Prince Fielder Free Agent News: Ranking All MLB 30 Stadiums' Fit to His Swing
Prince Fielder is one of the top free agents on the market this winter, and it makes sense why. He has one of the most powerful bats in the game, he can easily hit 40 home runs and he is a good fit on any team.
Many are looking to see which team is the best fit, or which team will acquire him based on that, which is all well and good. For a player of his magnitude, however, the best measure of success is to look at the stadiums.
Fielder is somewhat of a pull hitter, hitting the majority of his home runs to right and center-right, though the lefty has no problem hitting them to left field as well. The following 30 stadiums are ranked based on how well he would perform there with his skill set—team fit and the like will not be considered.
30. Petco Park
Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is the beacon of hope for pitchers, and it's where they can have great seasons. For hitters, they'll be lucky hitting any home runs there.
While Fielder has four home runs in 17 appearances there, one has to keep in mind that the leader in home runs last season was Ryan Ludwick with 11. The best way to figure out Fielder's success is to look at Adrian Gonzalez.
In 2010, 11 of his 30 home runs were at home. In 2009, 12 of 40. In 2008, 14 of 36. Clearly, his numbers would have been far better elsewhere, and the same would be true of Prince Fielder.
29. AT&T Park
AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, is where power bats go to die, or at least that was the case last year. It's ironic that the same ballpark that housed Barry Bonds' 73 home run season would turn into a pitcher's park, but that's what happened.
To use current Giants players as an example, Pablo Sandoval hit seven of his 23 home runs at AT&T Park, and Aubrey Huff had nine HR away, compared to three at home. Factor in that Fielder has two home runs in 16 appearances (most appearances for a two-HR-or-fewer park), and it's a terrible fit for him.
28. Citi Field
Mets fans will likely not be happy with this placement, but after just a few short seasons, it seems very evident that Citi Field is a pitcher's park, which could also explain the drop-off in production from David Wright and others on the home run end.
As for Prince Fielder, he has one home run in 14 games played. I just ripped on AT&T Park for slightly better stats than that. It has decent offensive production, and Fielder would still be a playmaker there, he just would not hit many home runs.
27. Safeco Field
I recently read an article on here noting that Fielder would make a great fit in Seattle. He fits a need, and would bring just the type of production needed. There's just one problem—Safeco Field would cripple him.
Safeco Field has always been a pitcher's park, and offense there has consistently been near the bottom. At the same time, Fielder has never played there, so maybe he would be alright. Based on how other supposedly good hitters are doing there though, I doubt that.
26. Tropicana Field
Tropicana Field is definitely a pitcher's park, even though Evan Longoria and others have thrived there. Fielder's only played two games there without a HR, but there are other reasons why this is ranked low.
For starters, it's possible to hit the catwalks and cost yourself a home run. If anyone can do that, it's Fielder, and he could end up doing it once or twice a year. It's not all that welcoming there either, so it may be harder for Fielder to hit well there.
25. O.co Coliseum
Much like Safeco, O.co Coliseum has not only never been the stomping ground of Prince Fielder, but it's another place where home runs do not seem to happen.
Consistently near the bottom in home run rankings, those who actually play there seem to mange it well. Still, factor in that they're near the bottom of the AL in home runs for their own team, thanks to a huge foul area. That could come back to haunt Fielder if he were to play there.
24. Nationals Park
This is a tough one to rank, as Nationals Park is considered a neutral park, and has been ranked well on home runs recently. Why is it so low?
For starters, many home runs are by the other team, and if you look at home run numbers for those that play there, such as Matt Morse, it shows that they hit more home runs away. Not only that, but Fielder has one home run in 14 games there. That's all you need to know.
23. Angel Stadium of Anaheim
I don't know what it is about AL West parks, but they're all a bad fit for someone like Prince Fielder (with one big exception). Despite some good hitters, Angel Stadium is definitely geared towards pitchers.
The stadium was 25th in the league last year in their average home runs allowed, and Fielder hit .100 in a three-game series there. Vernon Wells hit eight of his 25 homers there last year, and Fielder's stats may not be too far off from that.
22. Progressive Field
As nice as it may be for Indians fans to see a power hitter in Cleveland, in recent years there is no question that Progressive Field has morphed into a pitcher's park. It's easier to hit a ball to right field than left, which helps Fielder a bit, but not enough.
