Will Marlins CEO Derek Jeter bring the fences in at Marlins Park for next season?
Could more changes be in store for Marlins Park next season? Would Derek Jeter consider moving the outfield dimensions around to give his team a better chance at hitting a few balls into the bleachers? It was a question brought up this past week by the media that the Marlins CEO of the franchise did not dismiss.
"“I don’t want to start talking about things until we make a decision that that’s what we’re going to do,” Jeter said via MLB.com. “One of the things I’ve said is I don’t want to make any promises we can’t keep. If we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it.”"
The move would certainly help the home team. Miami has a paltry 100 home runs to their credit this season as of Friday night, which is last in the Majors. Fifty of those dingers have come at home. Despite the balance in hitting the longball, Jeter and the front office would love to see a distinct advantage to playing home games in front of larger crowds.
While there are plenty of reasons why the Marlins have had issues attracting fans to the stadium, hitting home runs at a greater rate could help rejuvenate the fan base.
"Per Joe Frisaro, “Since Marlins Park opened in 2012, there have been 459 home runs hit there. Only Oracle Park in San Francisco (392) has fewer in that span.”"
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That isn’t something to be proud of. The prospects in the minors give the front office hope for the future in terms of power. But if the team wants to make a statement hitting home runs next season or in 2021, it might be best served through free agency or a move to bring the fences in.
"As Frisaro added, “Marlins Park has already moved in and lowered the fences in some areas in 2016. From 2012-15, the walls were set from 344 feet down the line in left to 386 in left-center; 418 in dead center; 392 in right-center and 335 down the line in right.“The height of the walls ranged from 11 1/2 to 13 feet.”"
When Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Justin Bour were clubbing balls at high rates, the thought of moving the fences wasn’t given a mention that often. Now, the team plays small ball with Don Mattingly asking his players to get key hits and move runners around the bases to manufacture runs.
What hurts Miami this season is the record number of home runs that have been hit across Major League Baseball in 2019.
"“Through the years, Marlins players publicly and privately have noted how their ballpark plays big, and that it doesn’t reward hitters for using the middle of the field,” Frisaro wrote.“According to Statcast, there have been 26 home runs hit to straightaway center at Marlins Park this season, nine of them by the Marlins. The most straightaway homers have been at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (40), followed by Miller Park in Milwaukee (35) and Dodger Stadium (33).”"