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Tuesday 25th Apr 2017

Batting Average on Balls In Play, when calculated across the league, comes in at around .300, but each player establishes his own BABIP baseline over time. Speed, line drive percentage, fly ball percentage and ground ball percentage all play into it. Another factor that is hard to quantify, but which I believe is a significant component, is how well a player can adjust to defensive shifts. Teams are privy to many statistics and much information that we as fans don’t have. They compile those statistics and keep them under lock and key for a reason…they matter, and the clubs use them when implementing defensive shifts. Injuries can also wreak havoc on a player’s BABIP. We can still use BABIP as a tool to find hidden assets on the wire or to assist us in deploying the assets we have. Just be mindful of the aforementioned before assuming BABIP’s gravity is omnipotent. I typically look at each player’s career average and expect his numbers to gravitate towards that, keeping in mind the caveats and exceptions. If a player has a dramatically reduced BABIP three years running, it may serve us well to consider that span his new baseline.

Player

2013 BABIP

2013 Batting Average

Career BABIP

Career Batting Average

Adam Dunn

.212

.202

.285

.238

David Murphy

.222

.222

.306

.278

Mike Moustakas

.224

.213

.269

.242

B.J. Upton

.235

.175

.317

.250

Vernon Wells

.247

.233

.278

.271

Albert Pujols

.248

.247

.306

.321

Yoenis Cespedes

.254

.226

.301

.267

Victor Martinez

.254

.242

.312

.299

Adam Dunn just hasn’t been the same since moving over to the junior circuit. His BAPIPs for the pale hose the last three years (.240/.246/.212) indicate the .320+ we saw with the Nationals and occasionally the Reds are long gone. The Big Donkey has trimmed his strikeout rate this year, but has produced a near career low 17.6% line drive clip (19.7 career average). Expect a slight bounce up.

David Murphy has also cut his whiffs to a career low (11.5%) while keeping his line drive rate at a respectable 19.8%. Things are about to heat up at the Ballpark in Arlington as we head into the middle of July and into August. The threat of Jurickson Profar stealing at-bats has prompted many to drop Murphy in FBPC leagues. A correction should be just around the corner unless a back ailment he sustained in May during a confrontation with an outfield wall hinders him.

I picked up Mike Moustakas last week and he may be available elsewhere. The unproven youngster is worth a look. We don’t know yet what he will be, but his BABIP can’t stay this low for long. He’s not exactly en fuego, but he has hit .294 over the last month and we shouldn’t forget the 20 bombs he hit last year.

Redemption is impossible at this point after the roto torture B.J. Upton has inflicted upon his owners. In spite of this, I think you have to ride this wave out wherever it takes you. One can’t expect that all the numbers will be there at the end of September, but some of them should be, and it will be a double dose of bad medicine if he tallies them on your bench.

There’s more than a little bad luck behind Albert Pujols’ fall from greatness. He’s striking out at a career high 12.4%, and his Isolated Power of just .168 is in unchartered waters. Age, declining bat speed and injuries have transformed the former MVP into what he has become: just another guy with a little power. A full slate of health would portend of a slight rebound, but that may not come until the off-season.

Vernon Wells isn’t as good as he was in April (.300/.366/.544) and he’s not as bad as he was in June (.133/.143/.147). Benching him certainly made sense, but dropping him outright might be an overreaction unless you are loaded. He’s worthy of being a 6th outfielder and a matchup play as the Yankees’ part-time cleanup hitter.

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