Petco Park: The Effect Of Moving In The Fences

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

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Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in.  He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year - absolutely abysmal power from the First Baseman Position.

Yonder Alonso will be one of the benefactors for Petco Park once the fences are brought in. He only hit 3 HRs in 261 AB in SD last year – absolutely abysmal power numbers from the First Baseman Position.

Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

By altering the dimensions of Petco Park, the Padres could be playing a very different brand of baseball in these coming years. Long thought of as one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball, Petco Park might have a new identity in the future. Due to their decision to move the fences in, the Padres will have to build their team in a different way. For players like Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko, the new dimensions could be extremely beneficial to their success at the plate. However, for pitchers like Edinson Volquez and Eric Stults, they are going to have to learn to keep the ball on the ground more in 2013.

Petco Park As A San Diego Attraction:

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 - with a 3 Slash Line of - .272/.357/.812.  He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI.  He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in

Chase Headley actually fared well at Petco Park in 2012 – with a 3 Slash Line of – .272/.357/.812. He added 13 HRs and 51 RBI. He could potentially hit a few more out with the fences drawn in.

The new dimensions at Petco Park are drastically different from the old. In Right Field, the wall is moving in 11 Feet. In Right-Center and left-center, the walls will be moved in 12 Feet. Also, the visiting bullpen down the Right Fieldline is being relocated to Center Field behind the home bullpen. Padres president Tom Garfinkel told ESPN, “Players know what’s fair and what’s not. When they crush a ball that would be out in 29 other parks, and it’s not out here, they know that it’s not fair. We wanted to make it more fair from that standpoint.” This is the way a lot of baseball feels about extreme pitcher’s parks, so not too many people seemed unhappy with the Padres decision.

Just looking at Yonder Alonso’s 2012 hit chart, if he had played at Petco with its new dimensions, he could have had anywhere from 6-8 more Home Runs in 2012. For someone who only hit nine all season, that makes a pretty big difference. The fantasy baseball implications of the Petco Park dimension change are enormous. Now, Chase Headley looks a lot more likely to repeat his tremendous 2012 season and Cameron Maybin looks like a good bet to break 10 HRs in 2013, something he’s never done before in his Major League career.  I wouldn’t be surprised if more Padres pitchers started throwing more sinkers and trying to keep the ball down more because of the new fences.  Overall, statistics for Padres hitters and pitchers are going to change greatly over the next couple years.

San Diego is no longer going to have a ballpark where hitters find it nearly impossible to hit it out. With these changes, Petco Park will become more of a fair environment for hitters and pitchers. Not to mention, it should be easier for the Padres to draw Free Agent sluggers in the future. Even though teams have proven that it is possible to be very successful playing in a pitcher’s park, the Padres organization realized it wasn’t going to work for them. It will be extremely intriguing to see what kind of effect the new dimensions has on the Padres next season.

With key players in the lineup like: Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley, plus the fences being closer, suddenly playing in San Diego doesn't look half bad.

With key offensive  players in the lineup like: Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley, plus the fences being closer, suddenly playing in San Diego doesn’t look half bad.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Sam Evans.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Sam on Twitter 

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About samevans87

I love writing, talking, watching, and playing baseball. I am a baseball writer for MLB Reports and Fish Stripes. "No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." -Paul Gallic

Posted on January 20, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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