Oct 29, 2006

Ballpark Dimensions - MLB vs. NPB

NPB stands for Nippon (Japanese) Professional Baseball. This study is designed to get a feel for Daisuke (Dice-Kay) Matsuzaka's home ballpark, whether it's pitcher or hitter friendly, and how it compares to MLB parks, and specifically Yankee Stadium.

A list of MLB parks by size, using a very basic equation for the size of the field. Obviously, the size of the park does not directly make it hitter or pitcher friendly, e.g. Coors Field is the 2nd largest park according to my calculations, but is one of the best hitter's parks in baseball. And this list does not account for foul ground, where Oakland's massive foul territory helps pitchers, while Fenway has very little. But I do feel this list can give us a general feeling of park sizes.

Florida* (high LF wall 33 ft.) + 25 ft. (25 more than 8 ft. avg. ht.)
LF 330 +
LC 385 +
CF 434 +
RC 385 +
RF 345 +
Misc. 25 +
= Basic Playing Area: 1904
Colorado*(high RF wall 17 ft.)+9
347, 390, 415, 375, 350+9
BPA: 1886
Cubs* (high wall 15 ft.) + 7
355, 368, 400, 368, 353+(7 x 4) 28
BPA: 1872
Texas* (high LF wall 14 ft.) + 6
332, 390, 400, 407, 325+6
BPA: 1860
San Diego
334, 402, 396, 402, 322
BPA: 1856
Washington
335, 385, 410, 385, 335
BPA: 1850
San Francisco* (high RF wall 25 ft.)+ 17
339, 364, 399, 421, 309+17
BPA: 1849
Minnesota* (very high RF wall 23 ft.) + 15
343, 385, 408, 367, 327+15
BPA: 1845
Mets
338, 378, 410, 378, 338
BPA: 1842
Seattle
331, 390, 405, 387, 327
BPA: 1840
Kansas City
330, 385, 410, 385, 330
BPA: 1840
Atlanta
335, 380, 401, 390, 330
BPA: 1836
Milwaukee
344, 370, 400, 374, 345
BPA: 1833
Detroit
345, 370, 420, 365, 330
BPA: 1830
Angels* (high RF wall 18 ft.)+ 10
330, 387, 400, 370, 330+10
BPA: 1827
Dodgers
330, 385, 395, 385, 330
BPA: 1825
Yanks
318, 399, 408, 385, 314
BPA: 1824

Houston* (high LF wall 21 ft.)+ 13
315, 362, 435, 373, 326+13
BPA: 1824
Arizona
328, 376, 407, 376, 335
BPA: 1822
Oakland* (high power-alley walls 16 ft.)+16
325, 370, 410, 375, 325+16
BPA: 1821
St. Louis
336, 375, 400, 375, 335
BPA: 1821
Pittsburgh* (high RF wall 21 ft.)+ 13
325, 389, 399, 375, 320+13
BPA: 1821
Boston* (LF 37 ft.) + 29
310, 379, 420, 380, 302+29
BPA: 1820
Cleveland*(very high LF wall 19 ft.)+ 11
325, 370, 410, 375, 325+11
BPA: 1816
Baltimore* (high RF wall 25 ft.)+ 17
333, 364, 410, 373, 318+17
BPA: 1815
White Sox
330, 377, 400, 372, 335
BPA: 1814
Toronto* (10 ft. wall)+8
328, 375, 400, 375, 328+8
BPA: 1814
Cincinnati* (high LF wall 12 ft.)+ 4
328, 379, 404, 370, 325+4
BPA: 1810
Philadelphia* (high RF wall 13 ft.)+5
329, 374, 401, 369, 330+5
BPA: 1808
Tampa Bay* (wall 9.5 ft.) + 6
315, 370, 404, 370, 322+6
BPA: 1787

Outfield wall: avg. 8 ft. high


NPB Parks
Fukuoka
328, 387, 400, 387, 328+44
BPA: 1874
Chiba Lotte
328, 381, 400, 381, 328+20
BPA: 1838
Kintetsu
330, 375, 400, 375, 330+16
BPA: 1826
Orix
311, 383, 400, 383, 311+20
BPA: 1808
Hanshin
315, 390, 394, 394, 315-4
BPA: 1804

Tokyo (x 2) 2 teams share Tokyo Dome
318, 360, 400, 360, 318+20
BPA: 1796

Chunichi
318, 360, 400, 360, 318+20
BPA: 1796
Seibu Dome (Matsuzaka's home park) has high walls, 10 ft.
311, 373, 394, 373, 313+8
BPA: 1772
Yokohama
309, 365, 386, 365, 309+8
BPA: 1742
Yakult
297, 368, 393, 368, 297-8
BPA: 1715
Hiroshima
300, 360, 380, 360, 300
BPA: 1700

ML avg. 1834
AL East avg. 1812
NPB avg. 1789

So the Seibu Dome is one of the smaller NPB parks, and smaller than any ML park, and much smaller than both the average ML and AL East park, which all bodes well for his MLB career (considering he put up stellar stats in seemingly a hitter's park and league). However, NPB parks generally have large areas of foul ground, a pitcher-friendly aspect. But overall, NPB is a hitter-friendly league - there are some awfully small parks, and frankly, how else did Hideki Matsui hit 50 HR his last year there, yet his MLB high is 31 (even with the extended shedule (140 gms vs. 162) and The Stadium's short RF porch)?

Below are 'Park Factor' ratings for The Stadium. A number above 1.0 means hitter friendly; adversely, below 1.0 means pitcher friendly. So looking at the following numbers indicates that Yankee Stadium is a pitcher friendly park (at least over the last 5 years).

Park Factor
Yankee Stadium
Year - PF Rating - Rank
'06 .900 27
'05 1.051 8
'04 .922 21
'03 .933 18
'02 .957 16
'01 .805 31

Average .928 20

So The Stadium has been the 20th best hitter's park (or 10th best pitcher's park, or 10th worst hitter's park - take your pick) over the last 5 years, another indication that Daisuke Matsuzaka can succeed as a Yankee.

2 comments:

Chuck M. said...

The Yankees' home field being pitcher-friendly is a plus, but hardly an indicator of potential success. After all, look at the way many pitchers have pitched over the last five years: Johnson, Wright, Weaver, Rogers, and the host of #5 starters that the Yankees have trotted out.

Travis G. said...

Certainly. I'm not saying Matsuzaka will be a ML success BECAUSE of the difference in park sizes. I'm merely using it as FURTHER evidence (in addition to his stats, stuff, and scouting report) that he will be a very good to great ML pitcher (barring injury). And that therefore the Yanks should go after him hard. After all, starting pitching is their biggest need.