Fare thee well, father, mother. I’m off
to de-luck the f*** out of this s***.
Let us delve once again into the numbers.
With this All-Star break forcing to watch so little baseball, we now have a moment to drink up the frothy milkshake of statistics from the first half. So, you and I, we shall dissect the stats and find out who has been lucky, unlucky and a little of both.
Combining Fielding Independent wOBA (FI wOBA for shortsies) and slash12’s xBABIP, we can get a specific wOBA calculation that strips away unusual luck, whether good or bad. It is important to remember these are both regression-based calculators, so they are backward-looking, not forward looking. Please do not pester me in 3 months when “[X Player] didn’t suck like you said he would! lulzlulzlulz, ur dum!”
Is BABIP the only stat that has a lot of luck in it? No. Stuff like home run rates can be wild early too. And moreover, BABIP is many parts skill, several parts luck. But there is more luck (or random variation) in BABIP than probably any other hitter stat out there. That is why it is worth focusing on it here.
Praise be to Jeff Zimmerman and Robert Boden (slash12) for updating the best xBABIP tool out there, and making it even better. They detected what I myself detected in my previous De-Lucker! rendition — that infield shifting and decreasing offense league-wide have rendered previous xBABIP tools, shall we say?, off.
These new De-Lucker results should be most splendidly accurate! Oh my!
(For the following calculations, I used their 2009-2011 constants.)
SORTABLE! FILTERABLE! DOWNLOADABLE!
(Note: Minimum 45 PA, presently filtered to show only 250 PA or more.)
Reactions to the De-Lucker results:
- • The FI wOBA sluggers of note? With only a 45 PA minimum, our top five FI wOBA hitters are:
With our 250 PA limits, we get:
- • And the laggardboard? With 45 PA min.:
And with the 250 PA threshold:
- • Dee Gordon and Cliff Pennington rank as this rendition’s winners of the Fear Thy Regression as both players will still be well under .320 wOBA if their BABIP regresses but their peripherals don’t improve.
- • Austin Jackson ranks out our biggest Regression, So What? Award candidate, as his wOBA and De-Luck’d FI wOBA are a whopping 61 points apart. Still, FI wOBA says he will settle around .348 wOBA, which is still great, but that is presuming Ajax will slip to a .319 BABIP — which is some 60 points lower than his career rate.
If he meets his career number (.378 BABIP), his expected regression slims down to 24 points at a .385 FI wOBA.
- • I wouldn’t put too much stock in Adam Dunn’s .414 FI wOBA. Unless he meets his .337 xBABIP — which would be about 40 points above his career BABIP — he won’t sniff anything much higher than a .384 wOBA.
- • Jose Bautista and Adam Jones — both playing under their established BABIPs, both sporting the peripherals of much higher BABIPs. Watch out world. They are become death.
You can De-Luck! too!
Click this button to download the above Excel (.xlsx) file:
Encircled and enarrow’d.
Then use this custom leaderboard and paste your results and limitations and queries into yonder first tab — so titled “De-Lucker 2.0 Full.” And pesto sauce! You’ve got your own, updated De-Lucker! results!
ALSO NOTE: Downloading the file will allow you to see the BABIPs and xBABIPs. They simply cannot fit in this narrow column.
Bradley writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyWoodrum.