Archive for Site News

FanGraphs Merch Is Still Available for Pre-Order!

FanGraphs merchandise is still available for pre-order! Pre-orders for all sizes will be available from now until May 10, with merchandise expected to ship in early June.

Items available for pre-order include:

Read the rest of this entry »


You Can Now Pre-Order FanGraphs Merchandise!

Over at our online store, supplies have been running low, and many have asked us when we’ll be restocking their favorites. But don’t fret: FanGraphs merchandise is now available for pre-order! Pre-orders for all sizes will be available from now until May 10, with merchandise expected to ship in early June.

Items available for pre-order include:

Also available for pre-order, and back by popular demand, our “Do you go to FanGraphs at all?” T-shirts, as well as FanGraphs hats:

Our other merch is still available to order.

Many of our readers have also expressed an interest in FanGraphs mugs. Unfortunately, the site we’ve used in the past isn’t offering them anymore, but we’re on the hunt for a new supplier, and hope to have an update on when mugs will be back in stock soon.

Thanks to everyone who has bought merchandise in the last few weeks. Every FanGraphs Membership, donation, or t-shirt purchased goes directly to paying employees and contributors, and to covering the stats and server costs that keep the lights on. We appreciate your support and hope to see you and your snazzy new FanGraphs hoodie or hat at a ballpark soon!


An Update on the State of FanGraphs

First, I’d like to say thank you.

Last week, I shared an update on the state of FanGraphs in light of baseball’s COVID-19-related delays and asked for your help in sustaining the site through this pandemic. The response we saw was incredible. We had the most new Membership signups we’ve had since launching the program in 2016, with 4,618 new Members. We’re so grateful for the baseball community and the kindness and resolve it so often shows. Thank you to all of our existing members and to everyone who became a Member, bought merchandise, helped get the word out on social media, or offered words of encouragement.

Many of you have also asked for an update on our progress, and here it is: the support you’ve shown the site gives us some breathing room, but not as much as is needed. Our yearly expenses include employee salaries and benefits, contributor pay, stats contracts, and server costs. And even though we continue to roll out new site features and publish new content, our daily traffic is still down 60-70%, sometimes more, affecting our ad revenue.

As I said last week, we realize that for many, now is not the best time to ask for help. Many are facing uncertainty. We’re uncertain if baseball will return this season. We don’t know what the advertising market will look like if it does. In order to weather that uncertainty, and to hopefully continue to grow in the future, we need 4% of our users to become Members. That translates to roughly 40,000 Members total. We’re 34.9% of the way there with 13,970 Members currently. We don’t need to close that 26,030-member gap overnight, but if we make our goal, it will help to ensure the site’s future. Read the rest of this entry »


You Can Now Aggregate Game and Season Stats on the Player Pages

Last month, we updated our Player Pages. Today we are debuting a new feature on the Season Stats and Game Log Pages.

But before I take you through that new functionality, I wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude for the outpouring of support we’ve received over the last week. At FanGraphs, we have two developers who build and maintain the site: David Appelman, who started the site in 2005, and me. I have worked primarily on the front-end tools for the past five years. We are constantly trying to improve our site by adding new tools or making our existing ones better, all to fulfill our mission of providing excellent baseball analysis and allowing you to conduct great baseball analysis of your own. All of this takes time and development resources. It can take 2-4 months to complete projects like updating the Player Pages or incorporating the RosterResource Depth Charts into FanGraphs.

We plan to keep working hard to create even more tools during this baseball-less period, so that when the game does return, the best possible site for your baseball research and analysis is there for you. Your membership enables us to do so. Read the rest of this entry »


In-Progress Farm System Rankings Are Now On The Board

You can now view our in-progress farm system rankings over on The Board. If you recall, we debuted this method for ranking farm systems last year — the original post can be found here — but I’ll provide a quick refresher. Kiley McDaniel and I felt that using Craig Edwards’ research on the monetary value of prospects in the various Future Value tiers — which, if I can digress, underscores just how underpaid many hundreds of prospects are — to derive our rankings skimmed away a layer of subjective preference that would otherwise inform the system rankings.

Here’s an example: I like big-framed, projectable players. As such, I’m more likely to prefer a system that has players like that, and am also more likely to grade those players highly as individuals prospects. In essence, I’d be double counting my personal preferences. Using Craig’s research to value a given FV tier still allows me to express my assessment of and preference for individual players, while also adding some rigor to the system rankings.

Craig’s values tend to favor top-heavy systems rather than those with depth based in the lower FV tiers. The Braves and White Sox are the most helped by this, while the Yankees and Phillies are punished the most. Indeed, if you were to ask me which systems would see the greatest difference between the rankings derived using Craig’s values compared to what they would be if they were based solely on my opinion, it’d probably be those four because of my penchant for depth. Read the rest of this entry »


A FanGraphs Update: We’re Asking for Your Help

This is not how I planned to begin FanGraphs’ 15th year.

