Let’s start with a multiple choice question.
1) Russell Martin has been lucky on the following balls-in-play type(s):
d) at least Grounders and Flies
If you chose a) grounders, you would be wrong. If you chose d) flies, you would be wrong. If you chose b) liners, well… you could be partly right, however, the correct answer is d) at least grounders and flies. You could argue that there should be an e) option, ‘all of the above.’
According to Zach Sanders’ End of Season Catcher rankings, Russell Martin bamboozled his way into the top 10 at #7 overall and produced what would have been his 2nd best fantasy season if he approached 150+ games.
By bamboozled, I mean BABIP’ed.
Look at his 2014 ground ball, fly ball and line drive-related BABIP’s on each individual balls-in-play type in 2014 relative to his career; relative to 2013 (still with the Pirates); and relative to the mean if we considered his career rates as a one year performance: