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Guess who has an unsustainably high BABiP?

by: Mauricio Rubio Jr.

Oh YOU again!

Scott Podsednik seems to be undergoing a late second career peak in his career, a development that is far from rare, Jermaine Dye is going through the same thing. He has had a very interesting first half thus far, and only seems to be heating up, but his slash stats don't really tell the true story behind what is driving this alleged spike in performance.

A lot of people will point to a spike in OBP and in Slg as a reason to have optimism about Scott, and those numbers have been up, but they are both driven by a huge spike in batting average and a significant spike in Batting Average on Balls in Play.

That stat, known as BABiP, is defined as a metric that measures the percentage of plate appearances ending with a batted ball in play (excluding home runs) for which the batter is credited with a hit. The link is here for those interested in the actual formula.

In simple terms BABiP is like batting average with out the home runs included. Batters can maintain a higher BABiP easier than pitchers, but when they start going over their career rates this late in a career it's a pretty big red flag.

Which brings me to Pods. He is above his career mark of .316 with a .339 mark thus far this year. It's not that surprising that he has a rate that high for his career, but considering that he was at .295 just last year I think that Scott is primed to run into a major unlucky streak pretty soon.

His value is directly tied into his speed, if he has legs he'll get cheap hits. There have been signs of that going, and when he does run into a minor leg injury (he will, he's had minor leg problems in the past, the most recent one ran him out of the south side the first time around) his batting average inflated value goes right out the window.

He never learned how to take a walk, he doesn't hit for any type of power, and those singles won't fall in all season.

Buyer beware Sox fans, with Scotty-Po.

2 comments:

  1. I agree that Pods is due to regress to the mean a bit, and you make a good point that his BABIP is a bit high.I'd say the injury bug would also factor in a regression as well.

    But I have to say, he is taking better hacks at the plate now than anytime during his previous Sox tenure, possibly due to his new batting style. I don't know what clicked, but he's hitting the ball harder than he did in the past.

    I wonder if the numbers back that up. Do you know what his LD% is?

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  2. It's down to 15% from his career 18%. He's been very hit lucky, a lot of those hits are nubbers through the SS and the 3B. Good catch with the LD rates

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