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Will Target Field favor hitters or pitchers?

Apr 12, 2010, 8:02 PM EST

During pregame workouts Michael Cuddyer held court with the media here at Target Field and speculated that the Twins’ new ballpark will prove fairly neutral in terms of impacting run scoring.
That’s pretty difficult to tell after one season, let alone one game, but today at least a few well-stuck fly balls died in the gaps–especially to left and left-center–and the wind seemingly didn’t aid much of anything.
“It played pretty fair today,” manager Ron Gardenhire noted afterward while adding that the ball seemed to travel much better during this afternoon’s batting practice and the Twins’ two exhibition games against the Cardinals. “Some days the ball is really flying.”
Early on the Metrodome earned the “Homer Dome” nickname, but in recent years it actually suppressed power and perhaps played as much into the Twins’ organizational philosophies as the turf did. This year’s Twins lineup has tons of power, but for the most part having a ballpark that favored pitching and suppressed power–or was at least neutral–would likely be good news.
In addition to preferring good athletes with line-drive swings for position players, under pitching coach Rick Anderson the Twins have typically had a strike-throwing, fly-ball dominant staff. The dimensions here at Target Field lean slightly toward hitter-friendly, but there are no real quirks in the design aside from an overhang in right field and, for one game at least, the wind was on the pitchers’ side.

  1. Patrick - Apr 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    During the two games vs. St. Louis, the ball was jumping to left, but anything hit from RCF to straightaway RF was dying. That opening from the plaza could form something of a wind tunnel. Again, sample size noted and all that.

  2. Fred - Apr 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Harmon Killebrew, in an in game interview, commented that he thought Target Field would play similarly to Metropolitan Stadium. In the spring it would favor pitchers, but in the summer the winds would carry the balls out. Let’s give it a full season and see what happens.

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