Normandin on Burrell Switching Leagues

Pat Burrell, also switched leagues, but unlike the others in today's article, he's moved on to the American League, and out of a severe hitter's park into one that fits more into the neutral/pitcher-friendly category. Burrell lives on his patience and his pull power; 11 of his 12 round-trippers at home last year were pulled. Moving to Tampa Bay will restrict some of that pull power, as it is one of the worst parks in the league for right-handed power hitters—notice that Tampa Bay has constructed a lineup where half or more of the starters are left-handed or switch-hitters. If those 12 home runs at Citizen's Bank Park seemed low to you, it's because they were. Burrell hit 21 homers on the road, with an impressive .270/.387/.577 line, and strangely enough, he hit just .230/.348/.439 at home. That's not to say that getting out of Philadelphia is going to be good for his home numbers, but rather that the move to Tampa Bay won't necessarily hurt him all that much; if he hits exactly like he did last year overall, he's going to have immense value both to your team and to the Rays. Keep in mind that his home/road splits from 2008 are the polar opposite of 2007's numbers, and it's hard to put much stock into single-season splits. He should be better than he was at home last year, and even if he's not as good on the road, he shouldn't be significantly worse; there are parks that boost right-handers' numbers all over the AL as well—in Chicago, in Baltimore, in Texas—and he's going into a lineup that may be one of the best in the league this season thanks to another year of development and improved health.