Earlier today we took a look at which Rays are hitting well and who isn’t. Now let’s look at who has been lucky and who could use an adjustment to their superstitious routines.
To do this, we are going to compare BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) to each player’s expected BABIP (xBABIP). Basically, xBABIP looks at things like contact rate, speed, line drive rate, groundballs and flyballs and tries to determine how often a player should be getting base hits when they hit the ball fair. If a players xBABIP is significantly lower than their actual BABIP, that is a good indication that the player has been unlucky. In other words, he is hitting better than his stats might indicate. For example, maybe more line drives are being caught by fielders than would be expected (check this link for an explanation of xBABIP).
Notes on the table are below…
Notes on the table…
- “Luck” in this case is defined as the difference between a player’s actual BABIP and their expected BABIP (xBABIP).
- We divided the players into three groups using arbitrary boundaries. Basically, anybody with a BABIP 40 points higher than expected has been lucky and anybody with a BABIP 40 points lower than expected has been unlucky.
- We can ignore Kelly Shoppach’s numbers due to such a small sample size.
- The Rays three best hitters (Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist) have all been a little lucky. That makes it hard not to wonder if good players have the ability to create their own “luck.”
- Sean Rodriguez has actually been lucky, despite relatively poor numbers so far this season. This tells us, a demotion could be coming soon.
- Carlos Pena has the worst BABIP and the worst luck on the team. This is probably due in part to all the shifts that he faces.
- Dioner Navarro has been a bit unlucky, but he also has the second-lowest expected BABIP on the team. This might surprise you, but Navi is not a very good hitter.