One of the most commonly cited sabermetric statistics for hitters and pitchers is Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) and our Library entry on BABIP is newly renovated. Not only does the entry now contain the BABIP equation, which was previously absent (oops!), but it walks you through a more nuanced explanation of why we care about BABIP and how to use it responsibly.
We have a BABIP entry in the Offense and Pitching sections of the Library but the entries are the same, so clicking to either will do.
Click over to the Library for a full breakdown, but feel free to post questions about BABIP here. We also have a post going up in the Library blog today that illustrates the importance of BABIP and the concept of luck, so feel free to post questions there as well. You can also reach out to me on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44 or stop by our weekly Q&A chat Wednesdays at 3pm eastern to ask questions about advanced stats or the site’s features.
Neil Weinberg is the Site Educator at FanGraphs and can be found writing enthusiastically about the Detroit Tigers at New English D. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44.
I never knew bunts weren’t counting in BABIP calculations. Is there a specific reason for that? It does seem odd that bunts would not be counted, but bunt hits (and bunt popouts) would be.
It’s a little sticky because you never know for sure, but if you’re sacrificing a runner you are intentionally trying to make an out and that out has likely been ordered from the bench. There’s no reason to factor this into either the batter or pitcher’s BABIP. Basically, if you successfully sacrifice, you’re just doing what you were told and it doesn’t show up in BABIP. If you screw up and don’t advance the runner or you find a way to get yourself on base, you either get docked or credited for that.
If you think about it in terms of the three possible bunt outcomes, that sort of makes sense.
1) SAC = both sides get what they want
2) OUT = pitcher wins
3) Reach = batter wins