Sometimes I'm a little slow to pick up on things (believe me, the obvious pun has been made many times), but I'm rather disappointed that I never noticed how awesome Minor League Splits is before. I've always used their Minor League Equivalency calculator, but for some reason I never realized that there was more to the site than that. Well well well...it will adjust minor league numbers to account for park and league effects for me? I think I'm in heaven.
Another nifty feature I just discovered is their spray charts. Since these are the minor leagues we're talking about, hit locations are obviously a rather subjective and inexact science, but they're still a lot of fun to look at. I'd like to look at the spray charts for our three favorite minor-leaguers - Reid Brignac, Matt Joyce, and Sean Rodriguez - but first here's a disclaimer about the data:
The two shaded arcs show 250 feet and 350 feet, respectively. MiLB hit location data is recorded by human scorers at different parks, so should be treated as approximate, especially at the extremes. I've eliminated the most glaring errors, but I've left the 200-foot home runs and foul base hits for you to interpret however you wish.
The red dots are outs, the green ones are hits, and the blue ones are home runs. First, I bring you The Cajun God of Baseball:
It appears that Reid hits to all fields, but he hits more ground outs to the right and slightly more fly outs to the left. He also hits for the most power when he pulls the ball. Next up, Matt Joyce:
Helllllooo pull hitter. Joyce can cream the ball, but he does it primarily to the right side. His power diminishes as you move across the diamond until he's barely got any hits out in left field. And that blank spot in left-center field is rather odd.
And now, Sean Rodriguez:
In case you're confused while I left the header on this photo, take a hard look at the words "vLeft", "vRight", and "Batting Splits". Obviously those dots can't all be exact and I'm sure there is some exaggeration at work, but holy cow! Talk about some massive power. S-Rod seems to be a very balanced hitter, spraying the ball well and hitting for power to all fields. This chart is a thing of beauty.