Author Archive

The FanGraphs Site Guide: 2019 Edition

Happy Opening Day everyone! In this post, I’m going to tell you about all the wonderful, possibly hidden, stat things you can find on the website. This is for those of you who may be joining us for the first time, or for those of you who might be returning to the site after doing whatever it is people do when not thinking about baseball every waking moment.

Player Pages

The Main Player Page – The main player pages include hundreds of stats on each player. Player pages have real time data, season and daily projections, and basically everything you’d ever wanted to know about how a player performed.

Graphs – Visualize how a player has performed over time! You can see breakdowns by season, game, age, and so on. The combinations are nearly endless.

Splits – Splits pages come in three varieties: static splits, the splits tool, and pitch type splits. The static ones contain all the pre-compiled splits. The splits tool is where you can slice and dice your way to the most esoteric of baseball stats. And the pitch type splits break down each pitch a player has thrown or has seen, and provides performance metrics on those pitches. Read the rest of this entry »


WAR Update: Catcher Framing!

Update: An earlier bug that impacted updated pitcher WAR has now been resolved. The pitcher tables below have been updated to reflect that. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the issue!

I’m very pleased to announce that FanGraphs has finally added catcher framing data to the site, with full thanks to Jared Cross, who you may know as the co-creator of the Steamer projections. We’ve also incorporated catcher framing into WAR.

Including catcher framing in WAR has been a topic of internal debate at FanGraphs for the past half-decade. The problem has never been with the inclusion of framing numbers on the catcher side of things. That’s a fairly simple addition. The problem has always been what to do with the pitchers. For instance, the 2011 Brewers were some 40 runs above average in catcher framing. When you add those 40 runs to catchers, do you subtract 40 runs from pitchers? As it turns out, you do, but those runs are not attributed equally to each pitcher:

2011 Brewers Starting Rotation
Player IP Catcher Framing Framing per 9
Randy Wolf 212.1 -0.45 -0.02
Yovani Gallardo 207.1 7.79 0.34
Shaun Marcum 200.2 7.47 0.34
Zack Greinke 171.2 5.95 0.31
Chris Narveson 161.2 5.12 0.29
Positive framing numbers for pitchers indicate a pitcher was helped by the catcher’s framing ability; negative numbers indicate a pitcher was hindered by the catcher’s framing ability.

While most of the pitchers on the 2011 Brewers benefited from Jonathan Lucroy’s otherworldly framing, Randy Wolf was stuck with George Kottaras most of the time. In this instance, the entire Brewers pitching staff, with the exception of Randy Wolf, was a little bit worse once catcher framing is taken into account than their previous, non-catcher framing inclusive WAR would indicate.

Exactly how do you add catcher framing to WAR you ask?

For catchers, you take the catcher framing runs above average, divide by the runs to wins converter, and add it to your existing WAR total.

WAR = (Batting + Base Running + Fielding + Catcher Framing + Replacement Level) / Runs to Wins

On the pitcher side, we adjust FIP by the catcher framing runs above average per 9 innings. If Zack Greinke’s 2011 FIP was 3.00, and he was helped to the extent of 0.31 framing runs per 9 innings, we now use 3.31 in the WAR calculation instead of the original 3.00 FIP. We also adjust the pitcher’s dynamic runs to wins converter. In Greinke’s case, this would increase his personal run environment and also increase the runs to wins converter.

WAR = (((League FIP – (FIP + Catcher Framing / 9)) / Dynamic Runs to Wins Converter + Replacement Level) * IP / 9) * Game Start Leverage / 2

The RA9-WAR calculation has been adjusted in the exact same way.

