Our Favorite Things

Here you will find a collection of independent tools and data from around the web that we don't want to live without. Some of the items will be from Hardball Times and FanGraphs authors, but not all of them will be. For a more thorough explanation of why we created this page, or to suggest new tools that you think would be appropriate to feature here, please click here.




Want to run simulations of baseball games? Look no further than SaberSim. Developed by Hardball Times and FanGraphs author Matt Hunter, SaberSim (originally titled Baseball Sim) is highly customizable. Not only can you quickly add in whatever team's players you want and then mix and match from there, but you also have the option of using past season stats or current season projections. For more info, read Matt's article on the lessons he learned in creating it. LINK >

Baseball Heat Maps

From one of the best publicly available injury databases, to batted ball distance, to a PITCHf/x database, Baseball Heat Maps has a bevy of rich data sets and tools. Developed by Hardball Times & FanGraphs author Jeff Zimmerman & his brother Darrell, this is a site on which you could spend hours and not even scratch the surface of what is housed there. As if the wealth of data on the site wasn't great enough, many of the tools have leaderboards for easier consumption. LINK >

Bill Petti’s Spray Chart Tool

Looking for a visual representation of David Wright's performance against Cole Hamels, or a comparison of CC Sabathia's and Jon Lester's batted ball profiles? This is your resource. Developed by Hardball Times and FanGraphs author Bill Petti, this interactive spray chart tool serves as a great complement to the spray charts housed at FanGraphs. It has several functions, including hitter, pitcher and ballpark comparisons. For more info, read Bill's introductory piece on it here. LINK >

MLB Past and Future Payrolls

To quote Mr. Burns, visual aids help so much, and Phil Roth's interactive payroll tool is a prime example. It puts salary info into a larger context and allows users to see how teams stack up on a macro level and also examine the finer detail of each team's payroll going all the way back to 1998. LINK >

Tom Tango’s Markov Calculator

One of the best ways to compute things like run expectancy tables and linear weights is through a mathematical process known as Markov Chains. Few of us really know how to implement Markov chains, but that's OK. Tom Tango has created a webpage to do the math for you. Simply input your assumptions, such as at at-bats, hits, doubles, etc. and then press a button. The program will do the rest. You can also find lots of related and insightful commentary at Tango's blog. LINK >