April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm by Franklin Rabon under Atlanta Braves
Note that a lot of the Astros haven’t played much in MLB, which makes these maps not as smooth as you’d like. However, you should at least be able to get an idea. Marwin Gonzalez is not included, as he has only a few PA’s this year, which don’t provide worthwhile heat maps.
All data is fron 2009 to present, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info.
How to use these heat maps:
Essentially these maps will give you a feel for the hitter’s plate approach and strengths. The swing % map shows how often a hitter swings at a given pitch location. From this, you can get an idea for how patient the hitter is, and what pitches within the zone he likes to wing at. With the slugging percentage maps, you get an idea of what locations a hitter can and can’t do damage on.
Ideally a hitter would like to swing at almost nothing outside of the zone (except in certain cases where a hitter is extremely good at hitting pitches in certain locations outside the zone). Additionally, a hitter should almost always swing at pitches in locations where his slugging map is extremely hot (ie red). He should take a decent amount of pitches, even in the strike zone, where his slugging map is blue.
If you see an area where the hitters slugging map is blue, but his swing % map is yellow or red, that is an area the pitcher should really attack, as the hitter will swing at that pitch, but not be able to do much at all with it. Obviously the pitcher wants to shy away from areas where the hitter’s slug map is yellow or red.