Let’s take a look at how the inclusion of catcher framing has changed things:

Largest Career WAR Increases (2008 – 2018)
Player Catcher Framing Old WAR New WAR Difference
Brian McCann 181.9 30.4 49.2 18.8
Russell Martin 165.6 29.5 46.7 17.2
Yadier Molina 151.6 34.8 50.5 15.7
Jose Molina 140.4 0.6 15.2 14.6
Jonathan Lucroy 126.8 22.6 36.2 13.6
Miguel Montero 127.0 15.6 28.9 13.3
Yasmani Grandal 119.6 15.1 27.6 12.5
Buster Posey 118.0 38.7 51.1 12.4
Tyler Flowers 89.4 8.6 17.8 9.2
David Ross 80.7 10.0 18.3 8.4
Ryan Hanigan 79.2 8.8 17.1 8.3
Martin Maldonado 69.2 4.6 11.7 7.2
Jeff Mathis 69.1 -1.1 6.0 7.1
Chris Stewart 66.2 2.9 10.0 7.1
Mike Zunino 49.5 7.7 13.0 5.3
Hank Conger 48.1 1.7 6.9 5.2
Rene Rivera 48.1 3.9 9.1 5.1
Largest Career WAR Decreases (2008 – 2018)
Player Catcher Framing Old WAR New WAR Difference
Ryan Doumit -156.6 5.7 -10.4 -16.1
Gerald Laird -109.1 4.0 -7.2 -11.2
Nick Hundley -90.7 11.3 1.9 -9.4
Chris Iannetta -89.5 17.7 8.3 -9.3
Kurt Suzuki -86.1 18.1 9.0 -9.1
Carlos Santana -78.6 14.7 6.4 -8.3
Salvador Perez -79.9 17.8 9.5 -8.3
A.J. Ellis -77.1 8.2 0.1 -8.1
Carlos Ruiz -68.9 21.2 14.0 -7.3
Dioner Navarro -65.4 5.6 -1.2 -6.8
Lou Marson -57.6 2.5 -3.5 -6.0
Welington Castillo -52.1 13.2 7.6 -5.6
John Buck -52.4 7.2 1.7 -5.6
John Jaso -51.9 8.0 2.5 -5.5
Rob Johnson -48.4 -1.5 -6.5 -5.0
Robinson Chirinos -47.7 8.3 3.4 -5.0
Largest Single Season WAR Increases (2008 – 2018)
Player Season Catcher Framing Old WAR New WAR Difference
Jonathan Lucroy 2011 42.4 1.4 5.9 4.5
Brian McCann 2008 37.5 5.1 8.9 3.7
Brian McCann 2011 34.1 3.8 7.4 3.6
Jonathan Lucroy 2013 31.8 3.4 6.8 3.4
Jonathan Lucroy 2010 32.4 0.6 4.0 3.4
Jose Molina 2008 32.1 0.4 3.6 3.2
Tyler Flowers 2017 31.9 2.4 5.6 3.2
Brian McCann 2009 31.6 3.7 6.9 3.2
Jose Molina 2012 27.1 0.8 3.6 2.8
Buster Posey 2012 27.0 7.5 10.4 2.8
Yadier Molina 2010 27.2 2.2 5.1 2.8
Russell Martin 2011 26.6 2.5 5.3 2.8
Russell Martin 2008 28.1 4.8 7.6 2.8
Brian McCann 2012 26.4 1.5 4.2 2.8
Buster Posey 2016 26.7 3.8 6.5 2.7
Jonathan Lucroy 2012 26.1 3.4 6.2 2.7
Y Grandal 2016 25.7 2.8 5.5 2.6
Miguel Montero 2014 23.8 1.1 3.7 2.6
Hank Conger 2014 22.9 0.3 2.8 2.5
Mike Zunino 2014 22.8 1.7 4.2 2.5
Largest Single Season WAR Decreases (2008 – 2018)
Player Season Catcher Framing Old WAR New WAR Difference
Ryan Doumit 2008 -57.8 2.9 -2.8 -5.8
J Saltalamacchia 2014 -31.8 1.5 -2.0 -3.5
Gerald Laird 2009 -32.3 1.6 -1.6 -3.2
Carlos Santana 2011 -30.3 3.4 0.2 -3.2
Carlos Santana 2012 -27.6 3.0 0.1 -2.9
Chris Iannetta 2008 -26.6 3.1 0.5 -2.7
Jorge Posada 2010 -24.2 1.5 -1.0 -2.5
Kurt Suzuki 2014 -22.8 1.9 -0.6 -2.5
Ryan Doumit 2009 -24.6 0.6 -1.9 -2.5
Chris Iannetta 2013 -22.8 1.9 -0.5 -2.5
Dioner Navarro 2014 -22.0 2.0 -0.4 -2.4
Gerald Laird 2008 -23.9 1.4 -1.0 -2.4
Ryan Doumit 2012 -22.2 1.0 -1.4 -2.3
Dioner Navarro 2008 -22.6 1.9 -0.3 -2.3
Miguel Olivo 2011 -21.2 0.2 -2.0 -2.2
Jonathan Lucroy 2017 -22.1 1.1 -1.1 -2.2
Lou Marson 2011 -20.4 1.0 -1.2 -2.2
Lou Marson 2010 -20.3 0.5 -1.6 -2.1
Rob Johnson 2009 -20.8 -0.1 -2.2 -2.1
Dioner Navarro 2016 -20.2 -0.2 -2.3 -2.1
Wilin Rosario 2012 -19.5 1.2 -0.8 -2.0
John Buck 2010 -19.1 2.8 0.8 -2.0
W Castillo 2013 -18.3 3.2 1.2 -2.0

