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Rockies to install Coors Field-like humidor at Triple-A

Sep 15, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

Humidor balls

Coors Field has become somewhat less of a hitter’s paradise since the Rockies began storing baseballs in a humidor and Dave Krieger of the Denver Post reports that they hope to deflate the ridiculous offensive numbers being posted at Triple-A by doing the same in Colorado Springs.

In general the Pacific Coast League is very hitter-friendly, but Colorado Springs takes that to an extreme. Security Service Field is 6,531 feet above sea level, which is the highest elevation of any ballpark in professional baseball, and this season the pitching staff there had a combined 6.41 ERA.

It’s nearly impossible to develop pitching prospects in that environment and even getting an accurate sense of hitting prospects’ abilities is difficult. Former first-round pick Greg Reynolds, who spent most of the season at Triple-A, told Krieger that “the ball doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to do there” and “without even knowing it, you’re trying to do something a little different just to make the ball do what it’s supposed to do.”

In some sense there’s an advantage to be gained in preparing Triple-A prospects to play in the majors’ most hitter-friendly ballpark, but Colorado Springs is still going to be very hitter-friendly with a humidor or not and deflating the numbers a bit should help the pitchers focus more on development rather than simply not getting their brains bashed in.

  1. mjay424 - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    The Rockies must love the proximity of Colorado Springs as a Triple-A affiliate but there would be no crime in breaking off that relationship and finding one in another city, minus ridiculous altitude.

    In all fairness to Colorado Springs, the issue this season with the pitchers is not altitude but talent. I doubt that roster of arms would improve much elsewhere, even Greg Reynolds, once the no. 2 overall pick in the draft.

    The offensive numbers are skewed and does create false expectations on players once they graduate to the major leagues.

    The Rockies should thoroughly investigate and seriously consider another Triple-A relationship in another city despite the inevitable protests from Colorado Springs.

    Colorado Rockies Prospects Report (google)
    Colorado Rockies Analyst (google)

  2. cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Start of the season we had a little back on forth on if this humidor was going have an affect. Looks like we can put that one to rest now.

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