I wanted to take a moment to personally inform all of our readers about what’s been going on at FanGraphs these past few weeks, and to share our plans going forward.

Starting March 12, after the announcement that Opening Day would be postponed, we have seen a steep decline in our site traffic that has lead to a correspondingly dramatic decline in revenue. Every piece you read and tool you use at FanGraphs is free to access, but they all take money to create. We are a small business. We rely on the revenue generated by site traffic.

As a result of these declines, I’ve had to make fairly aggressive budget cuts to try to keep FanGraphs viable as a company until the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved and baseball returns. This has involved all of our full-time staff members taking pay cuts, laying off the majority of our contributors, and closing The Hardball Times for the foreseeable future. Now we are asking for your help.

FanGraphs employs 10 full-time staff members who, along with our contributors, produce 200-300 articles each month in addition to our ever-growing inventory of stats, graphs, and tools. Our mission is still to bring you the very best baseball statistics and analysis.

We realize this isn’t necessarily the best time to ask for your help. You have concerns of your own. All of us are anxious in the face of economic uncertainty. We’re all worried about our health, and the health of our loved ones and friends. We’re all worried about what comes next. Quite frankly, our front-line medical workers and emergency personnel, and those who are sick or have lost loved ones, need your assistance most. But if you can spare it, we are asking for your support.

If you read our work, ask our writers questions in chats, listen to our podcasts, browse RosterResource, peruse The Board for prospect rankings, or use our stat pages, please consider a FanGraphs membership. If you work in a baseball front office, and your team all uses one membership login, consider signing up for a few more. Consider an ad-free membership! In addition to helping to ensure there is a FanGraphs when baseball returns, you’ll enjoy the site without banner ads, facilitating faster loading times for just $50 a year.

To all of our existing Members, thank you so much for supporting the site. Being a member is the best way to support FanGraphs.

To all of our readers, we are going to continue asking for your support. We are going to ask pretty frequently. We know there’s no baseball right now, but we’re still writing and building and trying our best to help provide a bit of respite from the pandemic. And when baseball comes back, we want to be here for you.

Once again, thank you for reading and for your support.

Stay safe, and be well.


Updated Player Pages Are Here!

We just updated our player pages! The pages might not look that different, but we’ve redone everything under the hood. We did this to achieve responsive player pages, and it also comes with improvements in speed and a better platform to develop new features in the future.

Quick Look

If you are on a desktop computer, the most noticeable difference on the new pages is the Quick Look section we’ve added to the very top of the page. These will have some popular stats for the player’s major league career and the current or most recent season. Retired players will only have their career stats.

For position players, we’ve also provided a summary of how many major league games the player played at each position, while a pitcher’s Quick Look will show their pitch repertoire. The position breakdown will double count games a player played at two or more positions, and does not include pinch-hitters or pinch-runners, so those values might not add up to games played. We display the Pitch Info classifications for the pitches where usage is 5% or greater for the season. Once again, these will only show for the current or most recent season.

Prospects and players who were recently prospects have their most recent scouting grades and team rankings from the prospect team shown. The report year those grades and rankings come from is shown and also serves as a link to The Board, allowing you to see that report’s entire class. Any in-season rankings are denoted with a (U) for Updated.

Table View Options and Minor League Stats

Minor league stats are no longer shown by default for every player. We do, however, show them for players who:

  • Do not have any major league stats.
  • Current players who have less than two years of service time.
  • Retired players who have minor league stats in our database, but played fewer than three seasons in the majors.

You can toggle the minor league stats into view as always, with the table options between the table header and the data grid.

On mobile, those table view options are hidden but are accessible via the settings gear on the top-right of the table.

Game Logs

The game log calendar has been updated as well. Days when the player played a game are shown in black and have a dot underneath the date. Clicking update will load the new date range. You are also able to select an entire season or all games that we have available. If you select a very long range, it might take a while to load.

We also now have game logs and play logs available for players who played from 1974 to 2002. These behave just like the game logs and play logs of current players. 1974 is as far back as our play-by-play data currently goes.

Mobile

We made the data grid pages responsive. Much like The Board or the minor league leaderboards, you are able to scroll across the table while the season for the row is fixed in the left column.

For the moment, the visualization-based pages still require the full desktop view to use. We hope to move everything over to a responsive view soon.

Other Notes

Fantasy Player Profiles are still in the process of being written and will be available soon. The placement of the profiles on the player pages haven’t changed.

