We welcome another new ballpark to Major League Baseball in 2017, as the Atlanta Braves move from Turner Field, their home from 1997-2016, to SunTrust Park.
SunTrust is a slightly smaller venue than Turner was; it measures just 375 feet to right-center field and 325 down the right-field line, which is 15 and 5 feet shorter than those same measurements at Turner. The tradeoff, however, is that those fences are twice the height, measuring 16 feet compared to 8 at Turner, and the distance to left-center field is 5 feet deeper (385-380) than at Turner.
The result is yet another shrunken ballpark -- the amount of fair territory is undoubtedly smaller at SunTrust -- giving us a fourth consecutive season in which at least one ballpark either moved in its fences or opened to smaller dimensions than its predecessor. In this case, also lump in Houston's Minute Maid Park: The removal of Tal's Hill in center field, which included a flagpole within the field of play, brought the dimensions of that portion of the field from 436 to 409 feet beginning this year.
Perhaps neither change will result in a substantial boost in offense, with both changes minimal from a measurement standpoint, but coming off a season which saw a record rate of home runs, they can only help in sustaining the game's bloated pace. In addition, new ballparks are always wild cards in the ballpark-effects department; we might not get a firm read on how SunTrust Park plays for three years or more.
These ballpark details -- outfield dimensions, fence heights, foul territory, playing surfaces, roofs (or lack thereof), etc. -- often have a noticeable influence on a player's statistics. Ascertaining these influences can prove complicated: Some ballparks favor hitters, some pitchers. Some favor right-handed hitters, some left-handed, some both sides equally. Some provide benefits to specific types of hitters, be it contact, power or gap hitting, and some help speedsters.
Though our Park Factor page provides a basic read, understand that it is limited. It is a one-year sample, so the players who called each park "home" or the weather in the given season might've unfairly influenced them. That's why I prefer to take a longer-term approach -- in this case, a five-year sample covering the 2012-16 seasons -- in order to neutralize these annual fluctuations.
Ranked below are all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, from the most to least hitter-friendly, including any specific player advantages gained. Those seeking the most pitching-friendly venues should read the list beginning with No. 30. Park factors for runs and home runs (overall, for right- and left-handed batters) include the most recent five seasons' worth of data unless otherwise noted, and are on the first line under the ballpark's name. Each ballpark's reported dimensions moving from left to right field, with fence heights listed in parentheses, follow on the second line. The ballpark's altitude, roof type and playing surface are on the third line.
For a handy reference, here are quick links to each of the 30 ballparks:
Chase Field (ARI) | Minute Maid Park (HOU) | Citizens Bank Park (PHI) | SunTrust Park (ATL) | Kauffman Stadium (KC) | PNC Park (PIT) | Camden Yards (BAL) | Angel Stadium (LAA) | Busch Stadium (STL) | Fenway Park (BOS) | Dodger Stadium (LAD) | Petco Park (SD) | Wrigley Field (CHC) | Marlins Park (MIA) | AT&T Park (SF) | Guaranteed Rate Field (CWS) | Miller Park (MIL) | Safeco Field (SEA) | Great American Ball Park (CIN) | Target Field (MIN) | Tropicana Field (TB) | Progressive Field (CLE) | Citi Field (NYM) | Globe Life Park (TEX) | Coors Field (COL) | Yankee Stadium (NYY) | Rogers Centre (TOR) | Comerica Park (DET) | Oakland Coliseum (OAK) | Nationals Park (WAS)
1. Coors Field, home to Colorado Rockies
Runs 1.429, Home Runs 1.227, HR (RHB) 1.222, HR (LHB) 1.233
Dimensions: 347' (8')-390' (8')-415' (8')-375' (8')-350' (14')
Altitude: 5,180 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Coors has always had a stronghold on the No. 1 hitter-friendly spot in any park-factor ranking, and it's not only because of the greater distance a baseball travels at the mile-high altitude. That's a significant factor, but the venue's expansive outfield, built that way to account for this greater batted-ball distance, makes it the best for any kind of hits (not merely home runs). To illustrate, for five consecutive seasons, Coors has led the majors in batting average on balls in play, which helps explain how strikeout-oriented players like Trevor Story and David Dahl have been able to hit for such unusually high batting averages. It's also why Ian Desmond's arrival in Colorado was such a positive, because batting average has been such a problem spot for him throughout his career. The popular perception might be that Desmond, a 22-homer hitter on average the past five seasons, could see his homer total swell to 30; the reality is that he might hit the same 22 homers but bat .289 rather than .269, his five-year average in the category.
