Gonzalez is a career .284/.368/.507 hitter with 168 HRs and 525 RBI. His career home/away splits, however, feature quite a drastic difference:
Home: 1504 AB 396 H 61 HR 214 RBI .263/.360/.440
Away: 1663 AB 504 H 107 HR 311 RBI .303/.376/.568
What accounts for this drastic difference? Not skill level, but rather the parks he had to play in.
The San Diego Padres make their home at PETCO Park, which is considered one of the worst hitters parks in all of baseball. Its dimensions are as follows: 334 ft. down the left field line, 367 ft. to left, 402 ft. in the left field alley, 396 ft. to center, 402 ft. to the right field alley, 382 ft. to right, 322 ft. down the left field line.
Using pitching park factor (runs above 1.000 favor the hitter; below, the pitcher), PETCO was worth just 0.882 runs, the twenty-sixth lowest total in baseball.
Three of the five parks in the NL West were ranked twenty second or worst in baseball: PETCO; AT&T Park (Giants), which has a PPF of 0.942; and Dodger Stadium, which has a PPF of 0.939.
Only two parks in the NL West were above 1.000 run, therefore favoring the hitter: Coors Field (Rockies) was first on the list with a PPF of 1.364, and Chase Field was ninth with a PPF of 1.049.
This marks a striking contrast from the American League East. Fenway Park itself has a PPF of 1.083, the seventh highest average in baseball. Yankee Stadium was second in PFF with a 1.177 PFF, Camden Yards (Orioles) was fifth with a 1.122 and the Rogers Centre (Blue Jays) was eighth with a 1.058.
Gonzalez has a significant chance to improve on his numbers simply because of the fact that he'll be playing a majority of his games in hitter-friendly ballparks.
Also, Gonzalez, a left-handed batter, happens to be one of the best opposite field hitters in the game. Gonzo is a career 195/463 in balls hit to the opposite field. This translates to a .421/.418/.842 batting line, with 46 HRs and 117 RBIs.
Fenway Park has one of the best left field porches for power hitters, and Gonzalez should be able to utilize all parts of the park to his benefit.
Gonzalez hit 40 HRs in 2009 and he remains a legitimate 40+ HR candidate in Boston.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!