Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Advanced Statistics: BABIP

BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play):

Purpose: To determine how lucky a player is at getting hits after he puts the ball in play.
Introduced: 1999
Explained: BABIP is a good way of predicting whether a player's batting average will go up or down. If a player's BABIP is alarmingly high, he is most likely due for a decrease in batting average as soon as his luck runs out. For instance, Austin Jackson's BABIP was a staggering .396 in 2010, leading many baseball experts to predict a sharp decline in his batting average in 2011; sure enough, his batting average at the start of 2011 was an abysmal .226 (.314 BABIP, average), compared to his solid .293 batting average the year before. Essentially, Jackson is getting fewer lucky bloop singles and swinging bunts in 2011. BABIP is a slightly flawed statistic, however, as often times a player will have a high BABIP simply because he is a good hitter and hits a lot of line drives. It is not always a perfect indicator of a player's future performance, but it certain cases it does the job (i.e. Austin Jackson).

BABIP=(H-HR)/(AB-HR-K+Sac Flies)