Video: BABIP, and the Return of the Luck Dragons

The uber-talented Bradley Woodrum, of DRaysBay fame, released his much-anticipated BABIP video this morning. Yes, indeed, it is another great day to be alive.

Long live the Luck Dragons. And Mr. Woodrum, too.

H/T: DRaysBay. Duh.



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Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Rick
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Rick

Obviously this is a simplification (and an awesome one), but I think DIPS theory has generally omitted one BIG thing that has undermined it’s perceived legitimacy.

The relatively little control on BABIP demonstrated by major league pitchers is not due to the fact that BABIP cannot be affected by a pitcher. That is to say, if you our I started pitching against major league hitters, we would put up repeatable BABIPs MUCH higher than .300.

What McCracken observed was essentially one of selection bias. That is, it’s not that major league pitchers can’t affect BABIP. It’s that major league pitchers are by definition those that are the very best at limiting BABIP. Among those who are good enough pitchers to succeed in the majors, there is relatively little spread. But among the larger population of “guys who could theoretically pitch”, there is much greater variation.

We should be careful not go all “JC Bradbury” on this and confuse a normal distribution among a biased sample for evidence that the sample is itself representative the larger population.

ImKeithHernandez
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ImKeithHernandez

Good addition. I think the same applies to hitters. The video showed Joe Fan hitting and said that if he could catch up to a fastball, and put it in play, he had the same chance as everyone of hitting a single or a double. But this doesn’t take into account mechanical issues such as bat speed and basic hitting skills. If I made contact with a major league pitch, and somehow put it in play, it wouldn’t be anything more than a dribbler to the pitcher or a pop up on the infield. So, no, I don’t think my BABIP would be 300. I think it would be .001, and I’d consider myself lucky.