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Baseball America: Target Field was worst park for left-handed power

chris parmelee joe mauer justin morneau target field
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#21 peterb18

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Again power hitters will not want to sign with the Twins. Until we do something with this park it is not appealing to the elite players. And we need to sign elite free agents until the younger players arrive. Look at Kubel, Cuddyer had to change his approach and the list goes on. I agree with Fanatic Jack on this one!

#22 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:40 PM

"And we need to sign elite free agents"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that TF isn't what's standing in the way of the Twins signing elite free agents.

#23 jwestbrock

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:04 PM

Personally I'd have a look at what StatCorner has to say on park factors. According to them, Target Field had a LHH HR park factor of 91 (comp'd to 95 for RHH). That's certainly a depressing factor -- depressing in a different sense -- but I'd have to believe there are teams with lower marks.

Alas, Arizona's park factor for LHH bombs is 114; you think that Kubel signing was a calculated move? Oh, yes.


There are 8 with worst LHH HR Park Factors according to that site, but four of the Parks with worse PF's had either and 89 or 90 so only 4 were significantly worse for home runs, but Petco had the worst at 59, so it could be much worse.

#24 Thrylos

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

Yes they do. That's what the article is saying.


And because the "article said so", you are going to believe it? There are a lot of fundamentally wrong things about their methodology (and I explained them up there.)

Bottom line is: I am not sure whether Target Field is a problem for hitting HRs by LH hitters, but this article does not help determine whether it is. Could be, could be not.
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#25 Nicholas Mueller

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:53 PM

Again power hitters will not want to sign with the Twins. Until we do something with this park it is not appealing to the elite players. And we need to sign elite free agents until the younger players arrive. Look at Kubel, Cuddyer had to change his approach and the list goes on. I agree with Fanatic Jack on this one!


The Twins are never going to sign Elite free agents, its just not their MO. Especially, when Josh Willingham is one of their most expensive free agents that they signed. You want an elite power hitter, your best bet is to pray and hope Miguel Sano keeps progressing and makes it like he is projected.

Edited by Nicholas Mueller, 14 March 2012 - 08:57 PM.


#26 Ben Collin

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:37 AM

I've been doing some research on Target Field weather and home runs. By going through the old gameday xml files, I've extracted the home runs and the time they were hit. I then used the KMSP ASOS (Airport) weather station archived obs to find the weather conditions closest to the time of the HR. My initial data is pretty clear that of the 126 home runs hit at Target Field last year, a northerly to northwesterly component of the wind was present for 42 home runs. I have a lot more work to do to break down the data but I found that interesting. I'll have to put in some logic to figure out if it's a leftie or not and see what happens. One thing to note is I can't tell you if it was the wind or a coincidence that it was windy on days that pitchers who allowed HR's pitched. Would be nice if I had fly ball outs to measure against to judge carry given a wind direction. Regarding lefties having a power struggle, theoretically it makes perfect sense given the wind current that would be drawn in from the plaza. As air is leaving the ballpark, wind has to rush in to replace it and that plaza offers the path of least resistance for air to flow back into the field. I have no proof that this is the reason why lefties have such hard time hitting home runs but just a thought. I'll have more info on my Target Field home run climate data some day soon. I still have to do 2010 as well. It won't be anything groundbreaking, just comparing weather conditions during home run hits. If we could set up a computer model to model currents in the park, now that would be cool.

#27 peterb18

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:51 AM

They only have to sign elite free agent power hitters until the Sano's arrive on the scene. This is what the contending teams do. With the new revenues this team is in position to do this. What I'm saying is just not my idea! Listened to MLB on XM radio yesterday morning and they were talking about the Twins. Actually, it was very depressing if you are a Twin Fan. Basically, what they said is that the Twins should retool. But, without touching the young players-who do you trade? There isn't much there-Baker is a mid-rotation starter at best, Morneau isn't healthy and is expensive, nobody really wants Joe's contract under the present setup. They thought the guy with the most value at this time is Willingham. One of the announcers was Bob Nightengale--don't know who the other one was. This was morning show on at around 9:00 am eastern time.

