No. Line drives aren't necessarily the hardest hit balls. The "quality contact" tie is only that line drives are "hit 'em where they ain't" quality contact.Originally Posted by TheBigLebowski
If BABIP were indeed "myth", we should find hordes of pitchers who can consistently replicate low annual LD% and who could translate those low annual LD percentages into ERA luck via lower BABIP rates. But we don't find them. What we find is that the vast majority of pitchers are constantly bunched together a percentage point or two above or below the norm. This year's average LD% variance for era qualifiers versus the norm is 0.0003.
For pretty much everyone, LD% is a random driver of a random driver (BABIP). Pitchers who receive low LD% rates aren't necessarily producing them via skill set. Nor are pitchers who receive high LD% rates always getting "hit harder" than those who aren't.
BABIP, by itself is a good indicator as to which pitchers may be getting ERA-lucky because of it. And, yes, we should drill down from there. But using BABIP is vital to pitcher analysis and isn't the least bit controllable for the vast VAST majority of pitchers. There will be outliers, of course. But we can identify them, understand why they're outliers, and determine whether or not those outliers possess true skill sets that will allow them to make their BABIP skills matter as it pertains to ERA luck. When looking at the past three seasons, I've been able to find one ERA title qualifier who may have a meaningful skill set (Brandon Webb).