PITCHf/x has been around long enough that the novelty has worn off but that doesn’t make the data less useful to fans, analysts, and MLB teams. While most teams and plenty of individuals maintain their own PITCHf/x repositories, there are a number of terrific websites that make PITCHf/x data available and accessible to everyone.
At FanGraphs we have a variety of data and tools that make use of PITCHf/x data. Both our pitcher and hitter leaderboards feature PITCHf/x sections containing data on pitch type, velocity, movement, pitch values, and plate discipline numbers. Additionally, our player pages contain more specific data both with respect to performance on specific pitches, but also game by game numbers in our game logs.
Beyond that, our hitter heatmaps are powered by PITCHf/x data (as are our pitcher heatmaps) and we have game and velocity charts for pitchers containing very granular data.
While we hope you make use of our resources, there are some other great places to find important information.
If you’ve never been to Brooks Baseball, I recommend you don’t click the link unless you have plenty of spare time. The team over there has put together an invaluable resource for all things PITCHf/x for both pitchers and hitters. You can call up pitcher tendencies, review specific games, and customize all sorts of graphics.
What makes Brooks an even better site than it appears is how they “correct” the PITCHf/x data to augment classifications, discuss grips, and make sure that park effects (some cameras are positioned differently) are properly considered. You’ll sometimes notice that our PITCHf/x data doesn’t line up with theirs; that’s because they’ve devised a strategy for fixing “errors” made by the automated PITCHf/x algorithm. Their data, also, is updated immediately following the game, so you can pull up pitch charts in near real time.
If you haven’t visited the site in a while, they have done amazing work improving the functionality and customization opportunities.
There was a time when Texas Leaguers brought a level of customization not available at any other site, but thanks to updates at Brooks and the sites listed below, Texas Leaguers is simply another site that allows you to call up player specific results, matchups, and charts relating to PITCHf/x data.
Baseball Heatmaps is a bit of an unorthodox PITCHf/x site because they provide a lot of custom statistics based on PITCHf/x data rather than finding interesting ways to present the standard information. They also tend to focus more on batted ball location, run values, umpires, and the strike zone compared to the other sites.
If you’re looking for basic pitch charts and usage, this isn’t the place to go, but they have some very cool stuff that you should definitely explore.
In theory, Daren Willman sleeps, but no one has ever seen him do it. He runs a variety of sports data sites, but for our purposes here, Baseball Savant is the golden child of PITCHf/x searchability. Not only will your searches yield a variety of very useful graphics, but you can download .CSV files with all of the pitch data pertaining to your query.
Want to know how many fastballs Justin Verlander threw up and in to righties in 2-2 counts from July to September at home? You can search that in about 15 seconds at Savant. The sheer number of search options and simplicity of presentation make it one of the most valuable resources for anyone interested in MLB data. He also provides data for hitters, umpires, and catchers. Explore at your own risk.
In addition to these resources, you can see live PITCHf/x results while watching MLB.com’s Gameday or going back into the play-by-play logs after the game to find out which pitch was thrown and the velocity behind the pitch.
PITCHf/x is constantly evolving (although it’s future is uncertain in light of StatCast) and but more resources may pop up over the next few years. If you’re aware of any sources we’re missing, feel free to let us know and we’ll add it!
● Mike Fast’s PITCHF/x Primer – It’s a touch dated since Fast wrote this piece back in 2010, but many of his larger points still hold true. He’s one of the best PITCHF/x analysts the web has yet seen, so it’s worth reading up on his perspective of the data.
● Alan Nathan also has a very useful primer on the subject.