#28 davidjcampbell

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:54 AM

I've been doing some research on Target Field weather and home runs. By going through the old gameday xml files, I've extracted the home runs and the time they were hit. I then used the KMSP ASOS (Airport) weather station archived obs to find the weather conditions closest to the time of the HR.


This is a really interesting approach. I like where you are going with it. Plus having the data to back up a claim is much better than guessing.

One thing I would be worried about would be a 'downtown effect' where the buildings create a tunnel for the wind that is a different direction than out at the airport. Do you think that is possible?

#29 UCLA_YANKEE_COLA

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:54 PM

The wind patterns downtown are crazy. I work on 6th & Nicollet and it will be a 20 mph wind on 6th but when I get home it's a light breeze. I like the approach of the weather research but it seems to me it would need to reference downtown wind, which might not be possible.

#30 tobynotjason

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:07 PM

FWIW: I'm pretty sure Hit Tracker does "true landing spots" which include temperature, wind, etc. As for the gnashing of teeth, grating hyperbole and calls for the fences to be moved: there was a series of studies on park factors (same guy on BTBS and Fangraphs) that found that you always would rather have a pitcher's park than a hitter's park, long term. Park effects cut both ways on a per game basis, but if your team is throwing half its innings in a place that suppresses run scoring, your pitchers consequently face fewer hitters on average and the "good end" of your bullpen therefore stays fresher, which is a good thing if you're interested in making the playoffs.

#31 Ben Collin

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

Yes the downtown will have an impact on the wind flow but you also have to remember that wind might not be representative of the air that is flowing at a higher elevation over the top of the stadium. The funneling of air was exactly what I was talking about with the plaza. I've noticed games where the LF flags are blowing in but the plaza flag poles are blowing in as well. This is my fascination with it all. In regard to using the airport and buildings screwing with the wind and perhaps not being representative. It's very possible but it's all we got. I actually emailed the hittracker guy and he does the exact same thing when determining weather variables. Luckily for him, he does it as needed where I've had to dig up old data and do some data mining to get what he used. My data seems to match up with his in terms of wind aided home runs. I really think the height of the walls surrounding most of the ballpark are high enough that the winds up at those levels aren't impacted as much by buiildings. Now it could have the low level winds ramming up against the walls and flowing over but I think the urban area's biggest impact comes from the plaza. Another thing I wonder about is something called rotors with the wind blowing over the stadium and into the park. Think of a pickup truck in a test where they have the smoke blowing over it to show the streamlining of airflow over it. Now look at right behind the cab of the truck and how the air comes rushing down into the bed of the truck. That's another possibility as to why the ball dies at Target Field. The air flows over the top of the ballpark and then subsides somewhere in the park, thus killing the flight of the ball. All theories I have but I'm working on it.

#32 Ben Collin

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

Once I get the 2010 data crunched and see if the results are similar to the 2011 data. I'll post it at my blog. The wind is really the key factor with all of this.

#33 YLT

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:19 PM

"And we need to sign elite free agents"

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that TF isn't what's standing in the way of the Twins signing elite free agents.


I'm going to go ahead and agree with you. Ownership seems to work within a pretty specific budget. When's the last time the Twins signed an "elite free agent"?

#34 davidjcampbell

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:06 AM

All theories I have but I'm working on it.


This is awesome.

#35 FirstBaseman

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:10 PM

A couple guys in the Twins Press Pool have told me that when the stadium was being designed, the architects and team were actually afraid that there were worried that TOO many home runs would be hit in this park, could you believe it? I don't think the stadium was designed to minimize home runs, but they took some steps to keep the number down apparently, just because the thought the ball would be flying out of there. In my opinion, it's the guys who designed the stadium who messed up, but I wonder if the Twins can hold them accountable. They were told this would be a live ball park, but it is anything but that!

#36 Neinstein

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:43 PM

I was wondering why Jamey Carroll was signed so quickly, now I know. :P
"You teach me baseball and I'll teach you relativity. No, we must not. You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball." ​Albert Einstein



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