Fielder did hit .545 in a three-game series there, so there's always the chance that he could thrive there. If one looks at history though, that does not seem too likely.
21. Kauffman Stadium
Kauffman Stadium is actually one of the best stadiums for small-ball hitters. The Royals, who consistently are among the league leaders in batting average, will agree. When it come to home runs, though, that's another story.
The stadium was one of the worst for home runs last year, and ranks low most years as well. Fielder could definitely add to his doubles count there, but his home run total would suffer a bit.
20. Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium is notoriously a pitcher's park, and most sites will have it alongside Petco and Safeco for that title. Despite that, I put it toward the middle for one reason, and it's not the eight HR in 52 games, since those numbers aren't that great in comparison to others.
The reason is that Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday have clearly had no problem hitting home runs here. Pujols does hit more home runs away than home, so there is a discrepancy, but it's one Fielder can definitely overcome.
19. Dodger Stadium
Dodger Stadium is well-known as a pitcher's park due to its reluctance to give up doubles and triples at any cost. When it comes to home runs, however, the stadium isn't quite as tough.
The Dodgers usually rank in the bottom half of home run hitting along with the stadium, and Fielder's three HR in 17 games don't do much to sway that. It's not ranked lower because lefties tend to have more success hitting home runs, so that's a couple extra points for Fielder there.
18. Target Field
Since Target Field's only been around two years, I'm not sure if the lack of home runs is due to a lack of production from the Twins themselves this year, or if it's really that much of a pitcher's park.
Either way, the right field wall is shorter than the left, so Fielder would not have too difficult a time hitting home runs there. If he can hit home runs in Milwaukee in April, the cold shouldn't be much of a hassle in Minnesota.
17. New Marlins Ballpark
Fielder has obviously not yet played in New Marlins Ballpark, but he did have success in Dolphin Stadium. Unfortunately, this stadium is much bigger, especially in right-center, and that combined with the climate control (the stadium will be cooler) will hurt his swing a bit.
As a result, this park goes slightly in the bottom half of the list.
16. Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a great place to load up on extra base hits, as it is definitely a hitter's park. When it comes to home runs, though, there are a couple big issues.
The Green Monster in left field will stop any line-drive home runs, but ironically what may hurt Fielder more (since he can probably clear that) is a very deep right field. As a result I would see his home run numbers going down here.
Fielder does have two homers in six games there, though, for what that's worth.
15. PNC Park
PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is pretty much a neutral field. There were few home runs hit this year there, but year in and year out it's usually in the middle of the road.
Fielder has hit nine homers in 47 games there, which is also about average for him. One thing that does help is that right field is shorter than left. If he was a right-handed hitter, PNC would be a lot further down on this list, since they have a much harder time hitting home runs there.
14. Comerica Park
Comerica Park has went from being a pitcher's park in its heyday to a relatively neutral park. It allows a huge number of triples, but when it comes to home runs they're squarely in the middle.
A short right field fence should make it relatively easy for Fielder to perform well there, even if he was unimpressive in six games so far. They've had very impressive players of late to the point that I actually expected more home runs than they had, hence why they're in the middle of the road.
13. Citizens Bank Park
Like Comerica Park, Citizens Bank Park seems like a slight hitter's park on the surface, when in reality it is relatively neutral. They have great power hitters, yet in spite of that the park is roughly average in home run output.
Fielder has played well there, with five HR in 20 games, yet I'm not convinced he would be a success there. Ironically, in a slightly worse park for him he's had far greater success...
12. Turner Field
Turner Field is considered a slight pitcher's park, and while it used to fit into that directly, it has become neutral over the years. Not only that, but right-center field is rather deep, which should be a disadvantage for Fielder.
Despite this, how does it nearly crack the top ten? For whatever reason, Fielder has had great success here, hitting nine HR in 24 games. That rate is far higher than any other stadium where he's hit that many.
He's only hitting .191 there, but if you want Fielder just to crank out the home runs, then he's able to pull it off, even though the dimensions mean this stadium should be much further down.
11. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is not only one of the best ballparks out there, but one of the few that Prince Fielder hasn't played in yet. It's a mostly neutral field with one exception, and that exception happens to be home runs.
