FG Hidden Feature: Leaderboard and Game Log Splits

This afternoon, Jay Jaffe sent a tweet to DarenW, host of the always useful site Baseball Savant.

The answer was no, because while Daren has coded up some really neat stuff over there, he doesn’t have that specifically. But it occurred to me that Jay probably asked Daren because he looked for it on FanGraphs and couldn’t find it here, and he’s probably not the only person who has wanted to see monthly plate discipline splits and couldn’t find them here. But we actually do have them.

Here’s how you get them, as well as other splits not listed on a player’s individual splits page.

Go to our leaderboards. Scroll down to the bottom, where you see the custom player box. It looks like this.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.40.06 PM

Where it says “Add players”, just put whatever player (or players) you want to look at it, and then hit the create custom player list button. Then, scroll back up, pick whatever split you want from the drop-down box and the corresponding leaderboard tab. Here’s the Billy Hamilton PITCHF/x plate discipline page for June that I sent to Jay, but you can do all kinds of fun things with it. Want to see Jake Arrieta‘s pitch mix over the last 30 days? You can. While not every stat we have works with every split-type, the leaderboards offer a host of fun ways to view additional split stats beyond what we just have on our player page. This is especially useful for comparing multiple players when you want to drill down on a specific trait.

But it’s also not the only way you can get this information, and if you’re looking for just one player, there’s an even easier way: use the game logs. For instance, Jay wanted to look and see if Hamilton was being more selective at the plate since early in the season. While our leaderboard splits have monthly splits, as well as past 7/14/30 day splits, the game logs have a custom date range that can let you create all the arbitrary endpoint metrics you would like.

For instance, to see how Hamilton’s plate discipline stats have changed since mid-April, you could just go to his game log page, then filter for games since April 15th. From there, pretty much every tab available on the leaderboards is also available, and you can see the summed results of each stat on those pages. By clicking on the PITCHF/x plate discipline tab, we can see that Hamilton has a 29.7% O-Swing% since mid-April, seven percentage points higher than the 22.4% mark he put up over the first two weeks of the season.

Hamilton’s improvement has actually come during the time that he has chased more pitches out of the zone, not fewer. This is almost certainly not causation, of course, but it does help us see that this isn’t a case where Hamilton has tightened up his strike zone since getting overmatched early. He’s just hitting better when he does swing.

But this isn’t a post about Billy Hamilton. This is a post about how to use some really great features on FanGraphs that maybe you weren’t aware of. And it isn’t just limited to plate discipline stats. Really, almost anything you want to look up that you can’t find on the player pages can be found by using the leaderboard splits/custom player combination, or just using the game log tool. We have not done a good enough job of highlighting these options, but they are available, and they’re kind of awesome.

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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

14 Responses to “FG Hidden Feature: Leaderboard and Game Log Splits”

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  1. plasmaj says:

    this is awesome. like Jay, I had looked in the past and accepted its absence considering all the other great stuff Fangraphs provides.

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  2. akmarq says:

    I would venture to say that many users of FanGraphs would like to see more posts like this.

    Some kind of short ‘How to use this site’ series/section would be an amazing addition. You all do a great job of making the tools user friendly, but it would help solve the ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ problem.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      We’re going to do this. We’ve talked about it before, but yeah, this is something we need to do more of.

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      • jbuffn says:

        That’s great to hear. As a long time lurker now participating in the SABR101 EDx course, this is beautiful music to my ears.

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      • Ryan Pollack says:

        Ever thought about getting a technical writer to create some user guides for the site? (I won’t lie, I am interested in pitching my services.)

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      • jerry60555 says:

        I also have a question.
        I want to search all Japanese player in MLB stats,and I want all of their stats in one time,but I don’t know how to do it.

        Can I find all the Japanese stats in MLB in the one time on Fangraphs??

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        • novaether says:

          You’d probably have to get a list of japanese players elsewhere, download all players’ data, and use a little bit of excel magic.

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  3. Rick says:

    Is there a way to sort through a team’s pinch hit stats for a season? I could not figure out how to look this up.

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  4. Shane Bates says:

    I want one of these to pull the daily starting pitchers for DFS evaluation.

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  5. The Foils says:

    Is there something I don’t understand about how park/league-adjusted stats are calculated that categorically prevents them from being used in splits?

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  6. novaether says:

    Is it possible to apply two splits to a leaderboard? Let’s say, for example, I wanted to know which pitchers have been the best against lefties over the past calendar year. Is that possible?

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