Research – Palatable PitchZones

In the past week I’ve gotten some really great feedback on the PitchZone charts. In the hopes of making them more accurate and just simpler in general, I’ve revised them to be just a 5×5 grid, with the 9 boxes in the center being the strike zone. Remember that these are the percentage of all pitches that become hits for each box. Here’s the major league average:

PitchZone

I also got a lot of requests to break them out the four different pitcher-batter match-ups. Here’s that:

PitchZone

And finally, let’s take a quick look at Abert Pujols and Vladimir Guerrero:

PitchZone

Guerrero is pretty scary. I’m pretty happy with these, so they’ll probably start showing up occasionally in Daily Graphings for batters. Next up, I’m going to start looking at contact rates, swing percentages, and BABIP by pitch location. Then of course, there’s the pitcher’s side of things which I have a feeling is going to be a lot more complicated.



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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.


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Mike
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Mike
10 years 7 months ago

David,

Great stuff! I prefer these pitchzones over the other ones – they’re much easier to read.

It would be interesting to break down these pitchzones by HRs (or doubles or any other stat) hit in each zone.

You mention contact rates (I assume swings with contact divided by total swings); I wonder how the contact rate correlates (how much it increases/decreases) with each zone or if it correlates with any other stat. It might have some predictive power.

What do you mean by swing percentages?

I’m not sure major league teams break the zones down like you’ve done, but I wouldn’t be surprsied if advance scouts using something similar to what you’ve done when preparing their pitchers for batters of opposing teams.

-Mike

PositivePaul
Guest
10 years 7 months ago

I’d like to see one of these for Ichiro.

Thanks!

Mqx
Guest
10 years 7 months ago

These charts are absolutely interesting. In my opinion you should use a different color coding: the color used for 0% has some red and some blue in it, so it’s a little difficult (for me) to get it right at first glance. I would suggest either you use blue as the lowest value (simply discarding the last 3 colors) or use a monochromatic scale (i.e. from white to red).

F. James Mohl
Guest
F. James Mohl
10 years 7 months ago

I’m sure I’m in the minority on this, but I actually preferred the original version. They look like computer art. Still, I do agree that these are much easier to interpret.

I agree that the magenta for the 0% cells is confusing. White would work, but I think black is more appropriate. Darker = lower. Eliminating the violet probably would help too. The different shades of green are hard to distinguish too, at least for me. Could you add numbers to the boxes, so I could be sure I’m reading them right?

Is “Inside” always to the left, or does it depend on whether the batter is L or R?

Glad to hear you’re going to do swing rates and BABIP. My first reaction (until I saw Guerrero) was that all the boxes outside the strike zone SHOULD be in the 0-2% range because batters aren’t supposed to swing at those pitches. Yet obviously those rules don’t apply to Vlad (and some others). BABIP should provide much greater discrimination.

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