The Marlins finally have their new park, and now comes the hard part: filling the seats. No, that’s for them to worry about. Our difficult project of the day is attempting to project Mike Stanton’s power in that new park.
A caveat first. Stanton has gobs of raw power and can get it out of any park in the league. But we may find a surpise, too. It doesn’t look like the new park will produce the second 50-homer season in the league since 2006, at least not without a power surge from the player. Let’s look at the numbers and then a picture to clarify.
First, let’s clear up a misconception. Sun Life stadium was not a great pitcher’s park. It’s probably much closer to average than you might think. By Statcorner.com, it plays exactly neutral for lefties and augments righty offense (by wOBA) by one percent. It does suppress righty home runs by 5% (in return it encourages righty doubles by 5% and triples by 33%). If you hit it far enough in Florida, it might be a triple and not a home run — but this is fantasy and the home run is everything.
With the same heat and sea level, and about the same humidity, the new park should play similarly to the old one in those terms. That means the dimensions are tantamount. Look at the dimensions and a pattern begins to emerge:
|Sun Life||New Park|
|Left||330 ft||340 ft|
|Left-Center||361 ft||384 ft|
|Center||404 ft||420 ft|
|Right-Center||361 ft||392 ft|
|Right||345 ft||335 ft|
That’s right, the new park is bigger in every direction but down the right field line. Are fantasy players licking their chops a bit too greedily in preparation for next year’s drafts? After all, Stanton has contact problems that led to a low batting average despite a normal BABIP, and those don’t seem likely to go away. That low average led to only about a $14.50 value according to Zach Sanders’ value spreadsheet, and now his new home park is bigger than his old one.
We can be forgiven for being excited, though. Stanton’s ISO at home (450+ PAS) is .231. Away from home (520+ PAs), that zooms to .290. If the park plays better, there really could be some gravy trains departing south Florida next year.
Let’s try to overlay the images of the new park on top of Stanton’s spray charts for last year. That’s a Fox Sports hit chart on top of a Hit Tracker stadium outline (to line them up) with a new ballpark seating chart laid on top of them. Hint: the one with the wave in the outfield wall is the new park. Also: check out that one home run way out there.
Here’s the thing. Stanton will probably hit a bunch of home runs next year. But this picture should make it clear that the new ballpark is not going to be a big boost. In fact, since Stanton is a pull power hitter, and this ballpark is bigger to left-center, it may turn a few homers into doubles and triples. Be bullish about Stanton’s power because he’s a monster and only turning 22 in a week. Don’t be bullish about Stanton because he’s moving parks. Even the owner proudly declared it a pitcher’s park.
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.