StrategyJune 23, 2011


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BABIP Outliers: Batters - 3 comments

By Brandon Gray

BABIP can be a great first guide for identifying potential buy low or sell high candidates.  I’ve gathered BABIP information for qualified players for 2011 and compared it to their personal average from 2008-2010. For those of you new to the statistic, BABIP (batting average on balls in play) measures the percentage of plate appearances that result in a batted ball in play.  This stat excludes home runs since they are not in play. While a league average BABIP can be calculated, the stat is better used to compare a player against himself over a period of time.

The tables below identify the top 10 2011 batters hitting above and below their 2008-2010 average BABIP.  Only qualified hitters from 2008-2011 were included.

*Stats as of 6/22

Unlucky Seasons

Name2008-2010   2011  Difference
Dan Uggla.308.192-.116
Hanley Ramirez.346.239-.107
Alex Rios.304.218-.086
David DeJesus.331.249-.082
Mark Teixeira.296.225-.071
Justin Morneau.313.249-.064
Miguel Tejada.300.237-.063
Jayson Werth.327.265-.062
Albert Pujols.311.253-.058
Austin Jackson.396.338-.058


Many of the players above are experiencing career worst seasons.  While some of them may be horrible to begin with (Figgins, Tejada), they are still getting unlucky.  I think several of these players are buy low candidates.  While big names like Uggla and Ramirez are entrenched in season long slumps, most people agree they will begin to surface the second half of the season.  Will they produce like you expected Opening Day?  I don’t think so, but I do expect at least average production from them.

Getting Lucky

Name2008-20102011Difference
Adrian Gonzalez.304.386+.082
Hunter Pence.304.382+.078
Jose Bautista.256.324+.068
Andre Ethier.313.365+.052
Jose Reyes.309.357+.048
Chase Headley.332.377+.045
Paul Konerko.286.325+.039
Kosuke Fukudome.301.340+.039
Alex Gonzalez.271.308+.037
Bobby Abreu.323.356+.033


These players have apparently been spotting four leaf clovers all over their yards and should buy a lottery ticket.  Oh wait, they make more than what the lottery pays out.  The spike in BABIP isn’t as dramatic as the losses in the previous table.  I’m also not sure I would be trying to trade any of the big names on this list as they show no signs of slowing down this year.  So while I don’t necessarily suggest pursuing trades for most of these players, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to offers.  You can expect most of them to slightly regress in BABIP the second half of the year.

For a more detailed look at Hunter Pence, check out Josh Shepardson’s Buyer Beware piece this week.  It’s an excellent read.

Next week I’ll be diving into the starting pitchers receiving good and bad luck from BABIP.

Feel free to leave comments, I will respond to any questions.

 
Brandon can be found at home being a dad and novice landscaper, in the corporate office being a hamster, on the diamond being a softball coach, or at Fenway Park enjoying a frank. You can follow Brandon on Twitter (@bginda2g).
 
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3 Responses to “BABIP Outliers: Batters”

  1. User avatar AquaMan2342 says:

    And Tex is still tied for second in the AL in homers. Looks like he could be in for a monster year when it’s all said and done.

    Austin Jackson’s BABIP last year was one of the highest in history. I actually do believe it will improve from where it’s at because he tends to get a lot of infield hits, but he’ll likely never approach .396 again. He’s a moderate buy-low IMO.

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  2. User avatar bginda2g says:

    AquaMan, I completely agree in regards to Tex. With his history of poor first half performances, I’m sure most owners are satisfied with the results so far.

    Jackson on the other hand is someone I would stay away from. His .309 OBP as a lead-off man is embarrassing. He strikes out way too much. You’re right on the .396, that is insane. Jackson was one of last 5 guys cut from my 10 Speedy Outfielders column last week. I just can’t support rostering that guy unless you need runs, which is mainly generated by lineup production and batting lead-off.

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  3. User avatar kab21 says:

    A .350 BAPIP is about as high as a player can sustain over multiple seasons so I don’t understand how Jackson’s .338 BAPIP will rise. He was on my do not draft list and I’m still not interested.

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