2016 Defensive Visualization

The start of the baseball season is less than a week away, and at FanGraphs we are finishing the Positional Power Rankings and had two interactive visualizations for offensive and pitching projections. All the data we use in these posts comes from our Depth Chart projections. We haven’t shown what teams’ defensives might look like, yet. The Depth Charts have projections for defense, and it’s measured in fielding runs, which are how many runs the player is expected to save his team relative to the average player at his position; every 10 runs roughly equates to a win.

The projection value is dependent on the position, because of this I’ve consolidated the individual projections into team-wide projections for each position.

Improving upon a similar field diagram chart from last year’s Hardball Times season preview piece, I created field diagrams which are mapped to our real time projection data, so it will update over the course of the final week of Spring Training as rosters finalize. The color coding of the fielding runs is now a continuous gradient instead a limited number of colors providing a better visualization of projected fielding runs. Blue represents good defensive positions with positive fielding runs, while red represents negative fielding runs. The gradient is centered around white, so the darker the color the more extreme the impact of that position’s defense is on the team.

Clicking on a team’s field diagram will enlarge it, then you can click on a specific position to see Depth Charts data the data visualization is built on. The diagrams are separated by leagues, which can be changed by click the tab, and then further organized by division.

We hoped you liked reading 2016 Defensive Visualization by Sean Dolinar!

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I code a bunch of things here. I really need to update my blog about statistics at stats.seandolinar.com.

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