Will The New Target Field Be A Hitter's Paradise?

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Will The New Target Field Be A Hitter's Paradise??

The Minnesota Twins will be playing in a new ballpark in 2010 called Target Field (time to short Target stock?). Target Field will be an outdoor stadium so one would think that the ballpark will be tough on hitters in the early months of the season.

Ron Shandler's BaseballHQ wrote a preview of Target Field recently and here are a few important points:

 In the Metrodome, the temperature was always 68-70 degrees, and there was never any wind. Now that the Twins are moving outside, there's weather to deal with.

Month      high/low   wind speed         wind dir.        day/night games
           =========  ========   ==========   =========  
April          57/36       14 mph           NW                        6/3
May           70/48       11 mph           SE                        6/12
June          79/58       10 mph           SE                        3/9
July           83/63       10 mph            S                         3/10
August       80/61       10 mph            S                         3/8
Sept          71/51       11 mph            S                         5/10
October      58/39       13 mph          NW                        1/2
-------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     *TOT: 29/52

And this about how the winds may affect flyballs:

In terms of power, Target Field is difficult to project, but generally colder weather should result in an environment that suppresses home runs. At the same time, during the warmer summer months, the prevailing winds should aid flyballs, and Minneapolis is one of the windiest cities in America.

They go into some detail about the GB/FB tendencies for the Twins hitters and pitchers, and arrive at the conclusion that tha park will be pitcher-friendly. But based on the wind patterns, I could see it being a hitters park, especially when you consider this comment in the middle of the article:

As for wind direction, a batter at home plate pointing towards center field is pointing to the northwest. Therefore, southerly winds (winds originating from the south) will aid flyballs, and northerly winds will hinder them.

Based on the above chart, it appears that flyballs will benefit from the wind patterns for most of the season. Something to consider if Joe Mauer is available late in the first round or early second round in your upcoming drafts.

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