Sometimes in baseball things happen that we just can’t explain, and when it does happen we call it luck. Good luck, bad luck, whatever. One of the biggest statistical luck fiends in BABIP, or Batting Average on Balls in Play. Nick Swisher posted a career low batting avg last year (.219) despite a career high line drive percentage (20.9%) how? Bad luck, evidenced by his absurdly low .251 BABIP, fourth lowest in baseball. Diasuke Matsuzaka posts the third best ERA (2.90) despite the worst walk rate in the league (5.05 BBper9, worst by 0.55) how? Ridiculously good luck, like the fourth lowest BABIP in the league (.267) good luck.
Derek Carty over at THT took a look into all the different ways to calculate BABIP yesterday, while Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts dug deeper into how groundball rate will effect a hitter’s BABIP today. Both are interesting reads and worth your time .Check ’em out.