Archive for Site News

2017 FAN Projections!

The 2017 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you really don’t follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, there are 9 categories for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2017, hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything this year is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot too. This will make changing playing time projections much easier as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team, or if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

Fan Projections will show up on the player pages after there have been 5 ballots submitted.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


Introducing Ad Free Membership

Today we’re introducing a new form of FanGraphs Membership: Ad Free Membership. With Ad Free Membership, you become a full-fledged member of the site and you will not see a single third-party advertisement on the FanGraphs website so long as you maintain your membership. The price of Ad Free Membership is $50 per year.

If you are already a FanGraphs Member, you’ll be able to easily upgrade your membership at a pro-rated rate, depending on how much time you have left before your renewal date. Just select the new “Ad Free Yearly Membership” and hit the Sign Up Now button.

To give everyone a sense for what Ad Free Membership looks like, we’re going to put the site into Ad Free mode for all users through Monday. We hope you’ll like what you see. I know for the few of us who have been beta testing the product, we can attest that it really does make a noticeable difference in both the speed and responsiveness of the site.

Let me give you some details on why we’ve decided to do this. Earlier this year we introduced FanGraphs Membership, and we are incredibly thankful for everyone who has decided to become a member thus far! FanGraphs Membership is a way for you to help fund the site’s current operations and its future growth. If you think we’re doing a good job and you’d like to support our efforts, it’s a great way to show your support.

However, even with FanGraphs Membership, the majority of our revenue comes from advertising. Without advertising, there is no way the site could continue to operate. This has become a bit of a double-edged sword for us. As online advertising technology has advanced, it has also become more resource intensive, taking up both processing power and bandwidth. While there are movements within the online advertising industry to combat advertising bloat, we want to give our users a way to avoid ads completely, without cutting off the revenue stream which is essential for FanGraphs to operate. Ad Free Membership does exactly that.

We rely on various advertising networks to provide ads to us, and we do our best to vet all of these networks to make sure they’re not serving intrusive or malicious ads. But, even the most diligent ad networks have intrusive ads that slip through the cracks. Tracking down intrusive ads has more or less become a game of whack-a-mole for us over the past few years. Intrusive ads annoy us just as much as they annoy you, and we are constantly trying to make sure the advertising experience on FanGraphs is acceptable.

We will remain completely committed to having a non-intrusive advertising experience for those who would prefer not to become Ad Free Members.

It would be disingenuous of me to not mention ad-blocking. Ad-blocking is a real problem for us, but we also understand the many reasons people decide to install ad-blockers. If you are using an ad-blocker and you regularly visit FanGraphs, I urge you to become an Ad Free Member. There is now a real option for you that will help us continue to bring you high quality baseball content, without ads.

As we’ve stated before in our previous membership posts, Ad Free Membership, or any type of FanGraphs Membership is not a paywall. Whether you decide to be a member or not, all the content on FanGraphs remains available to you. We are incredibly thankful to the entire FanGraphs community for supporting us over the years and hope that we can continue to earn your support going forward.


Saying Hello

Travis Sawchik has distinguished himself in recent years as one of the sharpest minds in baseball journalism, exhibiting his intelligence not only by way of his work for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review but also with his book Big Data Baseball. He has recently joined FanGraphs. We’re happy to have him.

My wife, two-year-old, and I share the holiday season with our families, alternating Christmas Day between each respective side like a college-football home-and-home series. Christmas was spent with my in-laws in Georgia this year, which meant we visited my parents a week earlier at my childhood home in Concord, Ohio, a suburb east of Cleveland.

There, the unfinished basement remains something of a shrine to the Cleveland Indians, particularly the 1990s-era teams of my youth. There are laminated Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal section fronts documenting postseason triumphs adhered to the cinder-block walls. There are autographed items – including signatures from Ruben Amaro and Jerry Dipoto – and a sequence of photos details the rise of Progressive Field from an old market and warehouse district just south of the city center in the early 1990s. The basement is something of an archaeology of fandom. It’s also the only place Mom would allow for such clutter. Though covering the sport as a member of the press diminishes enthusiasm for any one team, I was raised to be a fan of the sport. I still very much am.

