For those who don't want to click the link it's basically a java? app that allows somebody to find out where all the balls put into play were fielded. Currently one can sort by individual pitcher/hitter, by ballpark and can overlay a player's hits from one ballpark to another (like maybe Atkins although that's another post) and can be sorted by type of batted ball such as ground out, fly out, single, double etc.
One limitation that this data has is that it marks the point where the ball was FIELDED not where it was hit. Hence if you fool around the site you're going to see a lot of singles located where the outfielders would be positioned. These are probably balls that got through the infield defense.
I wanted to take a look at Jeremy Guthrie, see if maybe there was something obvious about the hits he gave up last year.
This is Guthrie's hits data against left-handed hitterss (LHH) at Camden Yards:
via http://www.katron.org/projects/baseball/hit-location/ but saved via photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net
This is Guthrie's hit data against right-handed hitters (RHH) at Camden Yards:
via http://www.katron.org/projects/baseball/hit-location/ but saved via photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net
The first thing that popped out to me was just how few righties grounded out to second/first. Almost all the balls are to shortstop and third especially compared to how evenly split his hits are to second and short against lefties. This probably speaks to Guthrie's great success against righties with his two-seam fastball. Either that or lefty batters are more inclined to go to the opposite field. In general lefties seem more evenly clustered across all regions while it looks like all the righties were trying to pull the ball. Any thoughts?
Update: Well I can look at all righthanded pitchers at Camden versus lefties and righties. So here they are below. They include Guthrie's pitches too but the extra data should make comparing him easier.
RHP vs. RHH:
RHP vs. LHH:
So comparing Guthrie to all right-handed pitchers (RHP):
Against we see most other RHPs have more balls hit towards shortstop and third, so I would imagine that a fair number of those ballsare from two-seam fastballs or sliders. I'm not sure why there are more balls hit to the second first gap. I have two untested theories.
- There is more data and therefore more chances for the ball to go the other way
- The other pitchers could be using different pitches like maybe a cutter, or possibly locating it differently.
One thing it might show is that more batters were trying to pull the ball knowing that Guthrie gives up a fair number of homeruns. Or it could suggest that due to something Guthrie did last year he allowed/forced more batters to pull the ball hence giving up more homeruns
Against LHH: Guthrie's groundballs are much more evenly spread out than the typical RHP although it looks like there may not be enough data for Guthrie.Most balls end up toward the gap between second and first against most RHP so Guthrie is an obvious exception. This I have to imagine is because of a different pitch selection or location. Maybe Guthrie's change-up is causing it?