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A new way to look at BABIP?

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Offline  A new way to look at BABIP?
#1

Posted: May 23, 2013, 7:43 PM Post
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Posts: 4535
Location: Phoenix, AZ
I just got around to reading this article on Baseball Prospectus from last month.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... leid=20140

I found this to be rather interesting especially about the pitchers who pitched more towards ground balls having a lower BABIP on ground balls.

At this point, there's a pretty good consensus that the real answer to the question is "Yeah, but... hang on a minute, there's more to it." There are a bunch of logical factors that can influence BABIP.

For one, line drives that don't leave the park tend to fall for hits about 70 percent of the time (70.9 percent in 2012), while ground balls find a hole around a quarter of the time (23.8 percent in 2012), and fly balls drop in a place that is not over the wall 13 percent of the time (13.1 percent in 2012). The rate at which pitchers give these various types of hit balls up is fairly stable across time. BABIP could simply be a function of what sorts of batted balls a pitcher likes to yield. More than that, my former BP (and Statistically Speaking) colleague Matt Swartz also found that pitchers who yielded a lot of ground balls tended to have lower BABIPs on ground balls than would be otherwise expected. Not all grounders are created equal!

My former BP (and Statistically Speaking) colleague Mike Fast found that BABIP can depend a great deal on whether batters tend to hit pulled or opposite field air balls off a pitcher. Opposite field hits are more likely to be line drives. Liners are more likely to fall for hits. Pulled balls are more likely to be fly balls and to fly over the fence (which takes them out of the BABIP discussion).

Mike Fast also found that pitchers have some amount of control over how hard a ball is hit, and that harder-hit balls tend to go for hits more often.

Also, another researcher going by the improbable pseudonym "Pizza Cutter" found that ball-strike count made a difference. Balls put in play in pitcher's counts were less likely to go for hits than those in hitter's counts. Getting to an advantageous count was an outcome that appeared to have some stability for pitchers.

The kitchen utensil guy also found that while BABIP might take around 3,800 balls in play to show enough statistical reliability to be considered stable, it does eventually stabilize.


I am not convinced that he is right but I do believe this is an interesting point of view on BABIP for pitchers.


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Offline  Re: A new way to look at BABIP?
#2

Posted: March 14, 2014, 12:50 AM Post
Posts: 684
Location: Sydney, Australia
Not convinced?

If a pitcher throws a lot of meat balls that get smoked for line drives, that pitchers BABIP can be very high... and that is... drum roll... bad luck!?

If a pitcher gets behind in the count and the batter is waiting for HIS pitch, and smokes it, and those 'fall behind' pitchers end up with a high BABIP... that is... drum roll... bad luck!?

Anyway, you get the idea. It does make sense to me to consider these 'non random' events. Getting behind in the count all the time is NOT random. The events that occur from hanging a breaking pitch or throwing a heater down the can is NOT random.

What I find amazing, is such obvious facts are only carefully, gently talked about. It is not 'politically correct' to say such metric-heresies.


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