It's 4:19 am as I begin writing this, and, like any good person, I spend my late nights and early mornings thinking about Brandon Belt. Now that Fangraphs has a neat Spray Chart tool, we never have to go to any website again, other than MCC, of course, There's now a tab on every player's Fangraphs page, and you can go ahead and tinker with the interactive version of Belt's spray chart on his player page.
In any case, let's take a look at Belt's Hang Time scatter:
Note, in TWO YEARS, he has hit only 6 balls to third base, counting the green and yellow dots. The blue and purple ones are pop-ups, and the SS could have gotten to them anyway. Teams are certainly going to start shifting more next season, as there's really no reason to field a 3rd baseman against Belt. If Belt was a little slower, I might just put the 3B way out in short to medium RF somewhat near the line and have the RF move to RCF, thereby swinging the CF toward LF and the LF a little closer to the line. Belt really generates all of his value to the right side of the field, and pushes a lot of popups to the other side, so it seems such an outfield alignment could really cause some ruckus.
Belt also seems to get AT&T'd an average number of times. A park factor of 85 for LHH HRs indicates that home run totals for Giant lefties should be augmented another 17.6% for a neutral park environment. You can see there are about 4-8 dots outside the ring of black, depending on your interpretation, and Belt's 24 HRs over the last 2 years indicate he should have missed out on about 4.3 HRs thanks to the park. Maybe he's been a bit unlucky, but my estimate was fairly liberal to boot.
One interesting thing about the spray charts in general is that I think they might be a little wonky. I see a clustering of those pink dots around where the outfielders would be, leading me to believe that hangtime might sometimes include time the ball spends rolling on the ground. Either that or Belt has an odd affinity for hitting balls between 1.5 and 3 seconds in the air directly at outfielders.
So, all in all, I just wanted to share this neat feature and talk about a player we love talking about. There are a ton more spray charts I'd love to play with on Fangraphs, which is incredibly unfortunate, since I have my finals coming up. Unfortunate for my grades, anyway...