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Splits Leaderboards!

Here it is: the split leaderboards! Now, you can create custom splits using multiple splits, much like you can on the player pages — except now in the form of an entire leaderboard, and accessible directly from the leaderboard menu.

splits-leaderboards-full

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FanGraphs Membership Update

Earlier this year we introduced FanGraphs Membership, a voluntary way to to help support all the baseball content we produce each and every day. As a reminder, Membership is achieved through a $20 annual donation to the site — or $3 per month for those of you who prefer short-term contracts! — and we are greatly appreciative of all those who became members when we rolled out the program back in February.

Since we haven’t really mentioned Membership much since the rollout, we wanted to give you guys an update on the program. Beginning today, frequent users of FanGraphs who are not Members will occasionally be reminded that that becoming a Member will help support all the great baseball content at FanGraphs. These messages won’t be overly intrusive or too frequent, but will serve as a reminder that the content and data you’re consuming costs us real money to provide, and you can help ensure that FanGraphs remains a leader in both spaces by becoming a Member.

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Custom Date Range Added to Splits Tool

A few weeks ago we added a custom splits tool to our player pages. This weekend, we added the ability to select a specific date range. To do this, we added the “Time Frame” control bar, which now contains all date-related splits and controls.

The “Filter” menu is the old “Time Frame” splits menu. This gives you the option to view plate appearances occurring in a month or season half, and the day or night time-of-day split. These are different from a custom date range. Choosing the “May” split in the filter menu will display plate appearances from every May. This would be used for getting career stats in May.

Date Range Splits Tool

To look at splits from a specific date, there’s a drop-down calendar with which you can select the start date and end date. This will limit the splits to those specific days. This can be useful if you want to look at splits after a player returns from an injury, a trade or an adjustment. We’ve also included preset ranges like the last 30 days or the past calendar year.

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New Interactive Splits Tool!

We’ve created an interactive splits tool that allows you to create your own custom reports by combining splits of various metrics. All the splits that FanGraphs hosts are featured here, along with some new ones — including times through the order, outs and day/night.

The controls have three different sections: stats, splits and group by.

Kris Bryant Splits Tool Overview

The “Stats” bar allows you to toggle between the three different groups of stats we currently host on a player’s split page. This isn’t too different from the standard, advanced and batted-ball tabs we feature elsewhere on the site.

The “Splits” bar is the most important control within the splits tool; this is where you can select which splits are applied. When no splits are applied, you’ll get the full season stats. When a split is applied like “vs. LHP,” you’ll get only the plate appearances against a left-handed pitcher. If you add another split like “Groundballs,” you’ll get all ground balls against left-handed pitchers. As you add splits from different categories, you’ll narrow the number of plate appearances.

Kris Bryant Splits Menu

The splits which are applied appear as blue blocks above the table. If you wish to remove a split, either click the “X” on the split or unselect it within its menu.

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FanGraphs Is Expanding Its Social Media Presence

Please welcome Michelle Jay to FanGraphs. You’ll generally find Michelle behind any type of camera lens or social media app. No matter which hat she is wearing at a particular time, we are excited to have her on board.

Dear readers, allow me to introduce you to the latest ways to find content from across FanGraphs’s family of blogs. You may already follow us on Twitter (@fangraphs) or Facebook (/fangraphs). Through those channels, we’ve been providing you a stream of nearly every single article published as they are published to the site. We’ll still continue to do that. But, now you’ll see some extra content, things you’ll get only by following us on social media.
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New FanGraphs T-Shirts and Apparel!

