Panoramic photo of AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. Home of the San Francisco Giants. 

Image Credit: Eric Heath (CC BY 2.0)

If you're an avid baseball fan like we are, you're fascinated by the different dimensions of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. No two stadiums in Major League Baseball are alike, however, there are certain stadiums that favor a pitcher while others favor the hitter.

You will often hear baseball analysts use the term "Pitcher-Friendly" and "Hitter-Friendly" when referring to certain ballparks. There are many factors that will characterize a ballpark as a pitcher's ballpark or a hitter's ballpark and they are as follows.

Height of Outfield Fences

The higher the fence, the greater the difficulty for a player to hit a home run. Take for example, the Green Monster in Boston's Fenway Park. While it is only 310 feet from home plate it towers at 36 feet high. Many hits from right-handed hitters will rarely clear the wall. But in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, the right field walls are only eight feet high and some major league walls are even smaller.


Depth of Outfield

This is the most obvious factor in determining the difficulty of hitting a home run. How often do you see home runs hit in center field at Minute Maid Park in Houston (436 feet)? Or how about left-center field at AT&T Park in San Francisco? Not very often. The depth of most MLB stadiums' home run territory will range from 350 to 380 feet depending on location. The all around deepest field in Major League Baseball is Petco Park in San Diego, California.


Indoor Venue/Climate

With the thin and dry air in Denver and Phoenix, both the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks use humidors for their baseballs. Statistics have shown that the baseball humidor has lowered the amount of home runs significantly at these stadiums, thus, leveling the overall playing field. Additionally, some ballparks are located next to bodies of water that produce strong breezes and gusts that could help the ball travel further or lesser. Both PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati have a reputation for effecting the flight of the baseball.


Size of 'Foul Areas'

You will notice the difference in size of foul areas on television. Look at how small the foul ball territories are at the older ballparks such as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Target Field is a new ballpark with a tiny foul zone. Oakland Coliseum, the home of the A's, has a large foul area. When stadiums have large foul areas, the games move quicker, less pitches are thrown and hitters get less at-bats because the defense has more of an area to make plays.


Height of Mound

A higher pitching mound allows a pitcher to put more downward velocity on the baseball. Teams that maintain pitching as their forte will often have higher mounds, for example, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger Stadium has the highest pitching mound in the MLB.

So which ballparks are consistently included in Major League Baseball's list of pitcher/hitter-friendly ballparks?


Pitcher-Friendly Ballparks

1. AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants) -  Right-center field at AT&T Park is perhaps the deepest alley and hardest spot to hit a home run in Major League Baseball. This is a pitcher-friendly park that doesn't require the Giants offense to provide a ton of run support.

2. SafeCo Field (Seattle Mariners) - Large outfield with an extra deep center field.

3. Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox) - Straightaway center at Guaranteed Rate Field seems to stretch for miles.

4. Petco Park (San Diego Padres) - The most spacious outfield in Major League Baseball.

5. Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers) - Dodger Stadium's outfield walls are higher than most. Center field is deep and the ballpark averages fewer than two home runs per game nearly every season.


Hitter-Friendly Ballparks

1. Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds) - Great American Ball Park has tiny dimensions all over and the ballpark rests on the banks of the Ohio River. Center field is only 400 feet away from home plate.

2. Coors Field (Colorado Rockies) - Despite having a large outfield and the use of a humidor, home runs still fly out of this ballpark.

3. Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) -The air is dry and humid in Phoenix. Outfield walls are very low, particularly in left and right field.

4. Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees) - Yankee Stadium has short walls in straightaway left and right field.

5. Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies) - Citizens Bank Park has very limited dimensions. The outfield is very plain with the exception of the sharp angle in right field.


Neutral Ballparks

1. Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim Angels) - Angel Stadium has a small bullpen wall in left field but high walls in right center. The outfield fences in the corners are very low.

2. Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs) - Wrigley Field has plain dimensions and average sized walls. The outfield Ivy discourages a lot of players from making plays at the warning track and wall.


Baseball owners have always constructed their ballparks in ways to benefit their best hitters and every ball club is constructed differently. Some benefit lefties while others benefit right-handed batters and switch hitters. Why would two ballparks ever be built alike?


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