Heat Maps

The heat maps available in FanGraphs PITCHF/x section represent where a pitcher threw a particular type of pitch the most often.

There are some other important things to note:

● All pitch type classification is based on MLBAM’s pitchf/x pitch types. The algorithms used over the years are not always consistent, so be careful when comparing pitch types between years.

FA - Fastball
CU - Curveball
FT - Two-seam Fastball
CH - Changeup
FC - Cutter
SL - Slider
FS - Splitter
KN - Knuckleball
PO - Pitchout
IN - Intentional Ball
AB - Automatic Ball
UN - Unknown Pitch

● The heat maps are generated by creating a scatter plot of the pitches and then applying color of varying degrees to overlapping points. The more points that intersect, the greater the intensity of the color.

● You can change the size of each point in the scatter plot. Making the points larger will having a smoothing effect on the heatmap. You can also change the intensity, which will make the colors more intense for each point that is plotted.

Much of the code used to create the heat maps was found on Dylan Vester’s C# Playground.

Links for Further Reading:

Heat Maps: What They Show, and Mistakes to Avoid – FanGraphs

David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

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BipSteveJeffMauerPower Recent comment authors
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So the yellow means more pitches were thrown there? What about the other maps? Are they the same but with different colors?


Yes, the yellow means more pitches were thrown in that same spot. In the monochrome color pallet the brighter the spot means the most pitches were thrown in that location while the rainbow pallet works mostly in the same way, but the red area would be the location where the greatest number of pitches were thrown.


I think the colors are confusing if yellow represents the overlap as yellow is not more intense than red imo……more like a blue-purple-red would make sense.


Pitch classification is missing a few.

SI for sinker
KC for knuckle-curve I’m assuming since AJ Burnett is pretty much the only guy listed who throws one
EP for eephus. This one is absolutely critical and I’m astounded at its omission.