more BABIP thoughts

kcdc1 recent post on the inherit problems with applying xBABIP to hitters lead me to do some work on if certain hitter types produce different results from batted balls. Obviously as technology improves, individual analysis will be possible, but for now, I still try to group players in well defined profiles. The data I’m using is from 2007 and includes only qualified batters, so this is an analysis of MLB regulars only. Also, home runs and infield flies are properly accounted for this time.

I preformed a number of regressions, but I’ll spare most of the details as too technical for most, but if you are interested in them and/or the data email and I’ll help you out.

Power hitters:
I sorted players by both HR/AB and HR/FB and derived a new xBABIP equation for varying degrees of power and the results were unexpectedly conclusive.

Power hitters generate significantly more hits from ground balls and significantly less from fly balls. There was a jump in line drives as well, but it wasn’t as conclusive.

K Rates:
Sorted by K rate and had pretty much the same result as power hitters.

The conclusion on this, I believe, is fairly straight forward. These guys hit balls hard, causing more grounders to get through for hits (as postulated by kcdc1). However, hard hit fly balls result in fewer hits. This is likely caused by expectations. Opposing defenses know power hitters and play them deep frequently which takes these deep hits away at high rates. Also, just postulating here, power hitters likely hit fewer bloop singles, which classify as fly balls.

I created a speed statistic using stolen bases, triple to double ratio, and infield hits to sort players. It’s somewhat arbitrary, but looking at the players used, I think it got a list of speed players for a valid result.

Surprisingly, speed seemed to have little effect. The rate of hits from ground balls actually went down very slightly (probably statistical noise).

I couldn’t resist, Fangraphs had a clutch stat which I sort players on to see its effect.
Well, no changes.

Clutch is independent of hit type it seems (remember, HRs are factored out which might change things).

As for the royals, this changes very little from my first post. The royals are great at having average players. Guillen barely fits in as a power hitter compared to the guys I analysis. Gathright, although very fast, doesn’t use his speed effectively to really be considered in the same category as some of my speedster sample. Bottom line, no result substantially change from, but there would be a few players who cross a threshold from say, slightly lucky to neutral or something like that. After the season is over, I’ll go back through with some of these findings and get a better idea of our roster and luck.

Questions, comments, or any additional player types you want tested?

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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