2. Chase Field, home to Arizona Diamondbacks
Runs 1.118, Home Runs 1.097, HR (RHB) 1.094, HR (LHB) 1.104
Dimensions: 330' (7.5')-376' (7.5')-407' (25')-376' (7.5')-335' (7.5')
Altitude: 1,061 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Grass field
The fifth-of-a-mile elevation and short fences in left and left-center fields make Chase a clearly hitter-friendly venue, but when its roof is open, it can be a hitters' heaven. Some studies have shown that when the roof is open, exposing the stadium to the scorching temperatures and lower humidity of Phoenix, run scoring can increase by as much as a half a run per game. Zack Greinke, for one, posted his three best Chase Field starts of 2016 (going by Game Score) with the roof closed. Three of his four worst Chase Field starts in 2016 were with the roof open. Chase is also extremely advantageous for extra-base hits, with the third-highest rate in the game (1.199 factor).
3. Miller Park, home to Milwaukee Brewers
Runs 1.070, Home Runs 1.298, HR (RHB) 1.237, HR (LHB) 1.434
Dimensions: 344' (8')-370' (8')-400' (8')-374' (8')-345' (6')
Altitude: 618 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Grass field
All three of Miller's home run measures -- overall, right- and left-handed hitters -- led the majors from 2012-16, and while right-handed hitters did perform only marginally better than league average there last season, the venue was once again one of the best for left-handed power in 2016 (1.420 factor). That's thanks to the relatively short measurements to right and right-center field, as well as the short fence heights.
4. Fenway Park, home to Boston Red Sox
Runs 1.123, Home Runs 0.929, HR (RHB) 1.086, HR (LHB) 0.757
Dimensions: 310' (37')-335' (37')-420' (17')-380' (5')-302' (3')
Altitude: 17 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Fenway's quirky dimensions and smallest-in-the-majors foul territory makes it one of the best in baseball for runs, hits and extra-base hits, ranking second, second (1.083 factor) and first (1.322), with minimal difference between right- or left-handed hitters in the former two. It's easily the best venue in baseball for extra-base hits for righty hitters, and due to its spacious center, right-center and right fields, it's the second-worst in baseball for lefty homers. The "Green Monster's" proximity to home plate is one of the reasons why it's tricky to trust a left-handed pitcher lacking in an extreme ground-ball leaning there, which is why neither David Price nor Chris Sale should be hailed the favorite for the ERA crown (though both remain excellent picks).
5. Great American Ball Park, home to Cincinnati Reds
Runs 1.032, Home Runs 1.281, HR (RHB) 1.223, HR (LHB) 1.372
Dimensions: 328' (12')-379' (12')-404' (8')-370' (8')-325' (8')
Altitude: 490 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
It's a popular misconception that Great American is a lefty's homer heaven; it's actually the second-best home run ballpark for hitters from either side, though it indeed is slightly more favorable for lefties. It's otherwise a roughly neutral ballpark other than being second best for strikeouts (1.082 factor) and fifth best for walks (1.046).
6. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, home to Baltimore Orioles
Runs 1.063, Home Runs 1.195, HR (RHB) 1.141, HR (LHB) 1.275
Dimensions: 333' (7')-364' (7')-410' (7')-373' (7')-318' (25')
Altitude: 36 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Strangely, Camden Yards' strength is its boost to left-handed power, despite its highest-in-baseball, 25-foot fence in right field. It's fourth in the majors in terms of lefty homers, but it's also a good venue for runs (sixth), hits (fifth, 1.044 factor) and batting average on balls in play (1.019, eighth).
