GB% by Pitch Type and Location

Red = High GB% rate (ground balls / total pitches)
Yellow = Medium ; Green = Low

The size of the circle also represents the magnitude.

Numbers are in Feet, with -X being inside (handedness neutral) and Z being height in feet above the center of the strike zone (as per PITCHf/x strike zone top and bottom). The X is flipped for left handed batters. After I’ve published a few of these, I’ll work on publishing a version to Tableau Public, though not sure how it will perform given the huge underlying data set.

Some observations:

1) The cutter, which appeared to have two hot zones for swings and misses, appears to have only one hot zone for groundballs, of about .5 feet to 1 foot below the center of the zone and between .4 feet away and .4 feet in from the center of the plate. In the previous post we saw that as you went farther away from the plate horizontally and about .5 foot lower, you get swinging strikes.

2) Changeups down and away get groundballs. They also get swings and misses. Groundbreaking stuff here…

3) Two-seamers and sinkers have a very large area that get groundballs (another shocker), though what surprises me is how high it starts (almost at the center of the plate). It makes me wonder if I need to double-check my methodology. As you get lower in the zone, you get fewer swings and more takes, so the GB% goes down dramatically.

4) Curveballs only get groundballs if they are in the strike zone when crossing the plate (down and away). If you bury it, you basically trade the GB for a swing and a miss. I’m thinking I need to rebuild this chart with fewer grids, but a bunch of pie charts, to somehow visualize how results morph based on location.

Finally figured out how to get PITCHf/x data into Tableau (used Alteryx to scrape MLB) — having lots of fun and appreciate the feedback!

Eli Ben-Porat is a Senior Manager of Reporting & Analytics for Rogers Communications. The views and opinions expressed herein are his own. He builds data visualizations in Tableau, and builds baseball data in Rust. Follow him on Twitter @EliBenPorat, however you may be subjected to (polite) Canadian politics.

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