The inaugural regular season for the newly named American Family Field has come to a close, and boy was it a memorable one.
So now that they’ve hosted all 81 games they had on the docket, it’s time to go through the numbers.
Miller Park vs AmFam
Before the season started I wrote about the final numbers put up in the stadium when it was known as Miller Park. Even though the changes that were made were only off the field, there is a difference in the splits that I find interesting.
The basis of my preseason article was how people considered Miller Park a lefty-friendly park even though most listings of the fence distances have it as being a fairly parallel park.
However, as you go through the numbers, it did seem to be kind to left-handed hitters. I ended it by joking that you shouldn’t call American Family Field a lefty-friendly park yet.
But I was right.
Now I know one season is a small sample size compared. I’m aware the variables that induced the change are fairly obvious. But holy smokes AmFam put up some radically different numbers than Miller Park.
Here are two left-handed slashlines:
- Miller Park: .257/.336/.433/.769
- AmFam: .223/.314/.356/.670
Left-handed hitters’ OPS was a whopping 99 points lower than it was in the Miller Park years. For comparison, that’s about the difference between the 102-54 San Francisco Giants’ OPS (.772) and the 58-98 Pittsburgh Pirates’ OPS (.670).
The reason for the massive drop in the single-season sample size is of course mostly due to the fact that the Brewers ran out a historic starting rotation with two award winners in the back end. Then combine that with the fact that the best OPS by a left-handed Brewer at AmFam was Kolton Wong’s .786 and of course this year would be an outlier.
Consider these right-handed slashlines:
- Miller Park: .251/317/.416/.733
- AmFam: .224/.307/.390/.697
Now while the overall numbers for righties went down after the name change, the 36 point drop pales in comparison to the 99 point drop. It also seemed to yield better results overall for righties, posting a much higher slugging percentage leading to a higher OPS.
Take a look at these overall slashlines:
- Miller Park: .254/.325/.422/.747
- AmFam: .223/.310/.375/.685
The .223 batting average is currently tied with Dodger Stadium for lowest in the league while the .685 OPS ranks 26th in the league. Miller Park’s .747 OPS, however, ranked 14th from 2001-2020. The 62 point drop in OPS is the largest drop from any of the 30 current stadiums when comparing their 2001-2020 numbers to what happened in 2021.
The batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS posted at AmFam Field were lower than they ever were at Miller Park. Only 2014 saw a lower on-base percentage at .308. While the on-base percentage was down, the walks were up. Only in 2009 did Miller Park see more walks in a season with 607 compared to AmFam’s 603. The 92 free rides via hit-by-pitch dwarf Miller Park’s record of 72 set in 2006.
Discounting the shortened 2020 season, American Family Field recorded fewer at-bats, hits, doubles, and total bases than any season at Miller Park. The 1557 strikeouts, however, fell just 38 shy of the record set in 2019. As it stands right now it has seen more strikeouts than any other stadium this season. It’s seven strikeouts ahead of Tropicana Field, which is also done for the regular season. It’s also good for 10th most all-time, but falling well short of Dodger Stadium’s record of 1892 strikeouts in 1964.
While it may always be Miller Park to some, the first season as American Family Field was a historic one that truly separated itself from what we had seen here before.
Welcome to American Family Field, a pitcher’s park.