Back in January, we announced the creation of legacy pages for all players pages. The HTML structure on those has not changed. However, they are not meant as a fully-featured alternative, so navigation might not work and new features we develop in the future will not be added to them. This is meant as a stop-gap for any research tools you might have that rely on the HTML structure.

As always if you find any issues or bugs, please let us know in the comments!


The RosterResource Opening Day Roster Tracker Is Here!

After an eventful offseason, actual baseball games are happening on a daily basis again. While there’s nothing like the real thing, at least it’s a sign that we are very close — 26 days, to be precise — to Opening Day.

In the meantime, each team currently has somewhere between 59 (Houston Astros) and 73 (St. Louis Cardinals) players in major league camp. How do I know? Well, I learned this, along with many other interesting tidbits, by using FanGraphs’ newest feature: the Opening Day Roster Tracker. Since it could also be quite useful to you over the next several weeks, let me tell you all about it.

First, here’s a quick primer on who is in major league camp and what happens as rosters are pared down to 26 players.

Who is in major league camp?

The full squad is comprised of each team’s full 40-man roster and a group of non-roster invitees (NRI). A non-roster invitee must be added to the 40-man roster if they break camp with the major league club.

What happens when a player is officially out of the running for an Opening Day roster spot?

If a player on the 40-man roster does not make the team, they are optioned to the minors; non-roster invitees are reassigned. They will continue to prepare for the upcoming season in minor league camp. This does not, however, completely rule them out from making the Opening Day roster. Circumstances can change, usually because of injuries, and a player can be brought back after being sent down. Read the rest of this entry »


Another Farewell

If you’re at all familiar with my career, you know that it’s been a series of years-long periods of waiting, punctuated by changes and opportunities that have popped up more quickly than I could’ve imagined. I won’t bore you with examples, but I’ve found myself in another of those times of change. Some of the twists and turns have been great to share with the people here at FanGraphs. I got engaged last weekend; the book that Eric and I wrote is now at the printer, set to come out in April. But others have been harder. This one is hard. I have accepted a job at ESPN, which I start this week. The move completes a circle of sorts that began when I worked there under Keith Law during the 2012 season. I’ve said goodbye once before, but that doesn’t make it any easier now. FanGraphs is a special place, filled with special people who have been there for me when I needed them the most.

There are a lot of people I’d like to recognize who helped me get to this point. David Appelman and Dave Cameron come to mind first, since they brought me to FanGraphs. The first time, it was a chance to prove myself on the big stage; the second time, it was after I’d chosen to leave a bad situation with the Braves. They were excited to welcome me back when I wasn’t sure what my career would look like or where it would go next. It is impossible to overstate how much that meant to me. I’ve never had a bad thing to say about this job, this place, or the management here. It’s the perfect place to work in a lot of ways.

Eric Longenhagen has been my co-pilot this second time through and is one of those forever friends who I found later in life; I’ll always be thankful that I did. I’m sure he’ll do a great job in his role without me, but we’ll also see each other plenty, too. Meg Rowley has done an amazing job running the site, gracefully editing my words, being a great forever friend in her own regard, and, perhaps most importantly, advising me through my kitchen remodel and the workshopping of my worst tweet drafts. The list could go on forever, but there’s one other person who must be mentioned here. Keith Law has been a great friend and mentor and gave me my first chance to write words that people, both inside and outside the industry, actually read. I have huge shoes to fill at the Worldwide Leader.

I’ll leave the terms of my exact role and focus at ESPN for their press release. I’ll have more to share in the coming weeks as I get on-boarded, like what I’ll do to take the place of my weekly chats here. I’m in Bristol right now and am excited for this new challenge and to work with a new, talented team.

I think it’s appropriate to close with what I first told the people mentioned above about my decision: I am two-thirds excited about the new role, and one-third bummed that I am leaving such a great place that had done so much for me. Long live this amazing baseball blog.


2020 SABR Analytics Awards: Voting Now Open!

Here’s your chance to vote for the 2020 SABR Analytics Conference Research Award winners.

The SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards will recognize baseball researchers who have completed the best work of original analysis or commentary during the preceding calendar year. Nominations were solicited by representatives from SABR, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, and Beyond the Box Score.

To read any of the finalists, click on the link below. Scroll down to cast your vote.

Contemporary Baseball Analysis

Contemporary Baseball Commentary

Historical Baseball Analysis/Commentary

Voting will be open through 11:59 p.m. MST on Monday, February 10, 2020. Details and criteria for each category can be found here. Only one work per author was considered as a finalist.

 

 

Create your own user feedback survey

Mobile or Safari users, click here to access the survey

 

Results will be announced and presented at the ninth annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 13-15, 2020, at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more or register for the conference at SABR.org/analytics.