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
No.ILHRNo.PCLHR
1Charlotte1561Albuquerque166
2Syracuse1322Portland153
3Pawtucket1323Salt Lake138
4Durham1294Memphis119
5Buffalo1085Fresno108
6Rochester1056Omaha106
7Louisville1027Nashville106
8Columbus1028Colo. Springs103
9Richmond889Iowa100
10Ottawa8510Las Vegas96
11Toledo8111Round Rock94
12Scranton8012Sacramento77
13Indianapolis7013Tucson76
14Norfolk5214Tacoma69



15Oklahoma63



16New Orleans62

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
No.ILRNo.PCLR
1Syracuse1221Albuquerque150
2Durham1142Colo. Springs131
3Buffalo1143Salt Lake128
4Ottawa1104Las Vegas113
5Richmond1055Nashville108
6Charlotte1046Tucson101
7Rochester1037Portland100
8Pawtucket1028Omaha97
9Scranton989Fresno97
10Columbus9310Memphis95
11Indianapolis9111Iowa88
12Louisville9112New Orleans87
13Toledo8513Sacramento84
14Norfolk7514Tacoma84



15Round Rock81



16Oklahoma74

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.