Miami Marlins: Analyzing Marlins Ballpark Dimensions, Comparing It with Others

James BondmanCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2011

Miami Marlins: Analyzing Marlins Ballpark Dimensions, Comparing It with Others

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    The Miami Marlins will enter the 2012 season with a very dynamic lineup, featuring Jose Reyes at the top of the order, Emilio Bonifacio continuing the bullet train behind him, Hanley Ramirez capping it at the three spot, followed by the powerful bat of Mike Stanton, the lefty bat of Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, John Buck, and Omar Infante.

    The Marlins will also feature a very solid rotation spearheaded by Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco. However, the question is whether their new ballpark in Miami will be a hitters haven, pitchers paradise, or somewhere in between. 

    The new free agents all asked whether the same question and team president David Samson said to the media contingent: "We don't know, some days I come here and it looks tiny. Other days I come here and it looks giant, there's no way you'll know until the players play."

    The roof is a factor, various ballparks in baseball have roofs and the wind and humidity all play a role in how far the ball travels.

    I've racked together ten different ballparks and stadiums to compare the dimensions of the new Marlins ballpark including Sun Life Stadium. 

    The choices made were based off the notoriety of the ballpark, its similarity of dimensions or just out of curiosity. 

Citi Field

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    Citi Field Dimensions: 

    Left field line—335 ft.
    Left-center field—372 ft.
    Center field – 408 ft.
    Right-center field—375 ft.
    Right field line—330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line—340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Comparing Jose Reyes' old home (Citi Field) with his new home (Marlins Ballpark) is somewhat important because you want to know whether there will be gaps for him to take advantage of. 

    Even with the move to send the walls closer to home plate, Citi Field has its gaps (which Reyes can take advantage of nine times a season). The Marlins Ballpark lacks in corners in comparison to Citi Field but makes up for it with slightly larger left field space, center field in the area near its furthest point (we'll call it the "tiny wave"), and right center field. 

    The new configurations will hinder its label as pitcher-friendly, but it did have a 15-foot wall in left field, which may have stopped some from getting out that otherwise would have versus the new Marlins ballpark. 

Safeco Field

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    Safeco Field Dimensions: 

    Left field line331 ft.
    Left-center field388 ft.
    Center field405 ft.
    Right-center field385 ft.
    Right field line326 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Safeco Field is known as a pitchers park and is really the only known retractable roof ballpark to be pitcher friendly.

    The dimensions between the two ballparks are in the some neighborhood. That it is a retractable roof caught my attention because this could the blueprint of what we may see. But the difference lies in right field, where the Marlins ballpark is about 7-10 feet back than Safeco and playing less favorably to the lefty bats. 

    It hard to tell what a roof open or closed will do and the Seattle Mariners usually keep their roof open if it isn't raining or is cold whereas the Marlins are going to close the roof roughly 70 out of 81 games on the slate. I'd say this could be the best example of what we might see based on the similarities between the two ballparks overall. 

PETCO Park

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    PETCO Park Dimensions: 

    Left field line336 ft.
    Left-center field378 ft.
    Center field396 ft.
    Right-center field382 ft.
    Right field line322 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    PETCO Park is where pitcher would want to pitch because its a place they will thrive. PETCO Park despite having a wide center field wall from end to end doesn't beat the new Marlins ballpark in how far back it goes having a 20-foot gap (by furthest point) between the two places. 

    Heath Bell, who is now the new Marlins closer, didn't have dramatic home/road splits, so the change to Miami isn't expected to affect him that much, either. 

Comerica Park

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    Comerica Park Dimensions: 

    Left field line345 ft.
    Left-center field370 ft.
    Center field420 ft.
    Right-center field365 ft.
    Right field line330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Comerica Park is interesting because the Detroit Tigers have great players such as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in their lineup. However, both really should be hitting more home runs than they have. A perfect example of how big a difference a ballpark makes to a hitter is Curtis Granderson, who is slamming home runs left and right at Yankee Stadium, but wasn't such a great power hitter when with that Tigers at Comerica Park.  

    The Marlins Ballpark will have a shorter overall center field than Comerica, but make up for it in right center field where there stands a near 30-foot gap in space. But again, wind might help some home runs get out at Comerica, the Marlins Ballpark most often than not will have it's roof closed in a climate-controlled environment.  

Chase Field

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    Chase Field Dimensions: 

    Left field line328 ft.
    Left-center field376 ft.
    Center field407 ft.
    Right-center field376 ft.
    Right field line330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Chase Field's roof, similar dimensions, and even a pool make it a candidate to compare with the new Marlins Ballpark. However, Chase Field is known as a hitter-friendly park, and it could be the worrisome outcome that the front office does not want. 

