At Bat 2010 for the iPad and other Major League iPhone apps

by David Lister

At Bat 2010 for iPadIt is no coincidence that the iPad arrived just in time for the baseball season. While there are already thousands of apps in Apple's tablet computer lineup, At Bat 2010 for the iPad is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Like the iPhone version (which you need to purchase separately at the same $14.99 price), At Bat 2010 for the iPad provides audio feeds and statistics for every Major League Baseball game. Where the app obviously really shines is in its ability to deliver video broadcasts of nearly every Major League game (there is no magic app to get around blackout restrictions, unfortunately.) The video feature requires a subscription to MLB.TV. 

Expect Major League Baseball to incorporate new updates (or technological call-ups) as the season progresses. Last year, just before the playoffs, MLB.com incorporated a "Quad View" feature that enables users to watch four screens at once.

Keep score like you never have before 

FanGraphs BaseballFanGraphs Baseball is a $2.99 iPhone app from the Web site of the same name, and while on the surface it may seem like a poor man’s version of At Bat, it’s really a completely different animal. The iPhone app provides two functions: a gamecast feature that offers a much different experience than anything you’ve seen and just about every stat you’d want for every player in baseball history.

While it offers many advanced stats other iPhone apps do not, FanGraphs does have the basic ones you grew up on. The iPhone app is perfect for anyone interested in sabremetrics, and a recent update that links player’s names in the box score to their player card is a big step in the right direction for the iPhone app’s design.

Fantasy baseball iPhone apps

MyFantasyTeams - Professional EditionThere have already been a few fantasy baseball iPhone apps released for the upcoming season, and rest assured that the current trickle of iPhone apps will soon be a flood.

I’ve long been a proponent of MyFantasyTeams, an iPhone app that provides access to Yahoo! fantasy sports, including baseball, football, hockey and basketball. It’s not exactly a new iPhone app, but the beauty of it is that you won’t need an updated version to work for this year’s leagues.

The iPhone app provides most of your fantasy league options in a well-designed format, and it’s much easier to use and more pleasant to look at than viewing the site via Safari. Last year Yahoo! released official baseball and football iPhone apps that almost do the same thing, though both apps were unfortunately limited and didn’t allow you to do things such as view other team’s rosters.

The fact that MyFantasyTeams works across multiple sports and seasons makes it a bargain at $3.99. If you don’t believe me, check out the free lite version, though be warned it doesn’t let you do things such as edit your lineup.

2010 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit (Mobile Version)The first draft kit iPhone app we’ve seen this year is 2010 Rotowire Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit, and though last year’s version wasn’t my favorite draft guide, this year’s version deserves recognition for beating others to the punch.

The iPhone app is a mobile version of the Web site’s draft kit, and at $3.99, it’s quite a bit cheaper than subscribing to the site or purchasing the kit online. Some of its features include projected stats, depth charts, stats dating back to 2007 for all players, and projected auction dollar values.

It’s not without its faults, though. The omission of customizable rankings is a serious flaw, and one that similar iPhone apps will not likely suffer from. If you can’t wait to get ready for the fantasy baseball season, this iPhone app isn’t bad, just know that by this time next month there will be plenty of alternatives that likely won’t cost as much.

iPhone apps for stats, stats and more stats

Baseball Statistics 2009 EditionBulbous Ventures have announced that Baseball Statistics will return this year, with the iPhone app released sometime in March. According the 2009 edition’s iTunes page, the iPhone app will not only include updated stats, but new features as well.

That is good news. Though last year’s version was a solid release, it lacked that special something to put it over the top. The 2009 iPhone app costs $2.99 and provides team and individual stats, including fielding and personal data such as salary.

Baseball Stats ProBaseball Stats Pro will not be releasing a 2010 iPhone app, as they instead elected to simply update the $1.99 iPhone app with last year’s numbers. Baseball Stats Pro’s angle is that it allows you to search a number of different splits, such as batting with runners in scoring position or how a pitcher has performed against a specific team.

All in all, it’s a solid iPhone app that has an effective gimmick, something desperately needed when you consider how many comparable iPhone apps there are to it.

Baseball StatsBaseball Stats not only has a similar name, but a similar look to Stats Pro. It’s unique in that it has things such as a list of Hall of Famers and sortable stats; for example, you can rank Albert Pujols’ seasons by best batting average, most home runs, most doubles, etc.

As far as content goes, you’d be hard pressed to top Baseball Stats. Unfortunately the iPhone app also leads the pack in price at $4.99, and I’m not completely sold on its special features being worth the extra couple of dollars. It’s a new iPhone app so there’s still a good chance it will drop in price, as $2.99 would be a much more competitive price.

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