Dan Rosencheck has some interesting findings related to pitcher BABIP. He presented them at the Sloan Analytics Conference, but Fangraphs has some of it up on their site.
I feel like these are things we have generally understood some in the past. Better stuff makes it harder to square up the ball, thus leading to fewer harder hit balls, making them easier to field and turn into outs.I studied a bunch of variables I thought might have something to do with hit suppression on balls in play. I came up with two ó both FanGraphs stats ó that seem to have significant predictive power. The first is pop up rate. The second is z-contact, which is when batters swing at a strike ó balls in the strike zone ó thrown by a pitcher. What percent of those times does the batter make contact? It turns out that, just like inducing pop ups, it reduces BABIP and correlates consistently year to year. Getting batters to swing and miss at your strikes has strong predictive power on hit suppression.
Still, it is nice to see something actually back it up, even if the correlation is small, it does seem to be there.