FanGraphs Sabermetrics Library


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  1. Holy cripes! So useful! I had wondered why I didn’t understand the perspective on heat maps. I pitched for 16 years, and I look at games from the perspective of one standing on the mound. Heat maps should reflect that–he’s the one throwing the pitch; plotting a plan of attack! They’ve got it turned around. This needs to be cleared up and explained.

    Comment by Bob Hudgins — February 2, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  2. That’s generally the way we view games on TV, too, from a center field camera. It does not make sense to show heat maps from the receiving end.

    Comment by Bob Hudgins — February 2, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  3. All Pitch F/x plots are shown from the catcher’s perspective. It simply is what it is….considering how much work has been done in the field already, it’d be more confusing to change them at this point.

    Comment by Steve Slowinski — February 2, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  4. These are awesome! What are the top left rainbow ones showing us?

    Comment by MauerPower — February 2, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  5. These are great, but…

    You discuss the sample size issues, but there really ought to be an associated error map to go with the heat map. I would suggest always serving up both images together. The calculation would be fairly simple, and the error maps would be easy to generate.

    Comment by LarryInLA — February 2, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  6. Living in Japan and watching hundreds of games on’s gameday from the catchers perspective certainly helped make it less confusing for me, in fact this is the way I’d prefer it. Also many videogames have you bat from the catchers perspective…

    That being said, would it be that hard to have “catcher’s view” posted at the bottom or top of each map (like a catcher “compass”)?

    Comment by bcp33bosox — February 3, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  7. Yah, I think intuitively you can dig into these things a lot easier if you’ve played video game baseball. MVP Baseball 2005, WHAT?! Best baseball game ever made and available for under $2.00 at any used game score.

    And I challenge any one of your many Toronto writers to an MVP home-run off. I am the tractor king, bitches.

    Anyways, I noticed the other day that Fangraphs had added INSIDE – CENTER – OUTSIDE to the bottom of their pfx location graphs. It’s handy and maybe it’s been there since the inception.. who knows.

    I like the heat maps though, but I still think they can lead to a lost of nasty analysis in the short-term. Personally, if there’s one thing that I’d love to see is heat-maps sortable by count.

    If you could sort, I dunno, Fausto Carmona’s fastball at 0-0 and compare it to 3-0,3-1,3-2, you might be able to get into some neat analysis.

    As it stands, it’s just a very broad picture without context. If I had to pick and choose, I’d take count context over anything you mentioned in “over stating results” — Although, it would be pretty nice to see the linear weight updated above it.

    Comment by kris — April 18, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

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