The Braves bested the Mets (ATL 9, NYM 7) on Tuesday in Atlanta thanks in part to Freddie Freeman's 10th home run. He got his team on the board with a first-inning, two-run home run against Matt Harvey.
Here's video of Freeman's latest dinger:
That was far from the only home run hit in the ballgame. Jay Bruce smacked two homers for the Mets, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit one as well. There have been 23 homers hit in nine games played at SunTrust Park this season. That doesn't include the three home runs in an exhibition game at the ballpark before the season.
The ball has been flying out of SunTrust Park, and not just relative to pitcher friendly Turner Field, former home of the Braves. There are more home runs being hit at SunTrust Park than at most other ballparks around the league. Here are some numbers:
Highest AB/HR ratio by park— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 3, 2017
Yankee Stadium 19.42
Like I said, there have been 23 home runs hit in nine games at SunTrust Park. Last season the 23rd home run at Turner Field was not hit until the 17th game at the ballpark. Obviously personnel plays a part in this. Freeman is better than he has ever been right now and the Braves have a full season of Matt Kemp as well. Also, five of the nine games at SunTrust Park have come against the home-run happy Nationals and Mets.
Here's a comparison of the ballpark dimensions at Turner Field and SunTrust Park:
Left field corner
Right field corner
6 feet, 8-feet-8, 16 feet (variable)
SunTrust Park is indeed cozier than Turner Field, especially in the right-center gap. That's huge for left-handed power hitters like Freeman. Shortening up the gap that much will help his numbers considerably.
That 6-foot wall height has already made a difference as well. Jose Reyes was able to golf a ball just over the short wall in left field Monday. Here's the video:
I'm not so sure that ball clears the fence in Turner Field. That looked like a little pop-up off the bat and it managed to sneak over the wall. (On the other hand, the short wall likely means we'll see a few home runs robbed at SunTrust Park as well.)
The data is far from conclusive at this point. Right now all we can do is observe and acknowledge there have been a lot of homers hit at SunTrust Park in the early going, especially relative to Turner Field in previous years. Home run rates tend to tick up in the summer months as the weather warms up, so it's possible SunTrust Park will only get more home run happy from here on out. We just have to wait and see how it plays out.
If that is indeed the case though, that SunTrust Park is a home run park, it'll create a very different dynamic for a Braves franchise whose winning clubs are traditionally built around pitching.