This is definitely a top ten field for right-handed power hitters, but lefties such as Fielder do well here too. J.J. Hardy had a career year there after playing in Milwaukee originally, and Fielder could absolutely do the same.
10. Miller Park
Prince Fielder's home turf pretty much has to be in the top ten, and I have three reasons for that. First, it's the park he knows, so he knows where to hit them to maximize home runs.
Second, the Brewers are usually near the top in home run hitting, and Miller Park has proven to be a hitter's park, though some stats say otherwise on that. Third, Fielder does have a higher home run count at home than away, so the Park has helped out on some level.
9. Wrigley Field
I think I figured out the real reason why the Cubs are pushing for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder so bad. It's not even that they would be grabbing a rival player or could have a leader for Theo Epstein to work with. In reality, it makes sense due to Wrigley Field.
With 11 HR in 49 games, Wrigley is tied for third on the list of most home runs for Fielder, and while Wrigley wasn't much of a hitter's park this year, it has been in years past, and he could easily make Carlos Pena's season look like nothing.
8. Rogers Centre
The Toronto Blue Jays have started hitting home runs with great frequency in recent years, and playing in Rogers Centre definitely helped that. The symmetrical ballpark is built well enough so that any home run hitter can unleash without too much difficulty.
Fielder only played one homerless series there, so it would be tough to say how well he'd really do, but based on Bautista's rise and Wells's fall after joining and leaving the area respectively, Fielder could definitely continue to produce there.
7. Chase Field
Something about the NL West's parks either make them an amazing fit for Fielder or a terrible one. In the case of Chase Field, it's a great one. Fielder's numbers are only four HR in 22 games, same as Coors Field.
That being said, Chase Field has evolved into a hitter's park. Kelly Johnson hit 16 of 26 HR there last year, and Justin Upton hit 20 of 31 there, with clearly superior stats in Arizona. If Adam LaRoche's seasons this year and last year are any indication, Fielder would be great here.
6. U.S. Cellular Field
U.S. Cellular Field is relatively average when it comes to hitting in general, but when you talk home runs, it's one of the easiest parks to hit them in.
Surprisingly, Fielder has never played at Cellular, and given the usual offensive production, he's missing out. Paul Konerko has hit far more home runs at home than away, and Fielder would be able to do the same for them.
5. Great American Ball Park
If there's one thing that happens a lot in the Great American Ball Park, it's home runs. Thanks to being a hitter's park for home runs if nothing else, and a rather short right field, Prince Fielder would be right at home.
He has 11 home runs in 49 starts, which isn't the greatest number, but what matters is that he does have success there, and he would have no problem hitting home runs for the Reds there, though they have Joey Votto to do that for them.
4. Minute Maid Park
The Astros may have been the worst team in the league and probably have no shot at acquiring Fielder, but if there's one place in the National League where he would feel comfortable, it's in Minute Maid Park.
Minute Maid Park isn't really a hitter's park compared to the top three, but not only has Fielder hit 14 in 41 starting appearances (far higher than his career average), but he has hit some of the longest home runs of his career thanks to the hot air.
3. Yankee Stadium
In 2009, the new Yankee Stadium opened, and immediately it became a major hitter's park. Even nowadays, it remains that way, with the Yankees' league-leading 222 HR this season only serving to further that point.
The best part about the stadium is that right field is fairly short, 314 feet on the line and 353 feet in right-center. This means that Fielder would have no problem slugging home run after home run there.
It's only one of a few stadiums Fielder hasn't hit a home run in yet, but he only played one series there so that can be tossed aside.
2. Coors Field
Any time you note a place where a hitter should go, Coors Field has to be at the top of the list. It's where hitters go to thrive and pitchers go to die while playing for the Colorado Rockies.
Fielder has hit four home runs in 22 games at Coors Field, which is comparable to his career track, and actually only has hit .273 there. Still, people go there to hit home runs thanks to the thin air, and there is no question that Fielder would hit plenty.
1. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
While the stat pool is low to see how well he'd play there (three games total, two home runs), what we know about the park tells me that this would be the perfect location.
Rangers Ballpark is notoriously a hitter's park thanks to its low fences and high temperature, making it easy for the ball to travel far. While it may be tough to hit home runs in July due to the heat, that's Fielder's weakest month already.
In short, it's a shame Texas is overloaded with power hitters already, since adding Prince would easily mean another 45-50 home runs a year.