Recently, we started running out of t-shirts. As such, we thought it was high time to design some new ones. And design them we did. But we didn’t just stop at t-shirts. Oh no, constant reader, we went the extra mile this time. In addition to t-shirts, which now are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, we now have raglan t-shirts (again, both men’s and woman’s kinds), zip hoodie sweatshirts, baby onesies and hats. You might think of this as the holiday season come many months earlier than normal. And you’d be right.

The person we have to thank for all of this shiny new garb is Aaron Gershman of Creative Sentencing, who you should absolutely hire for your next design project.

Let’s take a look at the designs, which are available for purchase at this very moment.

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Staten Island Yankees Sabermetric Day Event on June 19th

Staten Island

The purpose of this post is to announce the availability — literally starting this exact minute — of tickets to a sabermetrics-themed event to be hosted by the Staten Island Yankees on June 19. The event will feature a number of your favorite baseball writers and also Dave Cameron.

From the club’s expertly composed press release:
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The FanGraphs Newsletter Is Coming!

Email newsletters are a burgeoning communications tool, and FanGraphs is getting in on the act. This is something we’ve actually had our eye on for quite some time — as far back as 2013, actually — and we’re excited to finally be bringing it to you. Today, actually: the newsletter’s inaugural edition will drop this afternoon. Let’s talk details.

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FanGraphs Membership

Today, we’re excited to introduce FanGraphs Membership. What is FanGraphs Membership? Quite simply, it is a voluntary way for you to help support all the baseball content we produce each and every day. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to help contribute to the long-term growth of the site, this is your chance to do just that, and partner with us to help continue to provide data and content that helps us all understand the game of baseball a little bit better.

FanGraphs Membership is not a paywall; we are not creating a separate section of the site that will only be available to members. In fact, we’re actually taking the content that was previously available to FanGraphs+ subscribers and making it available to everyone. We want every person who visits the site to feel that they are getting the most out of their experience, and believe that, with a broad base of support from the fantastic community here, we can continue to provide that information without restricting access to anyone.

With the introduction of FanGraphs Membership, all the content produced on FanGraphs will now be accessible for free, without logging in, or being a FanGraphs Member. If you are not a FanGraphs Member, we will occasionally ask if you’d like to join in supporting the site, but it will always be your decision to make. Think of FanGraphs Membership as something akin to the model used by NPR.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is FanGraphs doing this?

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2016 FAN Projections!

The 2016 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you really don’t follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, there are 9 categories for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2016, hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything this year is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot too. This will make changing playing time projections much easier as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team, or if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

Fan Projections will show up on the player pages after there have been 5 ballots submitted.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


FanGraphs: The Game 2015!

Good news everyone! You can now make your picks in FanGraphs: The Game for the 2015 season!

For those of you who played in previous years, you will be able to change the team of any of your players up until you first spend money. So, if you want your players to be on different teams, I advise doing it before you make any picks. You can do this on the settings page.

In addition, your player will keep all of his stats from all previous seasons and continue on to year two of his career.

Lastly, if you had autopick set last year, it has now be unset. If you want to keep playing with autopick on, you will need to make your autopick selections again.

And for those of you who are rookies to FanGraphs: The Game…

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The FanGraphs Auction Calculator!

I’m pleased to announce that FanGraphs now has an auction calculator!

In terms of methodology, we are using a method that is pretty similar to the Last Player Picked methodology.

Besides all the usual features of an auction calculator, we have a couple of unique features that are worth some addition explanation:

– There is an “experimental” check box, which adds in replacement level value for players with incomplete playing time. If a player was to have a .300 batting average for the season in 450 plate appearances, it would add in an extra 150 plate appearances at a .220 average (numbers for illustration only) for that player and calculate the auction values off his new batting average.

This is something that could be useful if your league allows you to carry a lot of bench spots and you have the ability to supplement potentially high risk injury players with a replacement level player. Chad Young wrote about this a few years ago.

Please feel free to check the box and see how it changes player values if you feel it’s appropriate for your league. And like the option says, this is still an experiment and should be considered a “beta” feature.

