Eno Sarris and David Laurila of FanGraphs spoke to a handful of players and coaches about the differences in playing left field versus right field. Both outfield corners, some think they would play similarly, but as the quotes illustrate, there is a lot of nuance.
To me, the most interesting observation was made by Athletics outfielder Chris Coghlan:
“In right field, third base and everything is in front of you. Everything you’re going to get, the play is in front of you. When I’m in left, it’s harder to see where the runner is at and you have to go at how fast you think he is mentally. You have to guess out of the box, and be a play ahead. If Albert Pujols hits one to my right in left field, I still have a chance to get him, where if Mike Trout does it…”
Coghlan also mentioned that some stadiums are tougher in right field than in left, or vice versa. He says left field at Fenway Park is easy, as you just need to learn how to play caroms off of the Green Monster. Wrigley Field is difficult in right field during day games because the sun is always in your eyes and it’s 350 feet down the line.
Good stuff by Sarris and Laurila. Check out their article for all of the quotes.