7. Rogers Centre, home to Toronto Blue Jays
Runs 1.040, Home Runs 1.112, HR (RHB) 1.132, HR (LHB) 1.083
Dimensions: 328' (10')-375' (10')-400' (10')-375' (10')-328' (10')
Altitude: 268 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Artificial field
Despite talk that the Blue Jays will soon replace Rogers' artificial surface with grass, such a move won't happen before 2018. With a new dirt infield in 2016, Rogers was only slightly more favorable a run-scoring and hits environment than it had been in the four years that preceded it. Its strength remains its boost in both home runs (eighth in the past five seasons) and extra-base hits (1.163 factor, fourth).
8. Globe Life Park in Arlington, home to Texas Rangers
Runs 1.104, Home Runs 1.019, HR (RHB) 0.985, HR (LHB) 1.065
Dimensions: 332' (14')-380' (8')-400' (8')-377' (8')-325' (8')
Altitude: 543 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Globe Life is a much more neutral home run environment than is the perception, its factor ranking just 14th, and last season it was actually below average for righty homers (0.994 factor). A popular theory behind this is the reduction of the "jet stream effect" due to the team's decision to remove the glass windows of the luxury club behind home plate following the 2012 season; not once in the four seasons since has it been one of the 10 most homer-friendly venues in the game. Still, Globe Life remains an excellent environment for runs (fourth) and hits (fourth, 1.047 factor), thanks to its hottest-in-baseball temperatures and relatively small foul territory.
9. Yankee Stadium, home to New York Yankees
Runs 1.015, Home Runs 1.270, HR (RHB) 1.210, HR (LHB) 1.329
Dimensions: 318' (8')-399' (8')-408' (8')-385' (8')-314' (8')
Altitude: 23 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
The friendliest environment for home runs in 2016, Yankee Stadium provides a significant boost to left-handed power hitters thanks to its short porch in right field, but it's actually good for righty power, too. The boost in home runs, however, comes at extreme expense to extra-base hits; Yankee Stadium's 0.845 factor in that department is the game's worst.
10. Guaranteed Rate Field, home to Chicago White Sox
Runs 1.024, Home Runs 1.158, HR (RHB) 1.176, HR (LHB) 1.129
Dimensions: 330' (8')-377' (8')-400' (8')-372' (8')-335' (8')
Altitude: 594 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Formerly U.S. Cellular Field, Guaranteed Rate Field experienced no reported structural changes during the 2016-17 offseason. It should therefore remain one of the game's few "three true outcomes" parks, inflating home runs, walks and strikeouts but almost nothing else. Guaranteed Rate was the seventh-best homer, best walk (1.101 factor) and 13th-best strikeout (1.032) venue in the past five seasons.
11. Progressive Field, home to Cleveland Indians
Runs 1.036, Home Runs 1.041, HR (RHB) 0.976, HR (LHB) 1.099
Dimensions: 325' (19')-370' (19')-405' (9')-375' (9')-325' (9')
Altitude: 653 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
One of the more underrated power environments for left-handed hitters, Progressive is mostly neutral except for its No. 11 factor for lefty homers and No. 4 for lefty hits (1.057). It has, however, been the least consistent run-scoring environment the past five seasons, rating well above average from 2015-16 but well below average from 2012-13.
12. Target Field, home to Minnesota Twins
Runs 1.044, Home Runs 0.972, HR (RHB) 1.043, HR (LHB) 0.863
Dimensions: 339' (8')-377' (8')-404' (8')-367' (23')-328' (23')
Altitude: 827 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
This is not a pitchers' environment, leaning more neutral, but Target Field is a better ballpark for right-handed power than people give credit. In 2016, it led the majors in homers and home run rate from right-handed hitters (152 and 4.2 percent). It is bad only for left-handed power, walks and strikeouts.
