FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. Deeply awesome, David. Very clear graphs. Question: why do the circle sizes change?

    Comment by Dave Studeman — June 11, 2010 @ 7:07 am

  2. Any way to tweak the categories? For example:

    Ball
    Called Strike
    Swinging Strike
    Foul
    Ball in Play

    Comment by Ben H — June 11, 2010 @ 7:28 am

  3. I think the circle outlines make it a little confusing and I agree with Ben above that there probably should be more categories. My suggestion would be to do this:

    Colors = pitch type
    Shapes = pitch outcome

    For pitch outcomes I would use swinging strikes, called strikes, called balls, fouls, in play hits, in play outs. So a slider that was taken for a ball would be a yellow square, and a changeup that was hit for a double would be a green circle (or whatever).

    I echo Dave above though. These are excellent, much better than the Brooks graphs which use tiny and indiscriminate dots for the pitches.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — June 11, 2010 @ 7:44 am

  4. The captions need work on spelling “distance” correctly though! They look great otherwise.

    Comment by Detroit Michael — June 11, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  5. I had the same question as studes. More than one point on top of each other?

    I’d also love to have this accessible for an entire season, rather than just game by game.

    Great addition!
    -j

    Comment by jinaz — June 11, 2010 @ 9:06 am

  6. I just made the hit circles a little bit bigger because I didn’t think they were all that visible. In terms of more than one point being on top of each other, not sure what I can do about that. I think occasionally there will be pitches with very similar coordinates.

    Entire season graphs are coming soon!

    Comment by David Appelman — June 11, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  7. The captions on the actual charts are fixed, just need to clear the cache on my end. Though, I probably won’t bother fixing this particular graph in the post.

    Comment by David Appelman — June 11, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  8. I’ll admit I’m a little concerned about information overload, but I’ll mock some up and see how they come out.

    Comment by David Appelman — June 11, 2010 @ 9:49 am

  9. Look great David!

    Comment by Dave Allen — June 11, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  10. Fantastic stuff. Keep up the great work guys!

    Comment by 3FingersBrown — June 11, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  11. These are great. One question though: Could the x- and y-axis scaling be changed so that they are the same? At the moment, the horizontal axis is expanded relative to the vertical axis, which (IMO) makes the graphs a bit harder to interpret in terms of what a batter “really” saw.

    Comment by wayne — June 11, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  12. I’m with you on info overload, David. Keeping these simple is a good way to go. There is already a lot of information packed in there.

    Comment by Dave Studeman — June 11, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  13. Maybe I’m missing something, but you seem to have “inside” and “outside” set at 1 foot away from the center of the plate. The plate is 17 inches wide, so wouldn’t 8.5 inches from center be the relevant distance?

    Comment by Lucas — June 11, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  14. Well I think there is a balance. When I did individual game Pitch f/x analysis at Driveline Mechanics I used to have two charts. 1 was location by pitch type, the other was location by pitch outcome. It was pretty easy to mix and match the charts, but I figure it might be better to include them in one.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — June 11, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  15. Yeah, you’d think so. But it’s more complicated than that. A strike is called if any part of the ball crosses over any part of the plate, which effectively makes the plate wider by (almost) the width of a baseball on either side, or just under 20 inches (1.66 feet). But beyond that, the eye of the umpire and convention comes into play. So regardless of what the theoretical dimensions are supposed to be, the effective width of the strikezone is the region where a thrown pitch is at least 50% likely to be called a strike, right? And when researchers have looked at a large sample of pitches, they have discovered that this “real” called strike zone is almost exactly two feet wide. (For right handed-batters, it’s 12 inches to each side of the plate; for left -handed batters, it extends even further outside but not quite as far on the inside part of the plate). Here’s one study done by John Walsh in 2007 that shows this; he followed it up with another. There are others, but they all show the same thing: the “real” strike zone is about 12 inches on either side of the plate, so that’s how Brooks and TexasLeaguers and pretty much everybody that uses PitchFX data draws the zone. If you want to take issue with the width of the zone, you need to take it up with the umpires, not with Fangraphs

    Comment by joser — June 11, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  16. Thanks. I thought there might be some explanation like that.

    Comment by Lucas — June 11, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

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