Jump to content

Speedy players and BABIP


O'sFanThruJune

Recommended Posts

Not sure if anyone here reads the Beyond the Box Score blog, but they had an interesting entry yesterday in which the author tried to determine whether fast players have better-than-expected BABIP (from beating out infield hits or bunting for hits).

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2008/6/25/558256/do-fast-players-get-more-h

They picked twelve of the fastest players currently playing, and compared their expected vs. actual BABIP in each season that they've played, for 49 total seasons. I was really surprised to see that this data seemed to show that speed does not have a strong positive effect on BABIP. I've always assumed that this was one of the big problems with having speedy players on your team as they age, because they can no longer beat out the infield hits on which their batting average relies.

Reading the blog comments, someone argued that he should have picked players with a range of different speeds and shown their BABIP, but I think this method was pretty good too, and the alternate method would require some objective method of determining speed, as one of the axes would have had to plot speed of the different players.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There may be some selection bias going on there. Many really fast players don't hit the ball as hard as slower players. Juan Pierre doesn't hit the ball like Frank Thomas, for example. So there's probably some balancing going on where the fast guys get on more with speed, but they hit more easily catchable balls, too.

Somehow the study would have to be redone controlling for both speed and isolated power, or line drive rate, or something like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somehow the study would have to be redone controlling for both speed and isolated power, or line drive rate, or something like that.

Line drive rate was used. Expected BABIP was determined based solely on line drive rate (if I understood correctly), and then charted against actual BABIP.

I'm not saying this is definitive. Anything so counterintuitive ought to be examined a few different ways to actually verify its truth. I have to say I remain skeptical that speed would be such a small influence as to be invisible in a study like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...