It can be difficult to explain FanGraphs.com to people who don't worship sabermetric guru Bill James. But if you know about this website and own an iPhone, download FanGraphs Baseball immediately. At $2.99, it's worth every penny.
For those of you who have never heard of FanGraphs, the website – and the app – offers tons of baseball statistics. But instead of focusing on things such as batting average and RBI, FanGraphs focuses on win expectancy, leverage index and win probability. The app does include the standard stats, but the beauty is in the multitude of advanced stats found here, making it one of the most comprehensive of iPhone apps focusing on baseball.
FanGraphs doesn’t just have info for current players, but for every Major League Player ever plus stats for 16 minor leagues dating back to 2006. I’m pretty sure this is the only app that will give you Rick Asadorian’s 2006 minor league numbers, and even surer it’s the only one that includes his batting average on balls in play.
Aside from the massive player database, the other feature of FanGraphs is a live game tracker similar to MLB At-Bat 2009. With FanGraphsut the spotlight is on how each play impacts the chance of each team winning. It’s a unique way to follow a game that every baseball fan should try out.
There are faults with the app. The live game tracker doesn’t automatically update, so you have to hit the refresh button constantly. Also, it would be nice if the player’s names in the game tracker linked to a player card; instead of you having to go to the main screen and search for additional player data.
While I advise anyone who follows baseball to check out this app, I also realize FanGraphs is the kind of app that will only appeal to a niche audience. MLB At-Bat is still the king when it comes to baseball apps, but the stat-obsessed will find FanGraphs a useful compliment to their app library.