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View Full Version : Sabermetrics question: High OBP and BABIP

01-02-2012, 03:41 PM
I am a very new to sabermetrics, so naturally I have tons of questions. One thing that has been bugging me is the correlation between OBP and BABIP. I understand what each individual statistic means. What I don't understand is when a player has both a high on base percentage, and a high BABIP does that mean he is very lucky? Do I need to pay more attention to K and walk rates? If a player sustains a high OBP and BABIP over a long period of time (more than 1 season) does that simply mean that he is a "good" hitter? I am trying to figure this stuff out on my own and I just don't have the needed skill. I find this stuff fascinating, but I am not a math major, and I am a bit overwhelmed. HELP ME!!!:)

nmculbreth
01-02-2012, 04:19 PM
I think it depends on the type of hitter.

Over a short time span irregularity in BABIP can be an indicator of luck but over the long haul it's definitely a skill.

When you look at the ML leaders in BABIP over the past few seasons you'll notice that there are two types of hitting profiles that apply to almost everyone at the top of the list:

Type One: Speedy lead-off hitters. This seems pretty intuitive because these types of players are able to use their speed to get base hits on batted balls where players with less speed would likely be less successful (i.e. ground balls and bunts)

Type Two: Elite hitters. This group is slightly less intuitive but these type of players tends to make better contact (i.e. more line drives and less ground balls / fly balls) which translates into more base hits.

If you tinker around with stats a bit it's pretty remarkable how often the league leaders in line drive percentage end up near the top of the league in BABIP and conversely how often the players with the worst line drive percentage end up near the bottom of the league in BABIP.

Whether or not high OBP correlates with BABIP tends to depend on the cause of the better than average BABIP. The ML OBP leader board is full of the elite hitters with high BABIP but the speedsters with high BABIP are nowhere to be found.

01-03-2012, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the link. It helped make everything a little bit clearer.

BRM13
01-04-2012, 11:31 PM
I think it depends on the type of hitter.

Over a short time span irregularity in BABIP can be an indicator of luck but over the long haul it's definitely a skill.

When you look at the ML leaders in BABIP over the past few seasons you'll notice that there are two types of hitting profiles that apply to almost everyone at the top of the list: