Jose Bautista’s low BABIP and why it doesn’t matter

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After finishing dead last in BABIP in 2012 (.215), Jose Bautista came back and posted another poor rate, placing him 11th last amongst qualified batters at .259 in 2013.

For some most major league players this would be a huge concern. But it’s business as usual for Jose. The main culprit for his low BABIP would have to be…

Flyballs

Bautista hit .053 on flyballs last season in play. Yes, .053! This was the second worst rate in the entire MLB.

Now the league average of .143 isn’t anything to write home about. But .053 is a grand total of 7 hits in 128 AB. This was mostly due to giving away 28 outs to infield flyballs (IFFB).

On the plus side, Jose hit 23 HR on flyballs, which produced a .353 wOBA on flyballs,  placing him right around league average in the 53rd percentile.

However, Jose makes his $$$ with…

Linedrives

Bautista hit an even .800 on linedrives, with a 7.7% HR/LD rate & a 1.292 slugging percentage.  This created a wOBA of .876 and an MLB best Well-Hit-Average (WHAV) of .758.

The gap between his linedrive-to-flyball production is the largest in the game.

So while the stat nerd in me hates to see so many IFFB and such a low BABIP, at the end of the day Bautista finds a way to get it done despite a piss poor BABIP.

Stats via ESPN TruMedia, Image via Prodigy @breakaway.net message boards

has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • therearenogoodnameslleft

    Except that BABIP doesn’t measure anything. It’s a made up term. It’s amazing how many people don’t understand basic math.

    • Matthias

      I must be missing something. How is BABIP more ‘made up’ than other sabermetric stats.

      While it’s far from perfect, it can shed light on some ‘breakout’ type seasons. Take Chris Johnson; he goes wild, leads MLB with a .394 BABIP, .50+ above career average, and is in the batting AVG race until the end of the season.

      • grouchyjaysfan

        your question is vague. BABIP is a made up formula, not a measurement. Who told you it measures something for hitters? Fangraphs? It is not “far from perfect”. It has ZERO meaning for hitters because it doesn’t actually measure anything. I could explain further if you want using my crazy concept called math which most people refuse to believe. What is your point on CJ? .816 ops is going wild? What light was shed?

      • grouchyjaysfan

        actually reading your article again…

        “The main culprit for his low BABIP would have to be…”

        answer: home runs!

        that’s right home runs lower BABIP which is why jose’s is so low. Now I’m sure you will come back at me with “no that’s not right because BABIP subtracts them out”. umm except one small point. It doesn’t subtract the outs that go with them.

        • Matthias

          This will be my last reply; cause I think you’re trolling using your (and I quote)” crazy concept called math which most people refuse to believe”

          Miguel Cabrera hit 44 HR and had a .356 BABIP. The above article states that Bautista’s low BABIP is no cause for concern.

          While you may question the validity of the stat, to say it has no meaning is short-sighted. HR are subtracted from both sides of the ledger. Go online and look at many of the Sabermetrical experts that have used the stat, including Voros McCracken, the man credited in bringing it to the publics attention (via DIPS theory in 10 – 15 years ago).

          • grouchyjaysfan

            nobody is trolling. I was talking about other people. You also haven’t stated what you think BABIP measures but you are implying that it is a concern. Actually if you go online you’ll see that the same experts you quote have said NOT to use it for hitters. You are calling me short sighted yet show no interest in finding out why you are wrong. BABIP is usually higher than BA due to k’s. Cabrera also hit .348. BABIP diff of .08. JB’s diff is 0. 2010 his BABIP was 27pts lower! BABIP and BA move up and down together because they use the same numbers.

            30/100=.300

            (30-5)/(100-5)=.263

            subtracting a number from “both sides of the ledger” causes the result to go down. math 101

          • grouchyjaysfan

            you keep saying “it’s no cause for concern”. Just curious, why would it be? Give me an example.

          • grouchyjaysfan

            Now that you brought it up, aren’t you the slightest bit curious as to why cabrera’s BABIP isn’t really really high given how many hits he was getting, you know like chris johnson wild high?