0.980
MIN C Rapids 1.054 Ft Myers 0.970 New Britain 0.992 Rochester 1.015
NYM Savannah 0.880 St Lucie 1.095 Binghamton 1.001 Las Vegas 1.092
NYY Charleston 0.929 Tampa 0.999 Trenton 0.953 Scranton 0.922
OAK Beloit 0.969 Stockton 0.977 Midland 1.023 Sacram’to 0.874
PHI Lakewood 0.927 Clearwater 1.037 Reading 1.005 L Valley 0.963
PIT W Virginia 1.028 Bradenton 1.107 Altoona 0.962 Indy 1.001
SD Ft Wayne 1.039 L Elsinore 0.939 San Antonio 0.928 Tucson 1.053
SEA Clinton 0.988 H Desert 1.228 Jackson 1.032 Tacoma 0.885
SF Augusta 0.932 San Jose 0.922 Richmond 1.000 Fresno 0.965
STL Peoria 0.968 P Beach 0.932 Springfield 1.019 Memphis 0.924
TB B Green 0.928 Charlotte 0.985 Montgomery 0.995 Durham 1.014
TEX Hickory 1.044 M Beach 1.006 Frisco 0.994 R Rock 0.993
TOR Lansing 1.052 Dunedin 1.052 N Hamp 0.985 Buffalo 1.020
WAS Hagerstown 1.011 Potomac 1.024 Harrisburg 1.026 Syracuse 1.027

 

The honor of most hitter-friendly system goes to the Rockies, with an average full-season park factor of 1.065. In the Colorado system, only high Class A Modesto (.945 PF) is anything like a pitcher’s park. The rest of the top five: Dodgers (1.044), Astros (1.042), Diamondbacks (1.038) and Mariners (1.033). Pitchers in those systems have only a few places to hide.

The most pitcher-friendly system belongs to the Yankees, with an average full-season park factor of .951. High Class A Tampa (.999 PF) is essentially neutral, but the other three stops all favor pitchers to a fair degree, though we’ll have to see how the new park in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plays. The rest of the top five: Giants (.955), Cardinals (.961), Athletics (.961) and Orioles (.980).

San Francisco and Oakland are interesting in that they occupy pitcher’s parks in hitter’s leagues, perhaps in an effort to prepare young pitchers for the diversity of hitter’s parks, e.g. Arizona, Colorado and Texas, they will see in the big leagues. The Giants have had long-standing player-development contracts with high Class A San Jose (.922) and Triple-A Fresno (.965), while the A’s have long called high Class A Stockton (.977) and Triple-A Sacramento (.874) home.

Notes on ballparks with special circumstances:

• 2010-11 only: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY)
• 2011-12 only: Triple-A Omaha (KC) and Tucson (SD)
• 2012 only: Double-A Pensacola (CIN)
• 2013: Triple-A Scranton (NYY) and Double-A Birmingham (CWS) open new parks
• High Class A Carolina (CLE) spent 2010-11 at Double-A, so park factor 2012 only