FanPost

Is Alex Gordon a BABIP mirage?



I was doing my semi-regular checkup on Alex Gordon's climb up the fangraphs WAR rankings this morning and noticed he's carrying a .361 BABIP. We all know he's been a revelation this season but is this all just a mirage soon to fade into Bob Hamelin/Angel Berroa-esque memories?

I'm not a sick baseball math guy like some of the guys on here, but I did some calculations here. Alex has 137 hits on the season while sporting a .361 BABIP (specifically 137 hits on 380 balls in play). His line drive % per Fangraphs is 21.2%. The average BABIP of every hitter within .5% of him (from 20.7% - 21.7%) is .313. Using this "normalized" BABIP, I ran Alex's numbers again, and his average is down to a "disappointing" .263 (specifically 119 hits on 380 balls in play). Maybe my numbers are off somehow, I think they're pretty solid. I just don't see how we can expect anything close to this performance going forward. Maybe we don't, but I don't hear many people talking about Gordon and regression. especially to a sub-.270 level.

 

On the positive side, there are hitters that "sustain" a ridiculously high BABIP over many seasons. Jeter, Votto, and Ichiro all have career BABIPs over .350. Rod Carew sustained a .359 BABIP over almost 2500 games. I doubt many of us see the Dominator as being one of "those guys," but the question is, can he be a guy that maintains a .330 BABIP like Michael Young or Rusty Greer? If so, he'll be hitting around .280 a year with 15-20 HRs. If not, we're probably looking at .260 a season with 10-15 HRs and, seemingly, a 2011 mirage.

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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