The subtle details of Citi Field will go a long way in determining who wins the 2013 Home Run Derby on Monday. Performances from the eight contestants hinge on how well they're suited to take advantage of the dimensions and conditions of the ballpark.
Citi Field opened in 2009, but New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made significant dimensional tweaks after the 2011 campaign. It had unexpectedly become an extreme pitcher's park.
With the goal of restoring neutrality, the Mets decided on the following distances:
|Deep left-center||385 feet|
|Deep right-center||390 feet|
Courtesy of the ESPN Home Run Tracker, this display shows both old boundaries and existing ones (bold lines). We also used the website to generate a "Citi Field overlay" for each batter, which approximates where each of his home runs this season would have previously landed in the ballpark.
Anxiety, stamina and pitcher selection affect derby output, but the importance of stadium size, climate and design cannot be overstated.