Turning Powerful Baseball Stats into Eye Candy

    • Turning Powerful Baseball Stats into Eye Candy

      I deal with numbers every day, but I not in analytics. My team analyst does an amazing job of visualizing data, which makes finding those needles in haystacks so much easier than looking over rows and rows of numbers which can make you go cross-eyed pretty quickly. When I came on board to write at Talking Chop, I had some ambitious goals out of the gate, and I still do. However, a thought occurred to me about how I can apply learnings from my job to writing about baseball. However, I think that an area of weakness for baseball is in visualizing data. Which seems ridiculous in a game that all about the numbers. I wanted to have some fun with the concept of data visualization, and I hope that some of you come along for the journey.When I first started researching, I tried to find some spider charts on players, essentially showing their strengths and weaknesses across various metrics. However, I couldn find anything. Am I not searching in the right spots or is there really nothing out there?I decided to take a crack at it and while my chart below is nothing special, it only version 1.0. In Ozzie Albies short stint at the MLB level, he graded out average in walks and wRC+, but above average in most every other category. Nothing graded as below average for Albies. I knew Albies was good, but this shines a bright light on Albies bravesteamfanstore/David-Justice-Jersey. Ozzie Albies spider chart Anyone with an itching could simply pull up Albies stats and compare them against league averages. I did and it took me a over 5 minutes to decipher where he stacked up league average. After creating this chart, you know in a matter of seconds. Visualizing data is not only cool, but it saves time.There is a sea of information so it a fun challenge discovering what data to use and which type of chart to display it. Il be honest, I did cheat a little. I took some of the data to my work team analyst to help me with some of the charting. When in doubt, seek help!Below are various charts I created (with some help,) so I hope you enjoy. We all know Swanson struggles against the slider. You can look on Fangraphs for his heat map. What I found interesting was his pitch count performance year over year. When behind in the count he went from being a good hitter to an automatic out. Most likely chasing a pitch away. We can hope for Swanson to never get behind in the count, so the former No. 1 overall pick has to overcome his weaknesses as a hitter Chase d'Arnaud Jersey.The stacked chart equals a 100 , but I added in his batting average for the grey area instead of his contact percentage. Which on it own wouldn tell you how he performed when actually hitting the ball. Dansby Swanson pitch count year over year We love our prospects, so the next chart just takes a look at the various prospects hit type and how they stack up to MLB averages Shae Simmons Jersey. While I didn include year over year data, Ray Patrick Didder showed a large increase in fly ball rate from 2016 to 2017. This could be a major factor for why he hit poorly in 2017. He needs to get back to hitting line drives and ground balls. Braves prospects hit type chart Braxton Davidson simply hits too many ground balls. If he can alter his swing to get the ball in the air more, he might be able to regain his prospect status. He is just 21 after all.Isranel zzy” Wilson also hits a lot of ground balls. He does have speed, but he also has pop. His 18 line drive rate and 28 fly ball rate were also among the lowest of the prospects listed. Key to his success will be to improve his line drive rate and fly ball percentage. He one of the prospects I think can have a big breakout year, it will depend on if he too can get the ball in the air more. Surprisingly, I noticed that a lot of average or slower running prospects were hitting way too many ground balls like Jonathan Morales, Dustin Peterson, Lucas Herbert, Alex Jackson and Tyler Neslony. Neslony is proving me right. He is hitting a lot of home runs in the Australian Winter League, so hopefully hitting the ball in the air carries over. Baseball sankey diagram, Atlanta Braves, prospects, fv ratings Bonus chart above visualizes prospect FV rankings for the past 4 drafts via a Sankey Diagram. These FV rankings were pulled from after the season in order to include draft picks for said year, which is why I am not including 2018 for now. I forgot to remove data sets with 0, so it does look like each year has a 70FV. The really thin lines are actually 0. Atlanta Braves prospects FV ratings If this is well received Aaron Blair Jersey, I have more ideas for visualizing Braves data. I haven even tackled the many Braves pitchers prospects, or I could compare the young Braves teams of the ‘90 now. I joked with my co-worker that after this I think I might change jobs to analytics.As always, I want to help create a conversation, so let me know if you like me to continue to find data to visualize. If you have any suggestions, I wide open.