BABiP stands for Batting Average on Balls in Play, and is a useful stat when looking at hitters. Like most new baseball stats, BABiP has a dull name, but it gives us fans another way to understand the game a little better.
For the math-types out there, BABiP = (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR+SF). The Baseball Cube doesn’t track BABiP for Golden Leaguers, but it does track the stats needed to calculate it, so without further adieu, here’s how your 2008 Vipers smacked the BABiP compared to their other batting splits:
I sorted the players by BABiP, but I included all the guys with at least 234 Plate Appearances before I counted anyone with less. For the record, Joe Batter‘s BABiP was 0.359, which gives us a good jumping off point. Most of the regular Vipers beat that number.
To put things into perspective, experts of this sort of thing consider BABiP something that hitters have a great deal of control over. When a batter makes contact and puts a ball in play, you want to know if he’s hitting to the spots that get him on base. Obviously, you score more runs when you have more baserunners.
Right away, Jorge Tang jumps off the page. The Vipers often use him as a late-innings replacement, or an injury-replacement in the outfield, but other than his obvious blinding speed on the basepaths, Tang gets on base with incredibly efficiency when he makes contact. He doesn’t hit for power, so it’s nice to see that he can make up for it by hitting to spots where the defense can’t throw him out. I think we can call Jorge Tang a precision hitter. Since he’s one of my favourite players to watch as a fan, stats like this can at least make me seem objective when I’m yelling at the dugout to send Jorge out more often.
Check out Theoren Fleury’s 1.000 BABiP. In his three career at-bats, he had two strikeouts and hit a liner off the pitcher’s mound – good for a base hit. No wonder they retired his* #14. Seriously, though, how can you not love Theo the ball player? Here’s hoping they bring him to the park in 2009 to throw out a first pitch and sing for his supper.
Assuming Felix Jose and Mr. 400 Darryl Brinkley won’t be back next season (much to my chagrin), the Vipers are losing two of their most accurate hitters. On the bright side, GLROTY Colin Moro put up a very nice BABiP of 0.385 last year, and I think we can reasonably expect that number to improve as Mr. Moro gets more seasons under his belt. Is it too early to start talking about GLROTY Colin Moro as a future Golden League MVP candidate? “GLROTYAMVP Colin Moro” has a nice ring to it.
*Jorge Mejia’s run as #14 won’t be forgotten.