And the Pitchers, where the differences are considerably smaller:

Largest Pitcher WAR Increases (2008 – 2018)
Player Framing Old War New War Difference
Felix Hernandez -23.3 42.7 45.4 2.7
Justin Masterson -20.7 14.2 16.4 2.2
Jason Vargas -21.0 12.9 15.0 2.1
Justin Verlander -17.6 57.0 59.0 2.0
Ricky Nolasco -12.4 23.6 25.0 1.4
Mike Pelfrey -13.6 11.8 13.2 1.4
Kevin Correia -12.3 5.5 6.8 1.2
Cole Hamels -11.1 41.4 42.6 1.2
Anibal Sanchez -11.7 25.7 27.0 1.2
Zach Duke -12.4 8.3 9.5 1.2
Ubaldo Jimenez -10.8 26.6 27.8 1.1
Ian Snell -11.9 1.6 2.7 1.1
Derek Holland -10.5 13.2 14.3 1.1
Danny Duffy -10.2 11.7 12.8 1.1
Luke Hochevar -10.1 8.0 9.1 1.0
Paul Maholm -10.2 11.4 12.4 1.0
Edwin Jackson -10.1 16.1 17.2 1.0
Jeff Karstens -9.6 3.2 4.2 1.0
Roberto Hernandez -9.7 4.2 5.1 1.0
Largest Pitcher WAR Decreases (2008 – 2018)
Player Framing Old War New War Difference
Yovani Gallardo 25.6 21.3 18.4 -2.9
Bronson Arroyo 28.6 8.9 6.1 -2.8
Madison Bumgarner 23.4 30.7 28.0 -2.7
Tim Hudson 24.5 14.5 12.0 -2.6
Kyle Lohse 21.7 14.9 12.6 -2.3
Adam Wainwright 18.6 35.3 33.2 -2.1
Jair Jurrjens 19.2 9.7 7.7 -2.0
Derek Lowe 19.0 12.4 10.5 -2.0
Ryan Vogelsong 18.4 5.8 3.9 -1.9
Tommy Hanson 17.2 9.5 7.6 -1.8
Johnny Cueto 16.9 29.5 27.7 -1.8
Marco Estrada 16.6 13.3 11.6 -1.7
Matt Cain 15.7 21.1 19.4 -1.7
Ian Kennedy 14.7 16.3 14.6 -1.6
CC Sabathia 14.7 40.3 38.7 -1.6
Zack Greinke 13.8 50.7 49.1 -1.6

Now you know everything there is to know about how we added catcher framing to WAR. Please note the following:

  • Catcher Framing (abbreviated as FRM) is available on the leaderboards and player pages in the fielding sections.
  • WAR has been updated with catcher framing data everywhere WAR is available on the site.
  • Catcher Framing data is available in batter and pitcher sections of the leaderboard as a custom stat.
  • Fielding (the WAR component) now includes Catcher Framing runs above average.
  • Steamer projections and depth chart projections both include projected catcher framing for catchers and pitchers.