– There is also an option to artificially increase or decrease relief pitcher value. Since we don’t project holds, this might be particularly useful for ottoneu leagues or other leagues where holds are considered. By not taking into account holds for a league that might consider them, relief pitcher values will most likely be inflated.

This could also be a useful option if the players in your league generally undervalue (or over value) relievers and you would like to put relief pitcher values more in line with reality as opposed to theoretical value.

Please let us know if you run into any issues!


2015 FAN Projections!

The 2015 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you really don’t follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, there are 9 categories for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2015, hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything this year is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot too. This will make changing playing time projections much easier as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team, or if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

Fan Projections will show up on the player pages after there have been 5 ballots submitted.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


Library Update: wOBA and wRC+

A couple of weeks ago, we announced a renewed commitment to the FanGraphs Library and promised regular updates to glossary entries and blog posts. You’ve probably noticed our weekly FanGraphs Q&A chats at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesdays, but the other changes to the library aren’t necessarily obvious on the site’s main page.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the changes to the library, the entries on Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) have been updated and include more current information, a more thorough explanation of how and why you should know and use these stats, and for the first time at FanGraphs, information on how to actually calculate wRC+.

Additionally, you’ll find the library’s blog populated with a couple of posts discussing the importance of learning wOBA and wRC+.

If you’re looking for information on other statistics we offer, on how to make use of various FanGraphs features, or if you have related questions, check out the weekly chat, comment on this post or posts in the library blog or contact me on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44. We’ll roll out more educational posts and glossary updates each week, so be sure to check often.


A (Re)Introduction to the FanGraphs Library

Entering play on Thursday night, Kyle Seager owned a .274 batting average. Chris Johnson‘s average was a nearly identical .273. The two third basemen have played in a similar number of games and have come to the plate close to the same number of times. If you use batting average to evaluate these players’ seasons, you’d come to the conclusion that Seager and Johnson are essentially equivalent players this year.

They’re not. In fact, it’s very clear Seager is substantially better than Johnson. Let me rephrase that: It’s very clear Seager is better than Johnson — but only if you’re well-versed in the language of baseball statistics. If you know how to properly value walks, extra base power, baserunning and defense, the difference between Seager and Johnson is impossible to miss.

At FanGraphs, our writers use statistics and metrics like wOBA, wRC+, FIP and WAR to evaluate baseball players and teams. We provide those tools, and more, so others might conduct evaluations on their own. Want to know Miguel Cabrera‘s wOBA against lefties? You can find that on FanGraphs. But what if you don’t know what wOBA means, how it’s calculated or why you should care about it more than batting average?

You can find some of that information on FanGraphs. A well-motivated, self-starter could show up at the site, notice something called wOBA on the leaderboards, go to the glossary and figure out what it means and why it’s important. But it can be intimidating and challenging for people who are just starting out to make sense of everything we offer.

In an effort to make advanced statistics easier, and to understand and to better use the data and features available at FanGraphs, we’re relaunching and promoting the FanGraphs Library. There’s a lot of great information there already, but this revamped library is even better. There’s a steep learning curve, though, so I’ve been tasked with making things a bit simpler.

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League Average Heatmaps!

With the addition of the new heatmaps, we have a new tool that lets you whip up league average heatmaps.

mlbheatmap1

The tool can be conveniently accessed under the “leaders” section in the site’s main navigation.


New Heatmaps!

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve rolled out new heatmaps to the site!

tulo_r_2012_2014_pitchpercent

There are a number of ways to customize each heatmap:

– Options to choose either a traditional 5×5 grid or a more granular 10×10 grid.

– Choose a heatmap from the viewpoint of either the pitcher or the batter.

– For the 10×10 grid, you can choose your own level of smoothing, which will change the weighting of adjacent buckets.

– Filtering on single or multiple years, handedness, and count.

– A variety of different stats to choose from.

The color grading on the heatmaps is always compared to an MLB average player for the selected time period and handedness.