(This article was first published on

**The Prince of Slides**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)I recently got all the Pitch F/X data downloaded from Gameday, and have been fiddling around. I certainly don’t have the physics knowledge to really talk about the movement at this point, and I’m still acquainting myself with the data format and what everything is telling me. But I figured I’d test out some plots of Johnny Cueto’s outing on May 11th this year.

Much thanks to Dr. Alan Nathan, Brooks Baseball, and especially Mike Fast for providing so much information on the Gameday database. I’m still working on figuring out how to parse the data with Mike’s script with XAMPP. If anyone has any experience with this, please let me know. I have the database set up already in SQL, I just need to get the PHPAdmin to link everything…or whatever it does. MySQL is easy enough (and from reading some of Mike’s stuff, works great with R), but I’m not a computer whiz so I don’t really know how all these things work together.

The first plot below is the called balls and strikes for Cueto, as well as the pitch location for each call. Red is a strike, black is a ball. Pretty straight forward. Looks like he got at least one call way inside on a right-hander (from my reading, this is the catcher/umpire POV). The strike zone height is the average strike zone for all the batters faced in the game, while the width is simply the width of the plate. Pretty straight forward.

So how about pitches? Let’s check out what he’s been throwing (based on the Gameday classification, which some have said isn’t the best yet). Plus signs are fastballs, X’s are two-seamers, circles are changeups, diamonds are sliders. Looks like he got the calls outside the zone on his two-seamer…not surprising since a right hander would tail that way after beginning closer to the edge of the plate. Obviously, this is a small sample size to make that conclusion though.

Anyway, just playing around here. Hopefully I can put together some fun visualizations for fantays and perhaps FBJ in the future.

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