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by Matt Klaassen - June 23, 2011
Matt Klaassen FanGraphs Chat
People need to learn that it is spelled McCutchen, not McCutcheon.
Yes, thank you.
Why did people even start doing that in the first place? It makes no sense.
Re: Teddy Ballgame w/ a .353 babip and .407 avg one season:
the BA on homers is 1.000, add his homers to his non homer hits and you end up with the amazing batting average. I’m pretty sure power hitters that hit for a high average outperform babip w/ their real average all the time. It also helps if you almost never strike out (like Ted Williams did).
That’s only kind of true…many power hitters also strike out a ton (ARod for example, or Ryan Howard to be more obvious). Really all it comes down to is if your HR/AB is greater than your K/AB. At a quick glance, the majority of pre 1990s 500 HR hitters had higher BA than BABIP, mostly because they hit a ton of HRs and didn’t strike out at the rate modern hitters do. Bonds also managed to accomplish it though, as did Palmeiro.
It’s not a matter of HR/AB > K/AB. Williams K’d more than he homered (but not by a lot).
To have an average higher than your BABIP, HR/(HR+K) needs to be higher than your BABIP. That’s all.
Though sac flies screw things up, because they’re part of the denominator for BABIP, but not for AVG. Sac Flies are an abomination.
Yeah. Turns out this is a pretty common occurrence, especially on the single season level.
In 2001, Mark McGwire managed to have an AVG higher than his BABIP by virtue of an unspectacular 29 HR’s and 118 K’s (a .197 avg on balls not in play). Because his BABIP was just .171.
On the other end of the spectrum, in 1997 Larry Walker didn’t accomplish the AVG>BABIP feat, despite 49 HR’s and 90 K’s (a .353 avg on balls not in play). His BABIP was just too damn high (.367).
FWIW…Ted Williams had a higher average than BABIP many times, including for his entire career! Hitting lots and lots of home runs without striking out very often will do that. There are probably a few others out there in a similar boat (Pujols comes to mind).
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