Taking A Look At Triple-A Park Factors
If you've read today's BAPR
, you already know Royals hitting machine Billy Butler went deep in his Triple-A debut. An impressive start, no doubt, and an ideal set up to something we ought to get out of the way early: Albuquerque's Isotopes Park, where Butler went 2-for-4 last night, is a very nice place to hit. At least it was last year.
|Triple-A Home Runs Park Factors|
Though the minor league data is tough to find, the calculation is simple. Park factors compare all a teams' home output--whether it be home runs, runs or hits--with its road output. An index of 100 means a team did just as well at home as it did on the road. High indexes here suggest favorable home run conditions, such as those in Albuquerque, Portland and Charlotte.
Note that while the Mets embark on their first season with a Pacific Coast League affiliate, after calling Norfolk home for the past 37 years, their new home in New Orleans was similarly tough on home run hitters last season.
All figures presented here pertain to the 2006 season only, so any number of things--stronger-than-usual offense, worse pitching, differences in weather, altered dimensions--might have skewed the numbers. Consider these factors to be rough sketches.
|Triple-A Runs Park Factors|
Albuquerque blows away the field here, too. Interestingly, IL champion Toledo was much worse at plating runs at home, despite the second-best home record in the league, 45-27.
PCL champion Tucson's offense--headed by Stephen Drew, Chris Young, Carlos Quentin, Scott Hairston, Alberto Callaspo and Chris Carter--was equally powerful at home and on the road.
• Butler wasn't the only prospect in PCL to go deep. Mariners center fielder Adam Jones and Athletics first baseman Daric Barton also got off to quick starts home runs in their first games. In the IL, reigning Southern League player of the year Joey Votto, Reds first base uber-prospect, went 2-for-5 in his Triple-A debut.
• Just like last season, Mets center fielder Carlos Gomez, he of the 37-inch vertical leap
, went 1-for-3 with a stolen base in his first game in a new league. This year it was the PCL and he added a walk to his final tally. Jumped over high Class A entirely in 2006, Gomez slumped through April and May, hitting .211 with little power.