Pitcher xBABIP Values

A couple of weeks ago, I released an updated list of hitters and their xBABIP values. After it was released I got a request for the pitcher xBABIP values. The xBABIP values are generated by using the hard hit batted ball data from Inside Edge. I have gone ahead and run the values and listed them below with some comments on a couple starting pitchers.

A few notes on the data. First, I have not tested it with pitchers to see if the data correlates better season-to-season than regular BABIP. I just applied the hitter’s formula to pitchers. Additionally, I used the league average Speed Score in the equation instead of adjusting it for each batter.

Yu Darvish (.321 BABIP, .320 xBABIP) – His xBABIP is the second highest among all pitchers with over 100 IP. Even though both values are high, it just doesn’t matter since Darvish is so good other wise. He is still striking out more than one batter per inning (11.2 K/9) and has dropped his walk rate to a career low (2.9 BB/9).

Alex Cobb (.288 BABIP, .264 xBABIP) – Cobb as the lowest xBABIP among all starters (min 100 IP). Being 2nd in GB% (58%) is probably the leading cause for the low value. Other high groundball pitchers have low xBABIP values like Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray and Clayton Kershaw.

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Jeff writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first season in Tout Wars, he won the H2H league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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I love this series of articles for finding value in fantasy leagues.

These xBABIP figures are team defense independent right?
So not only does Cobb have the lowest xBABIP, but he also plays for a team with a very good infield defense. Shouldn’t that skew his xBABIP even lower theoretically?