13. Comerica Park, home to Detroit Tigers
Runs 1.022, Home Runs 1.007, HR (RHB) 0.970, HR (LHB) 1.075
Dimensions: 345' (7')-370' (9')-420' (8')-388' (12')-330' (8')
Altitude: 577 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Comerica was the game's best ballpark for left-handed home runs in 2016 (1.506 factor), helping inflate that five-year number to an above-average measure, but outside of that, the only departments in which it deviates far from neutral are right-handed extra-base hits (fifth, 1.133 fact0r) and strikeouts (29th, 0.917).
14. Citizens Bank Park, home to Philadelphia Phillies
Runs 0.972, Home Runs 1.193, HR (RHB) 1.222, HR (LHB) 1.157
Dimensions: 329' (10')-360' (11')-401' (6')-357' (13')-330' (13')
Altitude: -6 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Citizens Bank is a much smaller venue than perceived, its fair territory measured smallest by multiple sources, which explains why it's one of the best in the game for home runs (sixth) but below average for almost every other kind of hit. Left-handed hitters hit the second-most homers (105) with the second-highest homer rate (3.8 percent) there last season.
15. Kauffman Stadium, home to Kansas City Royals
Runs 1.063, Home Runs 0.857, HR (RHB) 0.854, HR (LHB) 0.862
Dimensions: 330' (8')-387' (8')-410' (8')-387' (8')-330' (8')
Altitude: 857 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
An awful ballpark for home runs -- it saw the fewest home runs hit of any American League park from 2013-15 and the second fewest in 2016 -- as well as strikeouts (28th, 0.922 factor), Kauffman is above average in terms of runs, hits and extra-base hits (where it's fifth, with 1.156). This is something to keep in mind when judging new Royals like Brandon Moss and Jorge Soler, as well as Kendrys Morales, who moved to a much friendlier power environment in Toronto.
16. Wrigley Field, home to Chicago Cubs
Runs 0.987, Home Runs 1.005, HR (RHB) 1.132, HR (LHB) 0.845
Dimensions: 355' (15')-368' (11.5')-400' (11.5')-368' (11.5')-353' (15')
Altitude: 597 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
One of the most extremely variable ballparks on a year-to-year basis -- that perhaps due in large part to the Chicago winds -- Wrigley actually saw the lowest batting average (.228) and BABIP (.276) of any venue in 2016. The team's major league-leading 2.72 ERA at home contributed, but the five-year analysis showed a neutral overall leaning, with its only rankings better than ninth or worse than 19th being left-handed home runs (26th) and walks (third, 1.055).
17. Nationals Park, home to Washington Nationals
Runs 1.010, Home Runs 0.917, HR (RHB) 0.975, HR (LHB) 0.842
Dimensions: 336' (8')-377' (8')-402' (8')-370' (12')-335' (8')
Altitude: 6 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Nationals Park has been the most consistent run-scoring environment of the past five seasons, with annual factors ranking from 0.956 to 1.068, which illustrate its effectively neutral leaning. It's a bit more contact-oriented than the average park, ranking eighth in hits and 22nd in strikeouts (0.960 factor).
18. Minute Maid Park, home to Houston Astros
Runs 0.948, Home Runs 1.039, HR (RHB) 1.053, HR (LHB) 1.017
Dimensions: 315' (19')-362' (25')-409' (10')-373' (10')-326' (7')
Altitude: 21 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Grass field
With Tal's Hill gone and the center-field measurement dropping to merely the sixth-deepest in baseball, Minute Maid could become a more homer-friendly venue than its No. 13 ranking the past five seasons, as at least 15 batted balls hit by the Astros and their opponents in that area of the ballpark last season would've cleared the fence using the new measurements. Still, it's a slightly better power environment for right-handed hitters, thanks to the proximity of the Crawford Boxes in left field, and it's also the No. 1 venue in baseball for strikeouts (1.084 factor).
