Customizable Heat Maps!

At FanGraphs we’re big fans of the heat map. And now customizable heat maps are now available in the pitchf/x sections for all pitchers. Much thanks to Dave Allen for helping me out!

The thing about heat maps is that one size does not always fit all. Depending on the density of pitches and how many pitches are thrown, it’s not always a clear cut case how to display the data. Sometimes you want the points bigger, sometimes you want the “intensity” of each point to be more and sometimes you really want a different color scheme. For instance here’s the same chart, but with the settings changed.

And here is a third chart, with the settings changed one more time, where the points are made smaller but very intense in monochrome.

There’s a lot to play around with here and a lot of options to try and get the best picture possible.

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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

27 Responses to “Customizable Heat Maps!”

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  1. Knees shake.
    Palms sweat.
    Passes out.

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  2. Telo says:

    Um, yes. Now this is awesome.

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  3. Sandy Kazmir says:

    OH. MY. GOD! Thank you

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  4. New York Necks says:


    The second one is incredible.

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  5. Chadam says:

    Wow, you guys are awesome! Keep up the great work!

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  6. fenwik says:

    Wow. Just: wow.

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  7. EnglishMariner says:

    Ahhhh, this is simply amazing. Once upon a time I would long for a blogger to analyse my favourite pitcher using snazzy pitch f/x heat maps. And now I can do it myself?! Bravo!

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  8. studes says:

    This is tremendous, but you guys have really got to add some labels, definitions and legends, and not use so many acronyms. I don’t know what these heat maps are saying.

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    • Yep, I am terrible at this. Anyway, this is just a pitch distribution. It’s where the ball was thrown plotted and the heatmapped and that’s about it. It’s from the batters point of view.

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  9. maqman says:

    Very impressive, well done!

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  10. brhas says:

    How is this site still free? Incredible.

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  11. Thomas says:

    Cool! Definitely gonna start using this.

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  12. Albert Lyu says:

    Will enjoy using this feature for quick lookups, but would like to refer readers to this article (among others) in case you’re interested in drawing conclusions from pfx data:

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  13. gradygradychase says:

    This is tremendous, but most of reader can use it correctly?

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  14. MauerPower says:

    This is cool. I’m just starting to understand pitch fx so what do these maps mean?

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  15. BrianP says:

    Wow. I don’t comment here at all, but the awesomeness of this new tool compelled my to express my amazement and thanks.

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  16. The Nicker says:

    I have such a huge boner for this.

    Check out King Felix’s 4-seamer to lefties:

    Or perhaps you were wondering why Lester was such a boss with his cutter this year:

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  17. Not David says:

    It looks like there’s some data missing on Liriano’s 2010 fastball map?

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  18. phoenix2042 says:

    this site is the best! how is it still free? (side note: please don’t charge!)

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  19. shibboleth says:

    Heat maps rock my world. FanGraphs rocks my world.

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  20. buy caps says:

    They have him throwing almost all sliders, two-seamers, and changups now.
    I have such a huge boner for this.

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