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Left Out: Brooklyn’s Home Park Is Notoriously Tough On Lefthanded Power — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Left Out: Brooklyn's Home Park Is Notoriously Tough On Lefthanded Power — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

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Ryan Clifford (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Ordinarily, a .216 batting average with one home run in 31 games is not the type of production seen as worthy of a promotion.

But Mets prospect Ryan Clifford did not play in ordinary conditions at High-A Brooklyn.

The Cyclones’ Maimonides Park is the toughest park for lefthanded power in the full-season minor leagues. And Clifford is a lefthanded power hitter.

Since Brooklyn joined the South Atlantic League in the reorganized minor leagues in 2021, a total of just 20 home runs have been hit by Cyclones lefthanded batters in home games. 

That is the lowest total of home runs by lefthanded batters in home games for any full-season minor league team in the same period. The next-lowest total for a fellow High-A team is 33 by Tri-City, an Angels affiliate in the Northwest League.

Clifford joined the Mets at the 2023 trade deadline when the Astros traded him and Drew Gilbert to New York for Justin Verlander

Clifford spent the final month of last season at Brooklyn and opened there this season. The Mets promoted him to Double-A Binghamton on May 14, but not before he logged 63 total games for the Cyclones. In those games he hit .201/.359/.342 with seven home runs, three of them at home. 

Clifford is not the only lefthanded power hitter to run afoul of Maimonides Park. 

Switch-hitting shortstop Ronny Mauricio starred for Brooklyn in 2021. He hit 19 home runs in 100 games for the Cyclones, but just three of those 19 home runs were hit while batting lefthanded in home games. 

Mets first-round picks Ike Davis (zero), Brandon Nimmo (two) and Michael Conforto (two) are three prominent lefthanded hitters who had low home run totals in home games while playing for Brooklyn.

According to Cyclones broadcaster Justin Rocke, the Brooklyn franchise record for home runs by a lefthanded batter in home games is five. Nick Santomauro reached that total in 2009, the year he was the Mets’ 10th-round pick out of Dartmouth. 

Back then, Brooklyn was the Mets’ short-season Class A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. The NYPL played 38 home games, compared with 65 today as a full-season affiliate.

Santomauro reached Low-A the following season, but that’s where his journey in affiliated ball ended. 

But Brooklyn’s Maimonides Park hasn’t stopped tormenting lefthanded power hitters—and it probably never will.

“Maimonides Park is unique…

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