19. Busch Stadium, home to St. Louis Cardinals
Runs 0.960, Home Runs 0.897, HR (RHB) 0.848, HR (LHB) 0.975
Dimensions: 336' (8')-375' (8')-400' (8')-375' (8')-335' (8')
Altitude: 438 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
It's not an extreme pitchers' park, but Busch is absolutely a pitchers' park, thanks to it having mostly deeper-than-average fence measurements as well as top-10 amounts of both fair and foul territory. In fact, the only categories in which it doesn't favor pitchers are hits (1.001 factor) and strikeouts (25th, 0.948).
20. SunTrust Park, home to Atlanta Braves
Dimensions: 335' (6')-385' (8.75')-400' (8.75')-375' (16')-325' (16')
Altitude: 975 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Ballpark scheduled to host its first regular-season game April 14.
Besides the slightly smaller outfield dimensions, SunTrust appears likely to reside at roughly 25-40 feet greater altitude than its predecessor, Turner Field. It should be within range of 1,000 feet, keeping it third-highest in the game, meaning that while Turner was a pitching-friendly venue, SunTrust might lean slightly closer to neutral. Left-handed hitters -- especially those with greater launch angles, granting them more ability to clear the higher fence -- should benefit most, making Freddie Freeman a stronger repeat candidate. The most significant impact of the move from Turner to SunTrust, however, might be upon strikeouts: Turner was fourth from 2012-16 (1.074), but might SunTrust bring that number closer to the league average?
21. Citi Field, home to New York Mets
Runs 0.927, Home Runs 1.055, HR (RHB) 0.991, HR (LHB) 1.122
Dimensions: 335' (8')-370' (8')-408' (8')-380' (8')-330' (8')
Altitude: 12 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Park factors are for 2015-16 seasons only, under current measurements
Predictably, the Mets' decision to bring in Citi's outfield fences for the second time in the venue's nine-year life span following the 2014 season resulted in a boost in power; it was the No. 11 home run venue last season after ranking 17th in 2015. It's still a fairly extreme pitchers' park in terms of runs, hits and extra-base hits, however, giving it the look of a burgeoning "three true outcomes" ballpark, à la Great American Ball Park and Guaranteed Rate Field.
22. Safeco Field, home to Seattle Mariners
Runs 0.910, Home Runs 1.013, HR (RHB) 0.994, HR (LHB) 1.033
Dimensions: 331' (8')-378' (8')-401' (8')-381' (8')-326' (8')
Altitude: 16 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Grass field
Park factors are for 2013-16 seasons only, under current measurements
No ballpark saw more home runs hit in 2016 than Safeco (234), yet that still failed to earn it a reputation as a clearly favorable power environment. It ranked in the bottom 10 in runs, hits and extra-base hits the past five seasons, though it was third-best in terms of strikeouts (1.078 factor).
23. Dodger Stadium, home to Los Angeles Dodgers
Runs 0.873, Home Runs 1.060, HR (RHB) 0.990, HR (LHB) 1.171
Dimensions: 330' (4')-375' (8')-400' (8')-375' (8')-330' (4')
Altitude: 501 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Just one thing keeps Dodger Stadium from a ranking among the game's most extreme pitchers' parks: That left-handed hitters' home-run rate was sixth best from 2012-16. Everything else tilts in the pitchers' favor, by a substantial amount in most categories, most notably Dodger Stadium ranking the worst for walks (0.894) by a wide margin, giving hurlers a huge advantage.
24. Petco Park, home to San Diego Padres
Runs 0.904, Home Runs 0.953, HR (RHB) 0.933, HR (LHB) 0.985
Dimensions: 336' (8')-390' (8')-396' (8')-391' (8')-322' (8')
Altitude: 15 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Park factors are for 2013-16 seasons only, under current measurements
While it might've seemed that Petco had transformed into a homer-friendly environment last season, the truth is that only right-handed hitters benefited, their 1.048 factor in 2016 alone ranking 14th. Otherwise, this was a mostly-neutral-to-pitching-leaning venue, with the four-year measures under the new dimensions still earning it the classification of "pitcher-friendly."
