PETCO Park is where hitters go to die.
I hate to be so blunt, but you definitely can find a plethora of players and coaches who have a problem with San Diego's home ballpark. It seems Adrian Gonzalez is about the only batter that wasn't bothered by PETCO Park's pitcher-friendly enviornment. Still, he hit .267 in 397 career games at PETCO and that's 26 points below his career batting average (.293).
Even Reds manager Dusty Baker commented this preseason that PETCO Park had a profound impact on Ryan Ludwick's career decline.
"That park will mess with anybody if you're used to doing some trotting (after home runs)," Baker said.
I bring this point up because many Fantasy owners will have eyes for Yonder Alonso and Carlos Quentin this spring. Both players are entering their first year with San Diego and it's going to be interesting to see how they fare at PETCO. But this blog isn't about those two players. I have written my thoughts on both of them in columns this spring. I want to talk about Chase Headley.
Headley has obviously failed to live up to the expectations that followed him as a prospect, but PETCO is to blame for his struggles. There is no denying it. The numbers prove it. Headley is batting .229 with a .319 on-base percentage, .336 slugging percentage and .655 OPS in 290 career home games, as opposed to being a .303 hitter with a .364 OBP, .441 slugging percentage and .805 OPS in 265 road games. Those numbers are so much closer to his career splits in the minors -- .301/.399/.500/.899
I want to alert Fantasy owners to Headley's situation because there is a chance he could end up with another team in 2012 with prospects Jedd Gyorko and James Darnell pushing for playing time in the majors. If that happens, then I would fully endorse Headley to any Fantasy owner. However, as long as he remains with the Padres, then it could be another trying season for the 27-year-old infielder.