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Derek Lee

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Postby gabenterprises » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:35 am

I still want to see a response from the person who disputes BABIP with BB to his questions I repost here:

"if a player has a BABIP of .000, what is his batting average going to be? .000 + whatever HRs he hits. Conversely, if a player has a BABIP of 1.000, what is his average going to be? 1.000. So we've determined that there is a relationship between BABIP and batting average, correct? It might be small, but there is a positive trend there."
Seems indisputable, just a question of how powerful you see this tool.

My 2 major points in this thread are:
1) That Lee's BABIP has inflated his batting average to the point that it's at right now.
2) That Lee's BABIP (projected over the course of the season) would be one of the highest marks in the history of the game.
Before I move on, would you care to dispute either of those points?

Well, would you dispute these quantitative questions? If not, then the question of luck and baseball has been answered. It's like that joke where the guy says "Would you sleep with me for $100.00? She says no. "HOw about ten million." She says ok. He says "How about a hot dog then." She says "What do you think I am?" He says, "We already determined that, now we're just haggling about the price."
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Postby cookman » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:03 pm

Alright, this is my last post on the topic because we are starting to beat a dead horse.

My main contention is that I do not see how you can accurately utilize BABIP to determine a hitters "luck" when hitting. I don't dispute the fact that Lee has an uncharacteristically high BABIP right now, and that this is bringing his BA up. I do believe it will normalize a bit, although I don't naturely assume it will fall back to career norms. I also can see the use in this stat as a measure for pitcher's "luck", because over a projected period of time, all of the hitters (and hitting styles) a pitcher faces will normalize out to an "average" major league hitter, with an average BABIP of around .300 that can be analyzed.

When it comes to hitters, though, this is not the case. A hitter goes up to bat every time with the same hitting approach, and this has a lot more to do with a hitter's BABIP than luck. Is there luck involved? Sure, just like anything. But, just like most other stats (ERA, BA, etc), over time, that luck will tend to equilibrate, and a player's skill will be a much bigger factor. I just don't see luck being the MAIN determinant.

We've already stated that quick players tend to have higher a BABIP. You also just stated that line drive hitters (and you named Lee in that group) also tend to have a higher BABIP, because line drives fall at a higher rate than pop-ups (unless your contending that hitting line drives is lucky, but I would also have to disagree with that; from my years of baseball experience I can tell you there are definitely guys who are line drive hitters and guys with uppercut swings who tend to be fly ball hitters). So guys, like Lee or Brian Roberts, who have both of these attributes, will tend to have inflated BABIPs. That's not luck, that is a stat proving they are better in a certain area than average major leaguers. I have not seen a stat yet that proves (as I have seen with BABIP's use with pitching stats) that there is not a positive correlation between a hitter's BABIP from year to year. Like a players BA, common sense would tell me there is a pretty significant positive correlation from year to year. And until I see evidence to the contrary (which I don't think I will), I will continue to question it's usefulness when analyzing hitting statistics.
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Postby gabenterprises » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:12 pm

Good explanation. I see the debate, and it will be interesting to see how it falls out. I tend to agree that BABIP can be related to skill as well as luck, making the connection between it and luck indirect, and so not necessarily a good stat by which to judge a players future potential.
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Postby reiser » Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:32 pm

gabenterprises wrote:I still want to see a response from the person who disputes BABIP with BB to his questions I repost here:


I guess that's me. so let me respond. Yes I absolutely dispute that BABIP has a bearing on BA, in that it is essentially a blunt instrument.
if we were talking about Ichiro, Eckstein etc., (pick a singles hitter)...sure, BABIP would be interesting to look at. and really that's the only type of player i could imagine it has any use for- all BABIP does is measure non-HR hits.

Lee is primarily a power hitter, clearly in the prime of his career. so does it make sense to focus on on whether he has gotten lucky on a few hits (my assertion: who cares?) or to discuss whether Lee's career high SLG (a good .237 above his normal SLG) can continue.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:40 pm

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote: Right, but from the hitter's perspective it's bad luck that he hit it to Andruw, and it's bad luck that Andruw made a spectacular play to rob him of a would-be hit. If it were, say, Bernie Williams in CF, the EXACT same ball would have fallen in for a hit. It's just bad luck that Jones happened to be patrolling CF instead of Bernie. I don't understand how this "destroys my argument for BABIP." If the same EXACT hits produce different results, luck is the wildcard. There's no way around that.


so now you are calling the schedule luck-it's just unlucky that the Mets drew the Braves and Andruw, instead of feasting on say the DRays and Dirty Sanchez? Or maybe it's just laziness...couldn't a batter have spent some extra time in the cage working on LD down the line?

reiser wrote:and think of a shift-that's just a manager playing the odds (good ones at that). that's not luck, that's the opposing team doing what's it's supposed to do-prevent hits/runs.

beltrans_boy wrote: It's the same as the above scenario. If the defensive alignment had stayed the same, the ball would have resulted in an out. That's not lucky?

really, this is just absurd-you are now definining every event that occurs on the field that results in an out as luck. or am i twisting around what you said? let's check!

No, you're not twisting around anything I said. The fate of a batted ball has an element of luck. I'd really like to see your evidence that backs up the claim that luck doesn't play a role in batting average or the fate of a batted ball. I never said that every result in the field is because of luck, but you're completely ignoring the factor of luck in the equation, and that's just poor logic. I'm just trying to show you 2 instances where fortune obviously played a role in the result of the batted ball.

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote:If the same EXACT hits produce different results, luck is the wildcard. There's no way around that.

nope, I think i got it right!

Yeah, aside from your lack of evidence and blatant disregard for logic.

reiser wrote:
beltrans_boy wrote: BABIP doesn't take strikeouts or HRs into account. BABIP is not a substitution for batting average, it's a tool to help us understand the factors that go into batting average.

you mean a tool that strips them out right? (H-HR)/(AB-HR-SO)
what formula are you using for BABIP? there's at least 2 that i have seen.

Well, first of all, I'm using (H-HR)/(AB+SF+SH-SO-HR), I already explained that earlier in the thread.

Second of all, it would be ridiculous to include HRs and strikeouts in a metric that measures batting average on balls in play. That's the reason why they're subtracted out of the calculation. I'm only concerned with what happens when balls are batted into the field of play and the results of those balls (outs, hits, errors, etc.).

reiser wrote:But to surmise:
BB- Believes BABIP is a useful tool for evaluating hitters, and quantifies all outs as unlucky.
Reiser-Disputes the use of BABIP..for pitching too!

Where did I say all outs were unlucky? I said that the fate of batted balls has an element of luck to it. Prove me wrong. So far, all you've done is tell me that I'm crazy and that my facts are flawed, but you haven't posted ANY evidence to support your claim.
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:49 pm

reiser wrote:so does it make sense to focus on on whether he has gotten lucky on a few hits (my assertion: who cares?)


So you admit that luck does play a role in batting average then...right?

:-?
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Postby beltrans_boy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 4:03 pm

My contention is the following:

1) Derrek Lee's Batting Average on Balls in Play is abnormally high for a player of his skill set, and that we can most likely expect that number to regress from .425
2) As a result of this expected regression, Derrek Lee's batting average will drop.

Call me crazy, but I do not believe that Derrek Lee has developed the ability to maintain a hit rate of close to 43% for the entire season. Please be sure to rub it in my face at the end of the year if he can do it.

:-D
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