Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 7, 2011
BASEBALL: Citi Field Detailed Home/Road Splits

SNY's Ted Berg asked this question on Twitter, and it seemed worthy of a detailed response: "Is there any hard evidence that Citi Field plays as an extreme pitcher's park?"

Well, using the same method as in my "History of Defense" breakdowns, I combined the batting stats for all Mets games 2009-11 thru Sunday's action, both by and against the Mets. Here's the home/road splits:

Runs per game:

Home: 8.18
Road: 8.82

Batting Average on Balls in Play:

Home: .311
Road: .322

Doubles per 600 at bats:

Home: 38.72
Road: 41.25

Triples per 600 at bats:

Home: 5.68
Road: 4.21

Home Runs per 600 at bats:

Home: 16.93
Road: 19.41

Walks per 660 plate appearances (I used a PA metric rather than at bats for walks and strikeouts):

Home: 59.10
Road: 57.49

Strikeouts per 660 plate appearances:

Home: 113.53
Road: 110.81

Conclusion: From 2009-11, which now seems a large enough sample size to judge, Citi Field has played as a fairly extreme pitchers' park, drastically reducing scoring and home runs, depressing batting averages on balls in play, and slightly decreasing doubles and increasing strikeouts. It is, however, a great triples park, undoubtedly due to its spacious power alleys (and a few Mets hitters well-suited to exploit them), and has seen walks increase slightly at home.

UPDATE: So, if the Mets are looking down the road to what kinds of hitters prosper at Citi Field, who should they be looking at? Here's the 2009-11 home/road splits of Mets hitters with at least 200 plate appearances at Citi Field - home line on the left, road line on the right, and home OPS divided by road OPS in the H/R column:

Jose Reyes4940.3240.3780.5064590.2660.3050.3751.300
Jason Bay2290.2660.3570.4242530.2290.3170.3241.218
Luis Castillo3640.3130.4020.3543690.2470.3370.2851.215
Angel Pagan5440.3140.3540.4784870.2610.3210.3821.183
Daniel Murphy3470.3030.3410.4703390.2510.3130.3861.160
Fernando Tatis1940.2840.3580.4432110.2510.2940.4031.149
Ike Davis3170.2710.3660.4703350.2720.3480.4511.046
David Wright5980.2880.3820.4726700.2850.3530.4641.045
Josh Thole2080.2690.3350.3561840.2660.3440.3261.031
Alex Cora2150.2280.3050.2742250.2400.2930.3200.945
Jeff Francoeur3380.2540.2940.4143520.2810.3270.4320.933
Carlos Beltran3500.2940.3630.4663790.2900.3940.5010.926

I admit it's odd to see Bay (and Tatis) that high, but otherwise it's the people you'd expect: line-drive/gap hitters like Reyes, Castillo, Pagan and Murphy at the top, Beltran at the bottom (Wright hasn't suffered at Citi nearly as much as Beltran). Reyes this season is batting .395/.453/.645 with 10 triples in 29 games at home, .277/.315/.361 with zero triples on the road.

So, if the Mets go to the free agent market in 2011, they should be looking to sign a player as much like Jose Reyes as possible. Gee, if only such a player was going to be a free agent after this season...

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:44 AM | Baseball 2011 • | Baseball Studies | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Which is why the Mets are brain dead. They should have given Reyes an extension two years ago, when he was hurt. And traded Wright then. Because you can replace a third baseman far more easily than a shortstop.

Stupid park. It makes the pitchers always look better than they are, which helps you not at all in the playoffs, which I'm sure the Mets will make at least once in the next 30 years. OK, I'm not that sure.

Posted by: Daryl at June 7, 2011 12:58 PM

Maybe they can install those 5 outfield rows that were removed from Citizens Bank Park.

Posted by: Mark D at June 7, 2011 2:50 PM

Info is outdated already as Reyes tripled last night at Milwaukee ;)

Posted by: SJGMoney at June 8, 2011 12:35 PM
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