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Biggest BAbip advantages so far this year

Posted by Andy on June 28, 2011

I found several players with BAbips (batting average on balls put in play) that are at least 100 points higher than their batting averages so far in 2011. That's even more bad news for these guys, since they are all having pretty bad years, and if their BAbips regress to the mean a little, their seasons will probably get even worse.

1 Dexter Fowler 247 .345 79 13 5 0 18 31 66 .238 .340 .348 .688 /*8 COL
2 Jack Cust 226 .322 96 11 1 2 19 40 65 .216 .358 .319 .677 /*D SEA
3 Brad Hawpe 216 .331 86 10 0 4 19 19 68 .231 .301 .344 .645 /*39D SDP
4 Bill Hall 183 .327 71 9 2 2 14 10 59 .224 .273 .335 .609 /*4 TOT
5 Willie Harris 132 .355 83 5 0 1 9 14 39 .241 .333 .310 .644 /758D9 NYM
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/27/2011.

Incidentally, Jack Cust did this last year, too. He finished 2010 with 425 plate appearances, a .272 batting average, and a .387 BAbip. He also had a 128 OPS+. In 2010, Austin Jackson maintained a 103-point differential over 675 plate appearances.

4 Responses to “Biggest BAbip advantages so far this year”

  1. Joe Says:

    Is there any real predictive value here? It looks to me like we've got a bunch of guys who strike out a lot but haven't been hitting home runs. None of them except for Willie Harris have BAbips that are far outside their career norms. You might just as easily conclude that Cust, Hawpe and Hall should start hitting home runs more frequently, which will both bring down the BAbip - BA differential, and make their overall numbers look better.

  2. Spartan Bill Says:

    If you are basing the BAbip standard on .100 over BA, of course you are going to have people having bad years.

    A good hitter with a .330 BA isn;t likely to have a .440 BAbip.

    I just ran a report looking for the best BAbip since 1961, and I used the low standard of 251 PA (half of what it takes to qualify for a title).

    I found only 8 players with a BAbip over .400, and of the top 200 players in the report; only 2 Jose Hernandez, 2002 and Jack Cust, 2010 would have made this list. Hernandez led the league in SO that year, and Jack Cust is, well you know Jack Cust.

  3. Al Dimond Says:

    Yeah, count me with the people that don't think a large BABIP - BA indicates a hitter that's been unusually lucky, except that it tends to select hitters with high BABIPs generally (among some other things). BABIP for hitters is mostly useful in comparison to a hitter's established baseline, not his overall BA.

  4. obsessivegiantscompulsive Says:

    The way the article is written, it seems to assume a regression to .300 BABIP mean, which most pitchers regress to because that is the talent level across the majors. Hitters, however, regress to their established baseline, as the other commenter noted.

    Most analysis of this sort usually use the hitter's career or 3-year average for BABIP, as the established baseline. Players regress to those means, generally.

    Also, typically, speedsters like Fowler (or Ichiro) can hope to maintain high BABIP, whereas the slow guys on the list, usually not so much. Still, if they can hit well (Pablo Sandoval has high BABIP despite un-skinny and un-speedy body), that is also another way to attain high BABIP.