5 Most Hitter-Friendly Ballparks in Major League Baseball

Brian Belko@@BrianBelkoContributor IIIApril 12, 2012

5 Most Hitter-Friendly Ballparks in Major League Baseball

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    Several ballparks around the major leagues are known to be much friendlier to hitters than they are to pitchers. Hitters love to visit these parks because they have a better chance of having big offensive games than they would in a more pitcher-friendly park.

    Here is a look at five of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball.

5: Rogers Centre

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    While the home of the Toronto Blue Jays does not immediately come to mind when thinking of hitter-friendly ballparks, the Rogers Centre is one of the best offensive parks in the major leagues.

    In 2011, the Rogers Centre averaged 2.44 home runs per game and earned an ESPN Park Factor of 1.152. Any park factor of more than 1.000 is considered to be hitter-friendly.

    The high number of average home runs at the Rogers Centre in recent years may have been helped out by the emergence of Jose Bautista as one of the top power threats in all of baseball.

    However, the high amount of runs scored at the park is also due to its large dimensions and AstroTurf playing surface.

4: Great American Ball Park

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    Since 2003, many offensive shootouts between MLB teams have occurred at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    The home of the Cincinnati Reds averaged 2.58 home runs per game and had a park factor of 1.082 in 2011. With short dimensions down the lines, Great American Ball Park is a long ball haven and the deep alleys allow for a lot of doubles.

    In fact, during the past five seasons combined, there have been a total of 1,119 home runs hit in the ballpark which is more than any other stadium in the sport.

    The offensive potential of Great American Ball Park is also evident when you consider that no pitcher for the Reds has posted an ERA better than 3.21 since the park's first season in 2003.

3: Yankee Stadium

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    When the Yankees opened the new Yankee Stadium, it quickly became apparent that any team playing at the park would have no problem scoring runs.

    With a ridiculously short 314 foot porch in right field and 318 feet down the left field line, home runs would not be in short supply. What would be a routine fly ball to right field in many stadiums around the league winds up in the seats at the new Yankee Stadium.

    In 2011, the park averaged 2.58 home runs per game and earned an ESPN park factor of 1.131.

    While the park's offensive production might be somewhat attributed to the powerhouse lineups that the Yankees put on the field every season, every major league team has an easy time scoring runs when they visit Yankee Stadium.

2: Coors Field

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    The high altitude of Coors Field is usually thought to be the main reason for the high offensive production seen at the park. The idea that the thin air found at that altitude makes it easier for the baseball to travel farther distances is a valid one.

    In fact, a humidor for baseballs was installed at the park in an effort to limit that particular home field advantage.

    In 2011, the home of the Colorado Rockies averaged 2.42 home runs per game and earned an ESPN park factor of 1.347 which was high enough for second of all major league parks.

    While Coors Field may be second on this list, it will continue to produce high scoring baseball games as long as games are played there.

1: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

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    Ask any hitter in the major leagues what his favorite park to hit in is and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will probably be the most common answer you are given.

    With a combination of very dry air and an almost constant wind blowing out, the home of the Texas Rangers is one of the easiest parks for a major league player to hit home runs in.

    One of the main reasons that Rangers ballpark is one of the most hitter friendly ballparks is because it does not favor either left or right handed hitters. This only increases the amount of offense that is generated in this park.

    In 2011, Rangers Ballpark averaged 2.81 home runs per game as well as earning an ESPN park factor of 1.409 which was the top number last season.

    Even though a solid major league lineup will be able to generate runs in any ballpark they play in, these five parks are some of the best for fans of high-scoring games.