2019 FAN Projections!

The 2019 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you don’t really follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, you can begin projecting players. There are nine categories of interest for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2018. Hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot, too. This will make changing playing-time projections much easier, as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team or, if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button, which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

FAN Projections will appear on a player’s page after five ballots have been submitted for him.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


FanGraphs Mugs Are Here!

In our never-ending quest to put a FanGraphs logo on everything, mugs are the logical next step. So, here they are!

They come in both black and white to match your preferred aesthetic and, at 15 oz., are also on the large size. These have quickly become the go-to mugs in my own household, to the point where certain unnamed spouses have attempted to monopolize them.

They are available now for $25, which includes shipping and handling. Supplies are currently limited. Quite honestly, these may be the first and last mugs we make, so get them while you can!


2018 FAN Projections!

The 2018 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you really don’t follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, you can begin projecting players. There are nine categories of interest for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2018. Hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot, too. This will make changing playing-time projections much easier, as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team or, if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button, which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

FAN Projections will show up on a player’s page after five ballots have been submitted for him.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


FanGraphs Is Hiring! Seeking a Full-Time Writer.

Update: Please submit your application before Tuesday, January 23rd and 12:00 AM.

FanGraphs has grown tremendously these last few years, and we’re thrilled that you all have helped build this community into one of the best baseball hubs on the internet. And now, we’re growing again, as we’re looking to bring on another full-time writer to join our staff.

We’re looking for someone who is interested in publishing daily, covering the ins and outs of what is happening in Major League Baseball. Familiarity and comfort with the data here on FanGraphs is a requirement, but just as importantly, we’re looking for someone who asks interesting questions and then provides analysis or commentary around those questions.

This is a full-time salaried position with benefits. If you have a passion for writing about baseball and think you’d be a good fit with us, send us an email at wanted@fangraphs.com, and use the subject line “FanGraphs Full-Time Writer Application – 2018”; please ensure that is the subject so that we can keep all of the applications organized, and ensure yours does not slip through the cracks.

In your application, please include samples or links to work you’ve published previously, or some new original content that you feel best emphasizes your writing abilities and interests. You may also include a resume, but it is not required for the initial application.

As FanGraphs is a web-based business, relocation will not be required; this job can be completed from most geographic locations, as long as you have reliable internet access and are willing to work during the hours when people in the United States are awake.

If for some reason your application is unable to go through via the wanted@fangraphs.com e-mail address, please fill out a contact form with the same subject “FanGraphs Full-Time Writer Application – 2018” and you will be provided an alternate e-mail address to submit your application.


2017 FAN Projections!

The 2017 FAN Projection ballots are now open!

Before you can project any players, you’ll have to select the team you follow most closely towards the top of the screen. If you really don’t follow a team, just pick one. You’ll only have to do this once.

After you’ve selected a team, there are 9 categories for pitchers and 10 categories for position players. Pick the values in the drop-down boxes closest to what you think the player will do in 2017, hit the submit button and you’re done! If you made a mistake, you can always go back and change your selection at any time.

Please note that everything this year is a rate stat. You’re projecting 2B+3B, HR, SB, and Fielding as a measure of 150 games (basically a full season). The player’s previous stats are shown per 150 games in the projection ballot too. This will make changing playing time projections much easier as you’ll only have to change the games played portion.

That’s really all there is to it. You can filter players by team, or if you go to the player pages, you can project players individually. If you want to see all the players you’ve projected, you can click on the “My Rankings” button which will show you only what you specifically projected a player to do.

Fan Projections will show up on the player pages after there have been 5 ballots submitted.

If you do notice any issues, please let us know.


Introducing Ad Free Membership

Today we’re introducing a new form of FanGraphs Membership: Ad Free Membership. With Ad Free Membership, you become a full-fledged member of the site and you will not see a single third-party advertisement on the FanGraphs website so long as you maintain your membership. The price of Ad Free Membership is $50 per year.

If you are already a FanGraphs Member, you’ll be able to easily upgrade your membership at a pro-rated rate, depending on how much time you have left before your renewal date. Just select the new “Ad Free Yearly Membership” and hit the Sign Up Now button.

