Comments on: The most runs scored per time on base over a career This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Autin Thu, 13 Jan 2011 06:22:25 +0000 Thanks, KJOK and Twisto, for the Hitless Wonders home/road run data.

Kds @59 -- Yeah, I know about the GB/FB/LD splits, which are available here on B-R, though I haven't done much analysis with them. I'm not sure how directly they go to the question of "hard-hit balls," though; of the three categories, only LD would, by definition, have a known correlation with hard-hit balls, and I have no intuitive sense of what the hard-hit rate might be for GB or FB. We might infer something about that from a pitcher's BA allowed on GB or FB as compared to the league average, but we'd be presuming that all defenses are equal, which they aren't, by a long shot.

I'd love to have a source for hard-hit ball data, but it would be highly subjective.

By: Johnny Twisto Thu, 13 Jan 2011 05:18:53 +0000 Oh yeah, I think I forgot to answer Autin's question before. I actually took the Sox numbers from Retrosheet, because I was over there seeing if they had batting splits which hadn't been imported to B-R yet (they don't). But the numbers I cited are also available here.

By: KJOK Thu, 13 Jan 2011 03:17:06 +0000 John Austin:

-- Are you getting that by tallying their game-by-game results, or is there a more direct source?

White Sox played 79 Home games in 1906, scored 275 runs, gave up 180. Played 75 Road games, scoring 292 and giving up 280. So yes, there was a big difference in run environments.

Data courtesy of ballparks database (updated version coming soon...)

By: ChrisBCritters Wed, 12 Jan 2011 17:30:55 +0000 Thank you for pulling the info JA #37.

Yes there were many factors, but still it does point out his inability to score once he was on base.

By: kds Wed, 12 Jan 2011 08:45:38 +0000 "The correlation between hitting the ball hard and getting a base hit, ..." They do now have data describing all hit balls as one of; Ground Ball, Fly Ball, Line Drive. These determinations are done by human observers and are almost certainly biased, but they are all we have. BABIP by contact type gives us something like this; LD = .730, GB = .240, FB = .150. Remember, this does not include HR, which are mostly FB, with a few LD. But it does seem that while pitchers can have an effect with their GB/FB ratio, they don't have much of an effect on their LD%, by far the greatest determinant of BABIP. Lots of data and studies related to this area at, including numbers for each batter and pitcher.

By: Mike Felber Wed, 12 Jan 2011 08:23:29 +0000 Luck runs rampant. Though I understand that the knuckle-ball is suppose do be the 1 pitch that players hit worse. If so, I wonder if the weaker contact is freflected in Babip, or the weaker shots fall in almost as often...

It does seem that some knucklers have better ERA + than their other stats would suggest. Just my impression.

By: John Autin Wed, 12 Jan 2011 04:57:01 +0000 Barkie -- It's not that I'm comforted, exactly, by the fact that BAbip tends to regress to the mean; I merely accept what the data shows. And I certainly don't mean to sound smart about it; I still have the gut sense that inducing weak contact is a trait of the better pitchers. But I just can't square that with the data.

Randy Johnson's career BAbip was .295. In his 5 Cy Young seasons, his BAbip averaged .309 (ranging from .291 to .335). Two points about this:

1. Randy Johnson had nasty "stuff." Of course he got a million Ks, but wouldn't he also seem likely to induce weak contact? And yet, his BAbip is absolutely ordinary, about 2 points below the league mean for his career.

2. If inducing weak contact really were a major factor in MLB success, wouldn't it seem very strange that Johnson's 5 Cy Young seasons had a combined BAbip 14 points above his career average?

As far as bridging the gap between our gut sense and what the data show, I can think of a few factors that would help; I'm sure others could name more.

-- HRs are excluded from the BAbip equation; they're not "in play." Obviously, HRs are among the hardest-hit balls off a pitcher; thus, we should not think of BAbip as somehow measuring the frequency of hard-hit balls.

-- The correlation between hitting the ball hard and getting a base hit is, I think, much weaker than our gut sense. A lot of hard-hit balls are caught, and a lot of bloops and bleeders fall safely. If this is so, then this is another sense in which BAbip is not a measure of hard-hit balls, per se.

-- It may seem hard to accept sheer random luck as such a major factor in large year-to-year BAbip variations for the same pitcher, with no change in context. But why? After all, we see pitchers have year-long lucky/unlucky streaks all the time, in terms of run support, bullpen support, score distribution, etc. Why can't we believe that a pitcher can be very lucky one year with "at'em" balls, and unlucky the next with every broken-bat flare finding a hole?

By: Johnny Twisto Wed, 12 Jan 2011 01:37:47 +0000 Let us know your thoughts after you've read more.

By: barkie Tue, 11 Jan 2011 23:32:51 +0000 Twisto,

well explained. I'm going to go back to the original article cited so I can speak a little more solidly. But this topic is super important to me. My own feeling is that defense is the most intangible aspect of the game. If I'm to be swayed by the sabreheads I have a feeling it'll come thru a series of small battles like this.

I'll read up.

By: Johnny Twisto Tue, 11 Jan 2011 23:25:09 +0000 Well, not really, but hopefully you can read it.