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View Full Version : LD% What does it mean in the context of production?



TRF
08-22-2008, 10:27 AM
There are articles that state LD% directly correlates to SLG. There are articles that state that LD% combined with a low BABIP indicates bad luck, and good things WILL eventually happen as the BABIP normalizes. My question is does LD% really do anything but indicate that the ball was too high to be considered a GB, and too low to be considered a GB? Isn't a line drive subjective? Isn't it something labeled by the official scorer? Nothing in LD% indicates how hard a ball is hit, so how useful a stat is it when taken out of context? ie. no additional hitting stats.

Let's use Juan Francisco as an example.


Month AB's LD% SLG HR 2B
April 106 27.4 .491 4 10
May 105 24.4 .495 4 4
June 107 20.5 .374 3 7
July 100 17.8 .500 4 7
Aug 67 15.7 .647 7 4
The August numbers aren't completely current as Francisco has 76 AB's, not 67.

So his LD% is trending down while his SLG is trending up? BTW, Francisco has been scary good in August.


AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP
.250 .301 .647 .948 .227


BABIP suggests he's been unlucky yet he's posting monster numbers in a league that suppresses power. I really hope this kid can learn a little plate discipline. That OBP is downright ugly. but I digress.

Yes this is just one example, but I've now looked at a few players, and I am not seeing the direct correlation of LD% to production.

camisadelgolf
08-22-2008, 10:58 AM
Can we add players like Michael DeJesus vs. Brandon Waring, players who would theoretically be on opposite ends of the spectrum? It might help eliminate the theory or show a trend.

dougdirt
08-22-2008, 01:31 PM
Line drives go for hits 72% of the time. The more you hit, the better your chances are that you get hits. Its really simple. Hit line drives, get more hits. Ground balls go for hits ~28% of the time and fly balls just ~22% of the time. If a guy is having a high line drive rate and a low BABIP, odds are very good that he has been pretty unlucky. That will happen sometimes.

Line Drive % correlates high with BABIP and with SLG. Since BABIP correlates with BA, I would say that Line Drive rates are fairly important to a hitters success, given that OBP and SLG are directly tied to run scoring and a players batting average makes up a majority of their OBP.

If you aren't hitting line drives, you better hit lots of HR's and get lots of walks.

As for your Francisco example.... using monthly splits and line drive rates is pretty rough. Given a guy gets 100 AB's, strikes out 20 times and hits 5 HR, we are talking about 75 Balls in play. With that number of BIP, a strong line drive rate of 20% would mean just 15 line drives hit in the month and 1 robbed double on a line drive is worth 20 points in slugging. Its just too small of a sample size to go month by month when looking at line drive rates of a single player.

RedsManRick
08-22-2008, 01:47 PM
This is probably my favorite table in all of sabermetrics, courtesy of THT and fangraphs:



Type AB H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG OPS ISO BABIP HR/Type RC RC/G
FB 43439 11512 3434 483 5127 11734 .265 .720 0.978 .455 .167 11.47% 8227 6.70
GB 59246 13996 1212 67 0 4300 .236 .259 0.495 .023 .236 0.00% 2614 1.44
LD 26447 19005 4485 402 259 6028 .719 .948 1.663 .229 .716 0.97% 17947 63.62

dougdirt
08-22-2008, 01:50 PM
This is probably my favorite table in all of sabermetrics,courtesy of fangraphs:



Type AB H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG OPS ISO BABIP HR/Type RC RC/G
FB 43439 11512 3434 483 5127 11734 .265 .720 0.978 .455 .167 11.47% 8227 6.70
GB 59246 13996 1212 67 0 4300 .236 .259 0.495 .023 .236 0.00% 2614 1.44
LD 26447 19005 4485 402 259 6028 .719 .948 1.663 .229 .716 0.97% 17947 63.62



So you are saying line drives are really, really good?

TRF
08-22-2008, 01:53 PM
Line drives go for hits 72% of the time. The more you hit, the better your chances are that you get hits. Its really simple. Hit line drives, get more hits. Ground balls go for hits ~28% of the time and fly balls just ~22% of the time. If a guy is having a high line drive rate and a low BABIP, odds are very good that he has been pretty unlucky. That will happen sometimes.

Line Drive % correlates high with BABIP and with SLG. Since BABIP correlates with BA, I would say that Line Drive rates are fairly important to a hitters success, given that OBP and SLG are directly tied to run scoring and a players batting average makes up a majority of their OBP.

If you aren't hitting line drives, you better hit lots of HR's and get lots of walks.

As for your Francisco example.... using monthly splits and line drive rates is pretty rough. Given a guy gets 100 AB's, strikes out 20 times and hits 5 HR, we are talking about 75 Balls in play. With that number of BIP, a strong line drive rate of 20% would mean just 15 line drives hit in the month and 1 robbed double on a line drive is worth 20 points in slugging. Its just too small of a sample size to go month by month when looking at line drive rates of a single player.

yet you used LD% on a monthly basis to show how well another player was doing all the time.

