OpinionJanuary 6, 2010

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Is Citi Field PetCo East? - 6 comments

By Kirk Beiser

A popular topic this off-season is how much Citi Field is affecting power numbers. It has been used to explain David Wright’s disappointing season and to forecast doom for Jason Bay’s HR numbers. And I mostly agreed with this until I started looking at numbers to define the effect Citi Field had on HRs and offense. Oddly, I could not find one number that suggested hitting HRs was impossible at Citi Field .

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers that I looked at:

Park factor (from BaseballReference.com) – 98
Park factor HR’s (from Firstinning.com) – 102

 OPS (Home)OPS (Away)HRs (Home)HRs (Away)
David Wright.812.85955

Fun fact (or not so fun fact) – The 2009 Mets are one of two teams to hit less than 100 HRs in a season in the last 10 years. (2008 Giants)

Initially I thought it would be easy to find data that supported Citi Field as a pitcher’s park stealing HRs from our fantasy players. But there isn’t any (that I found at least). Maybe when the sample size increases (more years of data), there will be some evidence of Citi Field being a pitcher’s park. But right now the stats show that the Mets didn’t hit HRs regardless of where they played last year. And what is happening here is clear: the Mets, their players and the media don’t have a Milton Bradley, Steve Bartman or whoever the goat of the month is in Chicago.

What does this mean for your fantasy team? Not a whole lot. It does mean that you don’t have to avoid Jason Bay like the plague (or at least anymore than you already were planning). Perhaps there is some other explanation for Wright’s lack of power last year. And fantasy owners don’t have to sit your hitters when they come to Citi Field. It is not PetCo East.

We’re going to continue to take a look at some more parks that have some misconceptions about them. New Yankee Stadium (not really a misconception actually) and Coors Field are likely topics with small articles possible on AT&T Park and Target Field. Let me know if you have any suggestions on misconceptions.

Kirk Beiser is a lifelong Twins fan (thru the good and bad). When he's not traveling he spends his time in MN looking for a job. You can catch up with Kirk in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of kab21.
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6 Responses to “Is Citi Field PetCo East?”

  1. User avatar wrveres says:

    i know you pointed it out, but it cant be stated enough, the data is way to small to make any assumptions, yet.

    I have read a few scouts opinions of Wright in 09, and they seemed to think he changed his batting style, swinging for the fences.

  2. B-Chad says:

    Enjoyed the article. Interesting read. Keep up the good work.

  3. User avatar kab21 says:

    You’re right wrveres but I have seen a number of articles that cite Citi Field as this big pitcher’s park. Despite there being no statistical evidence of it and this is not being stated enough.

  4. BaseballProf says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this. I wrote an article on it last week using all the numbers I could find. http://www.baseballprof.com/2010/01/is-citi-field-where-hr-go-to-die/

  5. User avatar shuggoth says:

    Thanks for the read. Always gladdens my heart when the Mets struggle. While I don’t have any suggestions, I do have many misconceptions.

  6. User avatar AKhomebrewer says:

    Statistical data aside, I think the Mets’ decimation by injury has been overlooked in analysis of both the park and David Wright in particular.
    After Beltran, Reyes and Delgado were removed from the equation (and this happened relatively early in the season), Wright’s lineup protection consisted of a glorified AAA club.
    With opposing pitchers no longer worried about Reyes dancing on the basepaths behind them and with the likes of Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy on deck in place of Beltran and Delgado, it seems reasonable to believe Wright may have seen a different selection of pitches from that point. And, verily, he may have “pressed” to try to make up the offensive shortfall.
    If the team is intact coming out of ST, I’d have no reservations about grabbing Wright — particularly at the spot to which he is likely to fall.


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