The Guardians Renovated Their Stadium and Now Every Fly Ball to Right Field is a Home Run

Cleveland Guardians, Progressive Field
Evan Petzold / USA TODAY NETWORKCredit: Evan Petzold / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Minnesota Twins know all about dealing with offseason renovations and alterations to their home stadium. Since it opened in 2010, Target Field seems to go through noticeable changes each and every year.

Most recently, we’ve seen huge scoreboard renovations that were team-initiated, along with a monstrous skyscraper just across the street that was not. In the past, we’ve seen trees go up and down in centerfield and batters eye changes on an almost yearly basis.

Cleveland Guardians’ success assisted by removal of right field shipping containers?

But none of those stadium renovations have ever resulted in what is happening over at Progressive Field for the 2024 Cleveland Guardians. During this last offseason, there were massive shipping containers removed from the upper deck in right field at the Guardians home stadium.

So, instead of massive walls up in right field, blocking the jet stream that often blows that way, anytime there is wind in Cleveland, the air now flows freely. Like… very freely. Watch this video. Some of the facts laid out are listed below, along with a transcript from the beginning.

“The Guardians removed these [shipping containers] from their stadium, which may have created a wind tunnel in their stadium, which might be making it a lot easier for players to hit home runs. And all of a sudden, they’re hitting more home runs than ever.

[David Fry hit a ball that] only had a 10% chance of a hit and ended up being a homer somehow, and the pitcher couldn’t believe it. Jose Ramirez hit this homer in May. Last season, Max Muncy hit a ball 2.6 mph harder, with the same launch angle and the ball went 31 feet shorter.

Balls are flying out to right field in Cleveland. This podcaster first theorized in April that when the Guardians removed these shipping containers from right field, the wind stopped bouncing off thee containers and back toward the field. Instead, the wind was now flowing through the stadium, making fly balls go significantly further every time they’re hit to right.”

Related: Minnesota Twins Pitching Prospect Moves into MLB Top 100

Since those shipping containers were removed from Progressive Field, the below has become true (according to the video):

  • In 2023, Progressive Field allowed the fewest HRs of any stadium in the MLB (1.58 per game)
    • In 2024, it ranks 15th in home runs allowed (2.3 per game)
  • There have been 40 MLB homers this season with an expected batting average of .200 or less
    • Progressive Field owns 10 of them
    • No other stadium in the MLB has more than 4
  • SS Tyler Freeman hit a HR to RF earlier this season that had an exit velocity of only 89 MPH and launch angle of 33 degrees
    • No ball in statcast era history has been hit that soft and that high, and gone over the fence
    • It had a 3% chance of being a hit
  • This time last year, the Guardians ranked last in the MLB in home runs
    • This year, they rank 10th

So, we no longer have to wonder why the Cleveland Guardians are having such a huge season, especially on offense. They know that, when the wind is blowing the right way in Progressive Field this season, all they have to do is push something up into that wind tunnel and it flys out of the ballpark.

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