To give everyone a sense for what Ad Free Membership looks like, we’re going to put the site into Ad Free mode for all users through Monday. We hope you’ll like what you see. I know for the few of us who have been beta testing the product, we can attest that it really does make a noticeable difference in both the speed and responsiveness of the site.

Let me give you some details on why we’ve decided to do this. Earlier this year we introduced FanGraphs Membership, and we are incredibly thankful for everyone who has decided to become a member thus far! FanGraphs Membership is a way for you to help fund the site’s current operations and its future growth. If you think we’re doing a good job and you’d like to support our efforts, it’s a great way to show your support.

However, even with FanGraphs Membership, the majority of our revenue comes from advertising. Without advertising, there is no way the site could continue to operate. This has become a bit of a double-edged sword for us. As online advertising technology has advanced, it has also become more resource intensive, taking up both processing power and bandwidth. While there are movements within the online advertising industry to combat advertising bloat, we want to give our users a way to avoid ads completely, without cutting off the revenue stream which is essential for FanGraphs to operate. Ad Free Membership does exactly that.

We rely on various advertising networks to provide ads to us, and we do our best to vet all of these networks to make sure they’re not serving intrusive or malicious ads. But, even the most diligent ad networks have intrusive ads that slip through the cracks. Tracking down intrusive ads has more or less become a game of whack-a-mole for us over the past few years. Intrusive ads annoy us just as much as they annoy you, and we are constantly trying to make sure the advertising experience on FanGraphs is acceptable.

We will remain completely committed to having a non-intrusive advertising experience for those who would prefer not to become Ad Free Members.

It would be disingenuous of me to not mention ad-blocking. Ad-blocking is a real problem for us, but we also understand the many reasons people decide to install ad-blockers. If you are using an ad-blocker and you regularly visit FanGraphs, I urge you to become an Ad Free Member. There is now a real option for you that will help us continue to bring you high quality baseball content, without ads.

As we’ve stated before in our previous membership posts, Ad Free Membership, or any type of FanGraphs Membership is not a paywall. Whether you decide to be a member or not, all the content on FanGraphs remains available to you. We are incredibly thankful to the entire FanGraphs community for supporting us over the years and hope that we can continue to earn your support going forward.


FanGraphs Membership Update

Earlier this year we introduced FanGraphs Membership, a voluntary way to to help support all the baseball content we produce each and every day. As a reminder, Membership is achieved through a $20 annual donation to the site — or $3 per month for those of you who prefer short-term contracts! — and we are greatly appreciative of all those who became members when we rolled out the program back in February.

Since we haven’t really mentioned Membership much since the rollout, we wanted to give you guys an update on the program. Beginning today, frequent users of FanGraphs who are not Members will occasionally be reminded that that becoming a Member will help support all the great baseball content at FanGraphs. These messages won’t be overly intrusive or too frequent, but will serve as a reminder that the content and data you’re consuming costs us real money to provide, and you can help ensure that FanGraphs remains a leader in both spaces by becoming a Member.

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FanGraphs Membership

Today, we’re excited to introduce FanGraphs Membership. What is FanGraphs Membership? Quite simply, it is a voluntary way for you to help support all the baseball content we produce each and every day. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to help contribute to the long-term growth of the site, this is your chance to do just that, and partner with us to help continue to provide data and content that helps us all understand the game of baseball a little bit better.

FanGraphs Membership is not a paywall; we are not creating a separate section of the site that will only be available to members. In fact, we’re actually taking the content that was previously available to FanGraphs+ subscribers and making it available to everyone. We want every person who visits the site to feel that they are getting the most out of their experience, and believe that, with a broad base of support from the fantastic community here, we can continue to provide that information without restricting access to anyone.

With the introduction of FanGraphs Membership, all the content produced on FanGraphs will now be accessible for free, without logging in, or being a FanGraphs Member. If you are not a FanGraphs Member, we will occasionally ask if you’d like to join in supporting the site, but it will always be your decision to make. Think of FanGraphs Membership as something akin to the model used by NPR.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is FanGraphs doing this?

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