Our Best of the Ballparks 2020 fan vote continues today with the launch of the High-A competition, as we ask for your favorites in the California, Carolina and Florida State League facilities.
This is a hard bracket, as it combines Florida spring-training ballparks with more modest community ballparks. In general, the spring-training ballparks will be more expensive to build and have a higher level of amenities than a smaller facility in the Carolina or California League. We’ve done our best to level the playing field in our rankings.
Since the voting began in 2015, four different ballparks have snared the High-A honors: Wilmington’s Frawley Stadium (2015), Winston-Salem’s BB&T Ballpark (2016), Lakeland’s Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (2017) and Bradenton’s LECOM Park (2018 and 2019).
We know from marketing stats a third of our readers work in the baseball industry, so we’re tapping into that collective expertise. And we know from our research that a third of our readers sell to the baseball industry, so that expertise will be valuable as well. The remaining third–fans, media, government–will certainly have a different view on things as well. We can’t wait to see what our readers–whom we consider to be the smartest folks in baseball–say about the best of the ballparks.
Here’s our ranking of High-A ballparks, combining California League, Carolina League and Florida State League ballparks. As winner of the 2019 Best of the Ballparks fan vote for High-A ballparks, LECOM Park is placed as the top seed. There are some changes in the seedings from 2019 to 2020. First, some ballparks are higher in the ratings as the result of a strong showing in the 2019 voting: we trust the judgment of our readers. Second, there are some higher rankings thanks to upgrades happening in the offseason: both TD Bank Ballpark and Clover Park underwent drastic changes between 2019 and 2020. Third, we have new ballparks in this list, as CoolToday Park, the spring home of the Atlanta Braves, is now hosting the Florida Fire Frogs, while the Potomac Nationals are moving to a new Fredericksburg ballpark and rebranded as the Fredericksburg Nationals. Because we’ve not yet visited the new Fredericksburg ballpark, we’ve placed it in a modest spot in these rankings; we surely will revisit this rank after a visit for a game. These rankings are a gentle guide, to be sure.
- LECOM Park (Bradenton Marauders; FSL)
- Segra Stadium (Fayetteville Woodpeckers; CarL)
- Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium (Lakeland Flying Tigers; FSL)
- BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem Dash; CarL)
- Hammond Stadium (Fort Myers Miracle; FSL)
- George M. Steinbrenner Field (Tampa Tarpons; FSL)
- TD Ballpark (Dunedin Blue Jays; FSL)
- Clover Park (St. Lucie Mets; FSL)
- Frawley Stadium (Wilmington Blue Rocks; CarL)
- CoolToday Park (Florida Fire Frogs; FSL)
- Spectrum Field (Clearwater Threshers; FSL)
- Banner Island Ballpark (Stockton Ports; CalL)
- Ticketreturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark (Myrtle Beach Pelicans; CarL)
- New Fredericksburg Ballpark (Fredericksburg Nationals; CarL)
- Jackie Robinson Ballpark (Daytona Tortugas; FSL)
- Loanmart Field (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; CalL)
- Charlotte Sports Park (Charlotte Stone Crabs; FSL)
- Rawhide Ballpark (Visalia Rawhide; CalL)
- Salem Memorial Ballpark (Salem Red Sox; CarL)
- Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals; FSL)
- John Thurman Field (Modesto Nuts; CalL)
- The Hangar (Lancaster Jethawks; CalL)
- The Diamond (Lake Elsinore Storm; CalL)
- Five County Stadium (Carolina Mudcats; CarL)
- Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick Keys; CarL)
- Excite Ballpark (San Jose Giants; CalL)
- San Manuel Stadium (Inland Empire 66ers; CalL)
- Grainger Stadium (Down East Wood Ducks; CarL)
- City Stadium (Lynchburg Hillcats; CarL)
Note that only 29 ballparks are on the list, as Jupiter and Palm Beach share Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
Editor’s note: There was a data glitch with the software used to run this contest. The displays here were reset, but the vote records through 5/30 were saved and will be reflected in the final results.
We are running the contest with seeded brackets, so there will be plenty of action in coming days. Here’s our schedule for the Best of the Ballparks 2020 High-A vote:
First Round: May 29-June 3, 3 p.m. Central
Second Round: June 3 through June 8, 3 p.m. Central
Third Round: June 8, 3 p.m. Central through June 12, 3 p.m. Central
Semifinals Round: June 12, 3 p.m. Central through June 17, 3 p.m. Central
Finals: June 17, 3 p.m. Central through end of day, June 22
Here’s our schedule for Best of the Ballparks 2020 vote:
Low A: Now-June 19
High A: Now-June 22
Class AA: June 16-July 8
Class AAA: June 18-July 10
Short Season A/Rookie: TBD
Summer Collegiate: TBD
Some things to note. First, you are allowed to vote multiple times, but you can only vote once per day. Second, you don’t need to fill out a full slate: partially filled lineups will count. A running tally of the vote will be presented. Signing up for the Ballpark Digest newsletter means you’ll receive regular updates on the votes.
RELATED STORIES: Voting begins in Best of the Ballparks 2020, Low-A ballparks