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Zones of Scoring: Using Hit F/X to Find the Linear Weights for the Vertical and Horizontal Angle for a Fair Ball.

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Zones of Scoring: Using Hit F/X to Find the Linear Weights for the Vertical and Horizontal Angle of a Ball Hit into Play.

 

Using Hit F/X data, I created 10 degree vertical and horizontal zones and looked at the linear weight for each ball hit into those zones. The data is in a 90 degree horizontal range and an 180 degree vertical range. I used -45 degrees for the 3rd base line and 45 degrees for the 1st base line. To create Linear weights values I used the following linear weights for the complete retrosheet era.

 

Event Linear Weight
Home Run 1.40
Triple 1.03
Double 0.76
Single 0.46
Fielding Error 0.48
Out -0.27

 

In future analysis, the zone angle interval and the linear weight values may need to be adjusted to get better information..

There ended up initially being 162 zones. Here is the zones with the number of balls (excluding bunts) hit in each zone.

 

Degrees -45 to -35 -35- to -25 -25 to -15 -15 to -5 -5 to 5 5 to 15 15 to 25 25 to 35 35 to 45
80 to 90 3 6 1 7 2 8 8 7 3
70 to 80 18 35 27 21 25 39 43 31 16
60 to 70 19 39 46 50 49 49 46 45 23
50 to 60 14 50 79 92 94 95 80 43 13
40 to 50 2 64 125 144 167 170 133 77 10
30 to 40 6 108 199 289 338 260 232 139 15
20 to 30 12 132 275 327 375 347 162 162 14
10 to 20 36 173 277 330 373 358 343 250 43
0 to 10 73 171 262 261 305 296 298 246 111
0 to -10 120 193 191 218 236 236 244 226 173
-10 to -20 116 155 170 211 197 239 229 228 138
-20 to -30 49 74 99 96 86 90 111 106 86
-30 to -40 22 27 30 28 35 34 35 31 40
-40 to -50 8 6 7 4 16 7 9 20 11
-50 to -60 2 3 8 2 3 8 3 2 0
-60 to -70 0 0 3 1 0 5 2 1 5
-70 to -80 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
-80 to -90 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

I needed at some the more vertical angle to combine zones do to lack of hits in the zone and got the following zones:

 

Degrees -45 to -35 -35- to -25 -25 to -15 -15 to -5 -5 to 5 5 to 15 15 to 25 25 to 35 35 to 45
> 70 21 41 28 28 27 47 51 38 19
60 to 70 19 39 46 50 49 49 46 45 23
50 to 60 14 50 79 92 94 95 80 43 13
40 to 50 2 64 125 144 167 170 133 77 10
30 to 40 6 108 199 289 338 260 232 139 15
20 to 30 12 132 275 327 375 347 162 162 14
10 to 20 36 173 277 330 373 358 343 250 43
0 to 10 73 171 262 261 305 296 298 246 111
0 to -10 120 193 191 218 236 236 244 226 173
-10 to -20 116 155 170 211 197 239 229 228 138
-20 to -30 49 74 99 96 86 90 111 106 86
-30 to -40 22 27 30 28 35 34 35 31 40
< -40 10 10 20 9 19 20 14 23 16

 

By using the above linear weights here is a graph of the zones the the run value for each ball hit into that zone:

 

Degrees -45 to -35 -35- to -25 -25 to -15 -15 to -5 -5 to 5 5 to 15 15 to 25 25 to 35 35 to 45
> 70 -0.270 -0.252 -0.270 -0.270 -0.242 -0.232 -0.255 -0.270 -0.270
60 to 70 -0.270 -0.270 -0.270 -0.270 -0.270 -0.270 -0.231 -0.224 -0.270
50 to 60 -0.270 -0.226 -0.270 -0.262 -0.262 -0.241 -0.239 -0.253 -0.270
40 to 50 0.096 0.005 -0.168 -0.227 -0.238 -0.235 -0.211 -0.069 0.009
30 to 40 -0.026 0.265 0.157 -0.056 -0.068 -0.098 0.133 0.523 0.188
20 to 30 0.653 0.594 0.215 0.197 0.125 0.228 0.572 0.572 0.739
10 to 20 0.515 0.482 0.215 0.350 0.242 0.379 0.257 0.525 0.571
0 to 10 0.209 0.202 0.093 0.051 0.284 0.150 0.161 0.119 0.233
0 to -10 -0.081 -0.018 -0.144 -0.114 0.111 0.111 -0.068 -0.019 -0.047
-10 to -20 -0.231 -0.159 -0.162 -0.200 -0.095 -0.193 -0.161 -0.092 -0.122
-20 to -30 -0.255 -0.210 -0.196 -0.224 -0.133 -0.205 -0.158 -0.228 -0.147
-30 to -40 -0.236 -0.161 -0.196 -0.191 -0.145 -0.119 -0.039 -0.127 -0.123
< -40 -0.270 -0.197 -0.233 -0.270 -0.115 -0.159 0.096 0.048 0.233

 

Linear Weght
> 0.6
0.4 to 0.6
0.2 to 0.4
0.0 to 0.2
0.0 to -0.2
-0.2 to -0.4

 

There is quite a bit going on there but here are some observations:

 

  • Looking at the 0 to -10 horizontal zone, the gaps between the fielders can be seen as the run values go up and down. I believe this can be used to determine how well certain player field. There could be certain zones a 3rd baseman is responsible for and weight averages of the zones could be used to evaluate the defense.

  • The best hits are hit at 10 to 30 degrees vertically. Horizontally, > 25 degrees and < -25 degrees are the money spots.

  • It can be seen that balls hit <-20 vertically have a better chance to be fielded on right side of the infield vice on left side. I think this is due to right handed pitchers falling off to the right side after they throw and can't get to the ball as well. A chart of right vs. left handers would help determine if this is true.

  • Put more than 50 degrees of loft on a ball and it is almost guaranteed to be an out.

Future research.

 

  • Right vs. left handed pitchers and hitters.

  • Different views for speed off bat to see if there is any patterns

  • For the zones that are located near where fielder would have a play, maybe more zones used here where there are plenty of sample and use wider zones for other parts of the field where there aren't as many samples.

  • Different views for different speeds off bat.

  • Put image with it that shows a field from home plate for better understanding where the ball goes.

Let me know what you think because for now I really like the potential of the data viewed this way for ease of understand and usefulness of the data.