Ever since the Rangers decided to open up the seats behind home plate and create the plaza on the lower deck with open air to the outside, the Rangers' offense has been less reliant on the long ball.
The general thought is that the Rangers' offense has just changed and become less powerful, but that's not the case according to one of the Rangers' biggest nemeses in the game.
Former A's slugger Josh Donaldson, who's now one of the league's leaders in home runs and a leading MVP candidate for Toronto, confirmed the idea on Monday that Globe Life Park is no longer the hitting paradise it used to be back in the days of the Rangers going to consecutive World Series in 2010 and 2011.
“I remember seeing Michael Young hit balls into the bullpen,” Donaldson told the Star-Telegram. “I’m not here bashing Michael Young by any means, but I remember last year I absolutely bolted a ball and it barely went out. I was like, ‘I don’t think Michael Young has more juice than me.’ “
He's definitely right about that.
Donaldson contended that the park itself is not hitter-friendly with a vast outfield, but the jet stream and swirling winds that used to be created by the closed section behind home plate would make up for it. That's simply not the case anymore.
“I certainly don’t think of it as a hitter’s park," Donaldson said. "The park itself is huge. The dimensions are bigger than the majority of the major leagues, and whatever that [change] was, they completely took away the jet stream to right-center.”
It says something that, as good of a year as Prince Fielder is having this season, he had the seventh most home runs of the eight contestants in Monday's Home Run Derby, and that might be a big reason why.