You know the hot/cold zones that you sometimes see on MLB broadcasts? The ones that say that Albert Pujols hit .393 and slugged .883 on pitches down the middle in 2009? Ever wanted to see them for every batter and every pitcher at any time? Craig Glaser over at Sabometrics recently released a great little app for the IPhone/IPod Touch that does just that.
The Batting Goggles app allows you to search for any player and view a heat map of their average and slugging in each of 25 bins. If you so choose, you can limit that view to just those pitches in the strike zone.
Here's an example for Pablo Sandoval:
You can also view the player's splits and see how they fare against righties or lefties.
The next version will allow you to create two lineups so you can follow along during a game. What I'd love to see is a split screen view that shows the batter on one side and the pitcher on the other. It might be tough in a small screen, but I think it would be very cool.
There's some other small touches that would be nice: displaying what hand the player in question is, and maybe being able to change the displays for a zone (hits / homers?).
All in all though, it's a great little app that I know I'll be using while watching games this year.
Craig's been nice enough to donate a free copy of the application (although it's only $.99 at the app store, so it's well worth your investment). I'm going to give the copy to the person who comes up with the most creative idea for a Pitch F/X study by 3 PM Friday, April 2. Post your ideas in the comments. I'll decide what idea I like the best, and the originator gets a free copy of Batting Goggles.