And isn't the subjective description of what a line drive is skewing the data? in the macro, I see how it seems like a great stat, showing massive production. However in the micro, an individual player, it does nothing to describe what kind of LD hitter that player is. Combine it with SLG and you have a more complete picture.

dougdirt
08-22-2008, 02:09 PM
yet you used LD% on a monthly basis to show how well another player was doing all the time.

And isn't the subjective description of what a line drive is skewing the data? in the macro, I see how it seems like a great stat, showing massive production. However in the micro, an individual player, it does nothing to describe what kind of LD hitter that player is. Combine it with SLG and you have a more complete picture.

I showed it because he kept his rate very high, through the entire season. The further we keep going in the season and the more someone keeps strikingly similar rates, the more and more valid it becomes.

And the subjective description of a line drive doesn't really skew the data. You seem to be of the idea that Drew Stubbs hits soft line drives almost all the time, and is the outlier to the line drive rates are something good. No player is stinging line drives all the time. Everyone hits soft liners and everyone hits lasers. Drew does both, just like everyone else.

You seem to be confusing line drives and power. They are not the same thing. Line drives have a much lower IsoP because they got for HR's maybe 1% of the time. However they do lead to a whole lot of base hits (including doubles and triples). Fly balls on the other hand tend to go for HR's a lot more, which leads to a higher IsoP, but a whole lot less production.

Line drives are good for your production because 3 out of 4 go for hits and they have a solid IsoP to boot. They are the best of all worlds. You get on base a ton with them and you acquire plenty of bases with them. They are very good for your production. Hit as many as you can and you will likely be a very productive player.

RedsManRick
08-22-2008, 02:31 PM
When it comes to SLG, it's important to remember that a single has a SLG value of 1.000. Even if every LD base hit was a soft single, it would carry a .720 SLG.

Fly balls are the best for slugging per hit, since that's where most homers come from. But the hit rate is so much lower.

medford
08-22-2008, 02:57 PM
I for one am shocked that TRF and Doug don't agree on this subject. Who would have every guessed that when this thread was created :)

Although I've got to admit, the more I read Doug's thoughts on them, the more I begin to take his side of the story, and not just when it comes to Stubbs.

HumnHilghtFreel
08-22-2008, 03:27 PM
Just out of curiosity, where do you guys go to get your stats on LD% and other such metrics?

bucksfan2
08-22-2008, 04:03 PM
I find this topic odd. Anyone who has played baseball at any level or watched baseball knows you want to hit line drives. To me it really doesn't matter if the ball is a soft liner or hard liner, if you put the ball on a line good things are likely to happen. Over the course of a season everything will even out. You will hit some rockets that will be caught while you will hit some soft liners that will fall in for hits. You give me a player with a high line drive percentage and I would be happy.

Scrap Irony
08-22-2008, 04:57 PM
Most people would agree with you.

Others prefer Tim Lincecum.

TRF
08-22-2008, 05:14 PM
I for one am shocked that TRF and Doug don't agree on this subject. Who would have every guessed that when this thread was created :)

Although I've got to admit, the more I read Doug's thoughts on them, the more I begin to take his side of the story, and not just when it comes to Stubbs.

Thanks for the cheap shot. I'm actually trying to learn more about the subject.

Lockdwn11
08-22-2008, 05:34 PM
This is probably my favorite table in all of sabermetrics, courtesy of THT and fangraphs:



Type AB H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SLG OPS ISO BABIP HR/Type RC RC/G
FB 43439 11512 3434 483 5127 11734 .265 .720 0.978 .455 .167 11.47% 8227 6.70
GB 59246 13996 1212 67 0 4300 .236 .259 0.495 .023 .236 0.00% 2614 1.44
LD 26447 19005 4485 402 259 6028 .719 .948 1.663 .229 .716 0.97% 17947 63.62




Any more Questions TRF? I think that tells you everything you need to know about LD%

TRF
08-22-2008, 06:15 PM
I find this topic odd. Anyone who has played baseball at any level or watched baseball knows you want to hit line drives. To me it really doesn't matter if the ball is a soft liner or hard liner, if you put the ball on a line good things are likely to happen. Over the course of a season everything will even out. You will hit some rockets that will be caught while you will hit some soft liners that will fall in for hits. You give me a player with a high line drive percentage and I would be happy.

Sigh. I'm not now nor have I ever stated I don't want a player to hit line drives. But looking at the stat in a vacuum is silly. it has to match up to production. That a player has a high line drive rate AND low SLG cannot be attributed to luck alone. In the macro, overall production of course it has value. Taken to the individual player it can point to problems with his swing, and possibly his approach. How does a LD% above 25% produce a .330 SLG%? How does it do it over a period of 200+ AB's? is it park factor? is it the player?

BTW as far as Lincecum goes, yeah, I preferred him to Stubbs on draft day, and that wasn't hindsight. But I haven't mentioned him quite some time except in the context that had Krivsky drafted him instead of Stubbs he might still be employed.

I started this thread because I wanted to discuss LD% without talking about Drew Stubbs. See, I like discussing baseball, and learning more about it. Apparently I've discussed this too much, and I request a mod close this thread.

dougdirt
08-22-2008, 07:50 PM
The odds of a LD% of 25% producing a slugging percentage of .330 over a full season is not very likely unless the batter is striking out 40% of the time he steps to the plate.