KC Royals and BABIP

Let’s take a look at some Royals hitters and how their luck and other factors have fared over the last few seasons.

I’m an economist that does forecasting for a living, so all these stats are a labor of love. Plus, I have become completely sold on this 3 true outcomes approach to baseball. Basically, I’m looking at the difference between BABIP and expected BABIP (an avg of a couple different methods to calculate it) to look for luck, which are the unlabled stats given. Also, I’m looking at line drive rate variance to see if expected BABIP is a reasonable estimation. I also like walk/k rates and isolated power (if all this sounds a lot like PECOTA minus its comparables, it should).

Quick note: of course young guys can improve, but this is a historical stat take on things to see how reliable those stats are for us to judge our guys on.

Mark Teahen:
06:  0.037    very lucky    .290/.357/.517
07:  0.041    very lucky    .285/.353/.410
08: -0.015    unlucky       .243/.312/.381

Trends: solid walk rate, high K rate, unpredictable power, below ML avg LD%
Bottom Line: current numbers more likely to be the "real" Teahen, I'm really down on him after looking at those past BABIPs

John Buck:
05: -0.009    neutral             .242/.287/.389
06: -0.019    unlucky            .245/.306/.396
07: -0.030    very unlucky    .222/.308/.429
08:  0.008    neutral             .247/.323/.407

Trends: consistent production ind. of luck, good power, OK walk rate, high k rate, low LD%
Bottom Line: League average catcher offensively and very consistently such, Royals can win with that.

Alex Gordon:
07:  0.006    neutral        .247/.314/.411
08:  0.007    neutral        .252/.343/.406

Trends: increasing walk rate, developing power, high k rate, avg LD%, huge L/R splits
Bottom Line: Gordon's future lies on developing his incredible tools, learning to lay of the slider away from leftties

Joey Gathright:
05:  0.027    lucky             .276/.316/.340
06: -0.024    unlucky        .238/.321/.292
07:  0.020    lucky             .307/.371/.342
08: -0.007    neutral         .251/.302/.267

Trends: declining walk rate, very low and improving K rate, no power with some speed based doubles, variable but likely very low LD% with extreme GB tendancies
Bottom Line: 07 looks fluky with both luck and unusually high LD%, if that was his breakout year, he has regressed badly with career lows in several key areas.

Jose Guillen:
05: -0.012    neutral             .283/.338/.479
06: -0.047    very unlucky    .216/.276/.398
07:  0.034    lucky                 .290/.353/.460
08: -0.014    neutral             .261/.291/.456

Trends: has forgotten how to take a walk as a Royal but was ok before, average K rate, great power, below avg LD%
Bottom Line: If he remembers how to walk at his career rate, legit batter, 91 OPS+ OF/DH until then.

Mike Aviles:
08:  0.067    wow lucky    .340/.365/.550

Trends: low walk rate, low K rate, legit power, avg LD%
Botom Line: flashing legit offensive tools, but contining the .340 average is a luck based pipedream. Age 27 rookie season is worrisome on development curve.

Tony Pena Jr.:
06: -0.047    Very unlucky         .227/.261/.341
07: -0.006    neutral                   .267/.284/.356
08: -0.117    God hates TPJ    .148/.169/.196

Trends: very low walk rate, high K rate, low and dropping iso power, declining LD%
Bottom Line: I think 07 Pena is closer to the real offensive performance to expect, but does his defense offset what Aviles brings? has spoken

David DeJesus:
05:  0.010    neutral        .293/.359/.445
06:  0.005    neutral        .295/.364/.446
07: -0.014    neutral        .260/.351/.372
08: -0.013    neutral        .301/.361/.457

Trends: Good walk rate, very low and declining K rate, some power, great LD%
Bottom Line: The real deal! 07 was caused by low LD% unlike rest of career. Very excited about him.

Billy Butler (BAM BAM):
07:  0.014    neutral        .292/.347/.447
08: -0.001    neutral        .271/.331/.394

Trends: good walk rate, low K rate, developing power, low LD%
Bottom Line: Once he learns to drive the ball like he did in the minors, he becomes an elite hitter.

Ross Gload:
06:  0.024    lucky             .327/.354/.462
07: -0.007    neutral         .288/.318/.441
08: -0.027    unlucky        .275/.321/.346

Trends: low walk rate, very low K rate, lower than normal iso power - avg other years - doubles based, good LD%
Bottom Line: alot better than some people make him out to be, but below avg power, especially HRs, for a 1B limits his value, future is a ML bench

Mitch Maier:
sample size

Bottom Line: needs ABs to see who he is

Estaban German:
06:  0.073    extremely lucky    .326/.422/.459
07: -0.008    neutral                  .264/.351/.376
08: -0.024    unlucky                 .244/.300/.336

Trends: down year in general, historically, good walk rate, lowish K rate, light doubles power, avg LD%
Bottom Line: tough 08, but 07 numbers look repeatable. 350 OBP with low K rate can play, but still looks like super sub at best.

Alberto Callaspo
07: -0.077    very unlucky    .215/.265/.271
08: -0.019    unlucky            .290/.349/.330
small samples

Trends: avg walk rate, very low K rate, no power, good LD%
Bottom Line: I expected more power from him, but right now, a German clone in value. Future depends on what position Aviles ends up at.

Miguel Olivo:
05: -0.028    unlucky       .217/.246/.367
06:  0.007    neutral        .263/.287/.440
07: -0.002    neutral        .237/.262/.405
08:  0.024    lucky            .261/.293/.477

Trends: low walk rate, high K rate, good power, low LD%
Bottom Line: all his value stems from his ability to hit the long ball, which plays OK for a catcher. Good back-up, marginal starter

Mark Grudzielanek
05:  0.000    neutral        .294/.334/.407
06: -0.005    neutral        .297/.331/.409
07:  0.027    lucky            .302/.346/.426
08:  0.002    neutral        .299/.345/.399

Trends: Greek God of consistency, slightly below avg walk rate, low K rate, light power, exceptional LD%
Bottom Line: he has to breakdown at some point right?

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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