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Know your Rays: swinging at the fastball (Thursday)

A very fun game.

Who's behind the mask?
Who's behind the mask?

Here are the answers to the previous three days.

Monday: This player loves high fastballs, up above the zone. He swings at a league average rate on fastballs in the top half of the zone. He disdains fastballs in the bottom half of the zone, and he spits on fastballs below the zone. The approach works for him. According to FanGraphs, he's 1.20 runs above average per 100 FA and FF (undiferentiated fastballs and four-seam fastballs), and .20 runs above average per 100 two-seam fastballs. That 1.20 runs above average makes the FA/FF category his second most successful pitch type, slightly behind cutters (which are also fastballs). This player is Ben Zobrist.

It's sort of interesting that he seems to like to attack the ball in on his hands more from the right side.

Correct answers came from Dbullsfan, LoL@MyLackOfSportsKnowledge, and dfridkin.

Tuesday: This player covers the zone pretty normally against lefties, with a slight preference for the high heat. He does a decent job letting fastballs below the zone against lefties go. Against righties, he shows a strong preference for the pitch in on his hands, and he lays off fastballs down and away. He is a righty, so that's likely a healthy respect for the threat of the breaking ball down and away (and anyway, same-handed breaking balls down and away are tough to hit, even without the possibility of it actually being a slider off the outside)

It's a successful approach. He's 1.60 runs above average per 100 FA/FF (his highest mark), and 1.01 runs above average per 100 FT. This player is Evan Longoria.

A lot of y'all got this one:, Theroarkster17, BeantownRaysFan, MagicMark, ChiBurbRaysFan, Andy Hellicksonstine, LoL@MyLackOfSportsKnowledge, Imperialism32, and Bradley Woodrum

Wednesday: This player's heat map looks pretty dang similar to Longoria's. Unsurprisingly, he is also a righty. Also, unsurprisingly, his results are not quite as good as Longo's (few hitters' results are). Over his career, he's been .43 runs above average per 100 FF/FA, and exactly average against FT. This player is Desmond Jennings.

Correct answers: Andy Hellicksonstine and BossmanJunior333.

And here's the tally for the week so far:

In the lead with two: Andy Hellicksonstine (not surprising, since he's just finished up a series examining all the Rays' batters' tendencies, at Dock of the Rays) and LoL@MyLackOfSportsKnowledge (surprising, because of his name).

As with all of this week's puzzles, I've given you a graph from Jeff Zimmerman's Baseball Heat Maps, and you need to determine who's swing tendencies are being depicted.The two charts below show how often a Rays player swung at a fastball in different locations of the strike zone. They include all pitches classified by MLBAAM as FA, FF, and FT from 2007 through the present, and compare the player to league average. Green means that the player swung at a pitch in that location about as often as the league as a whole did. Blue and purple means that the player swung less often at a pitch in that location. Yellow and red means he swung more often.

Mystery Ray vs. left-handed pitchers:



Mystery Ray vs. right-handed pitchers:



Who is the mystery Ray?