Batted Ball Statistics are fairly straightforward: they express how many of a batter’s balls in play are line drives, ground balls, or fly balls. This includes balls that leave the park (home runs), so the sum of a batter’s batted ball statistics should be 100%. Major league ballplayers have a variety of swings, resulting in a large number of different batted ball profiles. Some batters hit lots of fly balls (typically power hitters), others put lots of balls on the ground (contact hitters), and many others fall somewhere in between.
Infield pop-ups are also tracked on FanGraphs (IFFB%), and they are expressed as the percentage of pop-ups a batter hits out of their total number of fly balls. These numbers are generally small and fluctuate from year to year. They’re the worst batted ball type for batters, as they are easy outs.
Please note that the following chart is meant as an estimate, and that league-average batted ball rates varies slightly on a year-by-year basis. To see the league-average batted ball breakdown for every year from 2002 to the present, check the FanGraphs leaderboards.
Power hitters will generally have higher fly ball rates (~44%), while contact hitters normally have high ground ball rates (50+%). And all hitters will hit their share of pop-ups.
Things to Remember:
● A line drive produces 1.26 runs per out, while fly balls produce 0.13 runs per out and groundballs produce 0.05 runs per out. In other words, batters want to hit lots of line drives and fly balls, while pitchers generally want to cause batters to hit groundballs.
● Players that don’t hit many balls in the air (higher GB% with lower FB% and LD%) generally have higher BABIPs and batting averages, but have limited power.
● This data is tracked by Baseball Info. Solutions (BIS), which is why it’s only available for players back until 2002.
Links for Further Reading: