MGM Park: Hitter's haven or pitcher's palace?

MGM Park: Hitter's haven or pitcher's palace?

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Right-handed hitters might enjoy MGM Park a little more than left-handed batters.

The new home of the Biloxi Shuckers is set to open this weekend when the Milwaukee Brewers' Double-A affiliate hosts the Mobile BayBears in front of an expected sellout crowd.

MGM Park's dimensions include 325 feet down the lines in left and right field, 400 feet to center and 350 feet to the left-center and right-center gaps.

All ballparks receive labels of being either a hitter's or a pitcher's park from the players that play in them. Shuckers co-owner Tim Bennett says he wouldn't be surprised if it's a split decision regarding the city of Biloxi's pro baseball ballpark and its ability to produce, or hinder, home runs. That's because on most south Mississippi days, the wind will be blowing in from the south or southeast via the Gulf of Mexico, which is on the right field side of the ballpark.

As a result, left-handed batters, who are more likely to pull the ball to right field, might see their home run numbers take a hit.

"We feel like going down the left field line, it'll be easier going out," Bennett said. "But that same wind will knock it down if you hit it down the (right) field line. There are some pros and cons that'll make the game very interesting."

Through June 2nd, Shuckers left-handed hitting first baseman Nick Ramirez leads the team with seven home runs. Right-handed batters Michael Reed and Orlando Arcia are right behind him with four and three home runs, respectively.

"Ramirez's reaction to seeing the field was a little mixed but Arcia's reaction was all smiles," Bennett said. "Our hitting coach [Sandy Guerrero] loved it. He knows our guys are going to acclimate themselves to hitting in this ballpark more than the visiting teams will."

The Shuckers will host the BayBears Sat., June 6, in the first-ever game at MGM Park. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

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