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BABIP: Sell High, Buy Low Candidates

Posted By Jeff Zimmerman On April 16, 2011 @ 4:15 pm In Meta Analysis,Sleepers,Stock Watch,Trade Possibilities | 19 Comments

This season has been going on for 2 whole weeks and it is time to try to take advantage of some irritable owners and small sample sizes. A great way to do this is try to pick up some extremely low valued hitters that have a low BABIP value in exchange for players with high BABIP values. BABIP will be a major factor in determining a player batting average, RBIs and runs.

Currently the spread from highest (0.500 – Matt Kemp, Miguel Montero and Wilson Betemit) to the lowest (0.091 – Jorge Posada) BABIP is 0.409 (min 38 PA). Last season the difference ended up being exactly 0.200 (0.396 – 0.196). As a general rule a BABIP of .400 will be the maximum value for a season and 0.200 should be considered the minimum.

The best possible way to gain some value now is do a 2 for 3 trade. Take 2 of your players with an extremely high BABIP and trade them for 3 players with an extremely low BABIP. Here is a look at a couple players with a BABIP over 0.400 or under 0.200 that should expect a little more or less luck with balls in play.

Sub 0.200 BABIP

Ian Kinsler (0.143 BABIP currently/0.286 ZIPS projected BABIP) It is actually pretty crazy that some that has hit 4 home runs so far this season could possibly be under valued (0.209 AVG), but it Ian easily could be that case. If he was to get a few more batted balls to fall for hits, he will become even more valuable.

Ian’s increase in power output looks legit. Looking at his 2011 batted ball data (line drive, flyballs, home runs) so far, he does look to be pulling the ball more to left field and hitting it about 20 yards further.

-45 degrees in the left field foul line and +45 degrees in the right field foul line

If Ian has a few more batted balls fall for hits to go along with his power, he could be a fantasy stud this year.

Over 0.400 BABIP

Alex Gordon (0.419 BABIP currently/0.309 ZIPs projected BABIP) – Alex is finally having the type of season people expected from him when he was labeled to be Kansas City’s next George Brett. In now his 5th season the majors, he is finally breaking out (0.345 AVG), but much of this break out is driven by his BABIP. It is especially visible against left handed pitching where he has a 0.588 BABIP versus a career value of just 0.273. As a Royals fan, it has been nice to see some production from Alex, but he should regress a bit as his BABIP, especially against LHP, comes more inline with his career numbers.


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