25. Marlins Park, home to Miami Marlins
Runs 0.834, Home Runs 0.836, HR (RHB) 0.786, HR (LHB) 0.923
Dimensions: 344' (7')-386' (11.5')-407' (7')-392' (7')-335' (7')
Altitude: 5 feet; Retractable-roof stadium; Grass field
Park factors are for 2016 season only, under current measurements
Strange: The Marlins moved in their outfield fences before last season, yet Marlins Park saw the fewest runs scored of any venue (604) and its worst single-year park factor in that category in its five-year history. One season probably isn't enough to pass full judgment, but the updated park did provide a slightly greater advantage to lefties; the ballpark had a 0.659 lefty homer factor from 2012-15. Pitchers should still fare well here, which is good news for new arrivals Edinson Volquez, Dan Straily and Jeff Locke.
26. Oakland Coliseum, home to Oakland Athletics
Runs 0.915, Home Runs 0.823, HR (RHB) 0.855, HR (LHB) 0.782
Dimensions: 330' (8')-362' (15')-400' (8')-362' (15')-330' (8')
Altitude: 0 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
The Coliseum has by far the largest amount of foul territory -- roughly 50 percent larger than in any other venue -- which tilts it significantly toward pitchers. It's above average, however, for extra-base hits (ninth, 1.032 factor).
27. Angel Stadium of Anaheim, home to Los Angeles Angels
Runs 0.893, Home Runs 0.902, HR (RHB) 0.920, HR (LHB) 0.865
Dimensions: 330' (8')-387' (8')-400' (8')-370' (18')-330' (18')
Altitude: 146 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Rinse, repeat: Angel Stadium is the only ballpark in the past five seasons to have a park factor that ranked among the top-10 most pitching friendly in every category. Thanks to its 10-feet-higher fence in right-center and right fields, it's slightly less advantageous for lefty homers but slightly more advantageous for lefty extra-base hits.
28. Tropicana Field, home to Tampa Bay Rays
Runs 0.925, Home Runs 0.874, HR (RHB) 0.843, HR (LHB) 0.924
Dimensions: 315' (11')-370' (11')-404' (9')-370' (11')-322' (11')
Altitude: 44 feet; Domed stadium; Artificial field
Like Angel Stadium, Tropicana is one of the few ballparks that leans pitching-friendly in every category, though it leans more extremely toward them in terms of home runs, hits, extra-base hits and batting average on balls in play, ranking among the bottom seven in each. It's also a good venue for strikeouts (ninth, 1.051 factor), which is good news for those worried about Jose De Leon's league-switch adjustment.
29. PNC Park, home to Pittsburgh Pirates
Runs 0.916, Home Runs 0.772, HR (RHB) 0.692, HR (LHB) 0.911
Dimensions: 325' (8')-389' (8')-399' (11')-375' (25')-320' (25')
Altitude: 726 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
Thanks to its cavernous left-center field, PNC is the worst ballpark in baseball for right-handed power hitters. It leans almost entirely toward pitchers across the board with one exception: It's actually one of the worst for strikeouts, ranking 26th (0.926 factor).
30. AT&T Park, home to San Francisco Giants
Runs 0.872, Home Runs 0.656, HR (RHB) 0.693, HR (LHB) 0.607
Dimensions: 339' (6')-364' (6')-399' (10.5')-421' (21')-309' (21')
Altitude: 8 feet; Open-air stadium; Grass field
For the second consecutive season in 2016, AT&T saw the fewest overall home runs hit there (among full-time parks), which explains its 30th, 29th and 30th rankings in those above categories. Though it's a good park for left-handed extra-base hits (sixth, 1.111 factor) and walks (sixth, 1.044), its poor measures in terms of runs and power make it the game's most extreme pitchers' environment. It's rather remarkable, in retrospect, that Barry Bonds had as much success hitting here as he did.