Ranking the Top 10 Most Home Run-Friendly Ballparks in Major League Baseball
In the 137 years of Major League Baseball, ballparks with more home run-friendly dimensions have often produced either high-powered offenses or horrendous pitching statistics.
Baseball continues to be one of the only sports in the world with no universal stadium dimensions, giving each ballpark its own uniqueness.
With the steroid era coming to a close and a significantly less number of home runs being slugged, home run-friendly ballparks now offer more advantages then ever via the long ball.
The following list uses the Park Factor statistic (rate of stats at home vs. stats on the road) of stadiums over the last five years, the total number of home runs hit and dimensions to rank the top 10 most home run-friendly ballparks in MLB.
10. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Even with the most rowdy and distracting fanbase in baseball, the home run ball is an all-too-common occurrence in Philadelphia.
A total of 175 homers, an average of 2.16 per game, were hit out of Citizens Bank Park in 2012.
When this park was built in 2004, the architects definitely took home runs into consideration, creating two relatively short porches in left and right. Citizens Bank is 329 feet down the left field line and 330 down the right.
Ryan Howard has hit a home run in basically every area of the park, while lefties like Chase Utley have utilized the short left field porch.
But it’s not just Phillies slugging homers. Even with a pitching rotation consisting of All-Stars like Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, balls continue to fly out of Citizens Bank Park.
9. Minute Maid Park, Houston
The notoriously humid air of southeast Texas has yet to damper the consistent barrage of home runs flying out of Minute Maid Park.
Granted, the Astros have been less than stellar over the last couple years, but even during their glory days in the mid-2000s, home runs flew out of Minute Maid.
In 2012, 158 home runs were hit at Minute Maid, a number down from previous years, but respectable for a team that ended the season with 107 losses.
What makes Minute Maid incredibly unique is the short, rectangular porch that juts its way into left field. The porch is just 315 feet and hosts the most home runs than anywhere else in the ballpark.
The stadium comes equipped with a retractable roof capable of shielding fans from the harsh climate of Houston. When closed, airflow and humidity are diminished, making the balls travel further.
8. Chase Field, Phoenix
Another stadium that braves the elements with a retractable roof is Chase Field in Phoenix.
The 174 home runs at Chase Field in 2012 averaged 2.15 per game.
The ballpark is almost symmetrical, with left and right field being around 330 feet.
The hot and dry air also contributes to the distance home runs travel. On July 2, Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin hit one of the longest home runs of the season: a 485-foot blast to left-center.
7. Miller Park, Milwaukee
Miller Park was home to a little under five percent of the home runs hit in MLB in 2012.
Brewers fans certainly got their money worth this year, as Miller Park averaged 2.84 home runs a game, with a total of 230 on the season. The 230 home runs hit were second-most by any ballpark in 2012, even without Prince Fielder.
Left fielder and 2011 MVP Ryan Braun certainly contributed, hitting a career-high 41 home runs on the season.
Like Chase Field, Miller Park is almost perfectly symmetrical. Both left and right field are 345 feet, while center field is an even 400.
Miller Park also comes equipped with a retractable roof, the third so far on this list.
6. Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York City
Dimensionally speaking, the new Yankee Stadium is a replica of the old Cathedral of Baseball in the Bronx, providing hitters with a porch short enough for a left-handed 12-year-old to hit one out.
Yankee Stadium is just 314 feet down the right field line. The short porch gives any left handed hitter who hits a deep pop fly to left a chance at an easy home run.
But it’s not just the short porch that gives fans plenty of home run action.
The teams the Yankees have assembled over the years have traditionally been chock-full of power hitters from Mickey Mantle to Mark Teixeira.
In 2012, 231 home runs were hit in Yankee Stadium, good enough for most in baseball.
Expect Yankee Stadium to remain in the top 10 for decades to come.
5. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas
An exciting and powerful lineup of Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler had their fair share of home runs in Arlington this season.
The ballpark allowed 202 homers, averaging fewer than 2.5 per game.
Here’s another example of what hot, dry air can have on a baseball in a symmetrically short-fenced ballpark.
The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is 332 feet down the left field line and 325 feet down the right, with straight-away center at 400 feet.
With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli exiting Arlington this season, look for the home runs totals to decrease.
4. Camden Yards, Baltimore
Through my research, Camden Yards came as the biggest surprise regarding the amount of home runs flying in Baltimore.
Camden Yards gave up 225 home runs in 2012 and averaged a ridiculous 2.78 per game.
This was a season to remember for Orioles fans. Instead of the opposition coming into their stadium and tearing apart Oriole pitching, it was now the birds, led by center fielder Adam Jones, that were taking advantage of their stadium’s dimensions.
With the Orioles organization on the rise and the AL East packing in offensive talent this offseason, home runs in Baltimore will certainly be on the rise.
3. Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati has traditionally been a hitters ballpark since it first opened in 2003.
The ballpark consistently allows around 200 home runs a season, this season allowing 199.
The Reds are stocked with power-hitting talent, including Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and the young rookie out of Rutgers, Todd Frazier.
The Great American Ballpark is 328 feet in left and 325 feet in right, short enough for some of these young guns to slug 20 home runs each.
Look for the number of home runs to increase as guys like Bruce mature.
2. U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
The White Sox had one of the more disappointing collapses to end their 2012 campaign, but fans were rewarded for their loyalty with a surplus of home runs.
In 2012, U.S. Cellular Field allowed 229 home runs, averaging an impressive 2.8 per game.
Unlike the rest of the ballparks mentioned, U.S. Cellular Field is unique. Its home runs aren’t supported by a short fence or dry air.
The “Windy City” in combination with power-hitters like Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo are to blame for the steady precipitation of baseballs in Chicago.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Chicago averages a wind speed of 10.3 miles an hour a day, one of the highest in cities with MLB teams.
U.S. Cellular Field’s dimensions are a symmetrical 347 in left and right and 400 feet in dead center.
1. Coors Field, Colorado
Coors Field in Colorado offers the perfect storm of altitude, wind and dry air for the home run ball to flourish.
The Rockies fielded a Troy Tulowitzki-less team in 2012 consisting of players unknown to the average fan coming into the season. Guys like Tyler Colvin, Wilin Rosario and Josh Rutledge made names for themselves as they thrived in Coors Field.
This season, 218 home runs made their way out of Coors Field, about 2.7 per game.
The Rockies, who had one of the best offenses in baseball in 2012, have been plagued by their pitchers’ inability to get the job done in Coors.
Rockies pitchers combined for a 5.22 ERA, worst in baseball by almost half a run.
Are the Rockies at a disadvantage playing in Coors? Maybe, but then again, so are opposing pitchers.
The Rockies need to obtain some pitching this offseason to compete in a tough NL West.
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