Fantasy Fare: Making use of the BABIP

Arizona catcher Miguel Montero has seen what the highs and lows of the BABIP can do to a batting...

Arizona catcher Miguel Montero has seen what the highs and lows of the BABIP can do to a batting average over the past two seasons. (Reuters).

JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:43 PM ET

Every baseball season produces players who, seemingly out of nowhere, come up with unusually bad stats. It’s almost as if the fantasy gods close their eyes, reach into a sack of names and randomly pick out who is going to suck.

Fortunately, baseball sabermetricians have come up with a useful stat that gives us an indicator of who might be due to break out -- the BABIP (Batting Average For Balls In Play). Essentially, it tells us how lucky a batter (or pitcher) is by comparing the number of times a ball is hit somewhere to how many of those actually fall in for a hit. On average roughly 30% of all MLB balls put into play turn into hits. The rest, of course, are gobbled up by the defence.

Thus, the norm for a BABIP is between .290 and .310 and the beauty of the stat is that, no matter how high or how low it is early on, it often -- but not always -- finds drifts closer to that median level over the course of a full season.


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