    Chase Field normally keeps its roof closed during games which will be the case with the Marlins' roof as both cities deal with uncomfortable fan environments in an open roof atmosphere. 

    The dimensions aren't awfully similar, but they are close enough to pose as a warning of sorts that this may be what you are getting. Both ballparks have gaps but Chase has bent corners to make it easier for would-be triples baserunners. 

    But, I'm going to trust that the Marlins Ballpark is not going to fall down this hitter-friendly road just based solely on the dimension differentials. 

Citizens Bank Park

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    Citizens Bank Stadium Dimensions: 

    Left field line329 ft.
    Left-center field362 ft.
    Center field401 ft.
    Right-center field357 ft.
    Right field line330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    I decided to do Citizens Bank Park, a hitter's park (some will argue hitter-friendly), as a point of reference between a division rivals' park and the new Marlins Ballpark. 

    As you can see, they are worlds apart and not one point crosses over the dimensions for the new Marlins Ballpark. It'll be very interesting to see how this plays out in series between the Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies next season and the stats to look at are earned run average and home runs allowed.  

Kauffman Stadium

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    Kauffman Stadium Dimensions: 

    Left field line330 ft.
    Left-center field387 ft.
    Center field410 ft.
    Right-center field387 ft.
    Right field line – 330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field – 416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Kauffman Stadium's cookie cutter dimensions are vastly similar to the new Marlins Ballpark dimensions with the exception that Kauffman's right field is further back. Out of all the ballpark comparisons mentioned, this one would be a great one to make a comparison out of.

    The dimensions are as close as a hair and the similarities show with the lack of a double deck in that particular area and potential for open wind flow. 

    Judging by the Kauffman Stadium spray chart, the home run feature in the new ballpark could see some pounding by baseballs.

    But if you are wondering, yes, Kauffman Stadium is considered to be a pitcher-friendly environment, but that does not completely mean its favorable to them. The numbers might fool you a bit seeing as though Marlins Ballpark is further away at right center and down the line, but in right field Kauffman has a very big edge in right field.    

Turner Field

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    Turner Field Dimensions: 

    Left field line335 ft.
    Left-center field380 ft.
    Center field400 ft.
    Right-center field390 ft.
    Right field line330 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft 
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Turner Field is another cookie-cutter ballpark as the Marlins ballpark somewhat is until center field and the "wave" design.

    As you can see, the dimensions are fairly alike with the only exception being in center. Turner Field is regarded as a pitcher-friendly park and as such the Marlins can only fall into the same category. But again will the roof affect much of the home runs? That is the question we will have to find out next season.   

Fenway Park

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    Fenway Park Dimensions: 

    Left field line310 ft.
    Left-center field335 ft.
    Center field390 ft.
    Right-center field380 ft.
    Right field line302 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Just poking a bit of fun here at this point. Fenway Park's dimensions are all less than the Marlins' dimensions with the exception of right field, where balls will usually bounce for ground rule doubles if the outfielder was positioned to far from the line. 

Sun Life Stadium

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    Sun Life Dimensions: 

    Left field line330 ft.
    Left-center field361 ft.
    Center field404 ft.
    Right-center field385 ft.
    Right field line345 ft.

    Marlins Ballpark Dimensions: 

    Left field line340 ft.
    Left-center field384 ft.
    Center field416 ft.
    Right-center field392 ft.
    Right field line335 ft.

    Sun Life Stadium is classified as a neutral field, meaning it favors hitter and pitchers evenly. The Marlins Ballpark dimensions are going to be pushed back in some areas therefore making up for some of the features Sun Life had such as the "Teal Monster" in left field. 

    The Marlins Ballpark's left field dimensions are curved back because of the lack of the large wall and the mini Bermuda Triangle is more slanted into a tiny wave of sorts throughout center field. 

    In terms of home runs, the majority of them might die in the difference of space out in left judging by this spray chart from the 2011 season. However, some of the line drive doubles off the wall might be home runs in the new ballpark, therefore making up a bit. 

    The slight change in right field could result in a bit of spike for left handers, especially down the line. However, Morrison's spray chart indicates this would really affect his numbers. 

    In all, the gaps are still there for Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and Emilio Bonifacio to exploit, I would not be surprised to get 40 triples combined from all three of them if healthy. As for Stanton, no stadium can stop his home runs, maybe except for the Polo Grounds. 

    The underlying thing in all this is the roof, it will be the primary factor coupled with the temperature (climate-controlled at 75 degrees). I don't have Sports Science numbers, but this is expected to have some affect but how much has yet to be determined. 

    One things for certain, the dimensions of the new ballpark indicate it will be a pitchers' park and at worst pitcher-friendly, but will the roof move it closer to neutral or hitter-friendly? That's to be determined.