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Mickey Mantle BAbip

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  • Mickey Mantle BAbip

    I noticed to my suprise that from '57 on-the splits available to me-Mantle has a .329 BAbip from the RIGHT side and a .275 BAbip from the LEFT side.

    This seems strange because from the left side, he was faster to first base, and he also hit the ball harder, with a higher ISO power, plus I think that left handed hitters as a group have a slightly higher BAbip.

    Am I right that home runs are excluded? Still wouldn't make THAT much difference. I've got him at .365 lefty and .394 righty with home runs included in the totals.

  • #2
    Mantle was a pretty heavy pull hitter...not many IF hits on the right side of the IF. Plus, it seems to me he had a more pronounced uppercut from the left side, so likely would have been more of a flyball hitter that way. This from the 20 or 30 swings I have seen... Mantle was a little before my time.


    • #3
      Home runs are excluded as are strikeouts, walks, and HBP's. I think sacrifices are excluded also but not sac flies.
      Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball


      • #4
        The HRs being removed hurt his left handed BABIP some, but also, I think, if you looked at L/R splits for GB/FB you would see his BABIP was higher when he was hitting line drives grounders and lower when he was hitting fly balls, and he hit more fly balls left handed.


        • #5
          I wonder how much of the dfference is a park effect. Yankee Stadium had a huge LF area for outfielders to cover and a much smaller RF. In general the more outfield area the higher the BAbip for that park. But with a park as asymmetric as Yankee Stadium that might show up in the left/right splits. Mantle did have a higher BAbip at home, by about 20 points. I would expect that opposing managers used lefties in Yankee Stadium more often, raising the mumber of times Mantle would swing rigthanded there.


          • #6
            Right...there could be a park factor too...the small RF gave Mantle more HRs and fewer base hits...


            • #7
              I've been looking into the park effects angle. Yankee Stadium in that era reduced BAbip by approximately 2%. But in trying to identify whether lefties and righties were affected differently I just don't have a lot of data to work with. From 1956-1968 (overlapping Mantle's career) the Yankees had only three lefthanded hitters with a significant amount of playing time. The playeras are Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, and Joe Pepitone. All three posted lower BAbip at Yankee Stadium while they were Yankees. Berra lost the most, -18 points, while Maris lost 9 points and Pepitone just 3. This is significant because most players do better at home than on the road. Righthanders I've checked so far range from +3 points (Skowron and Elston Howard) to -24 points (Hank Bauer). But by any measure there is just no way the park effects could shift Mantle's BAbip by very much. The difference between his righthanded and lefhanded swings must account for something like 90% of the difference in his BAbip.


              • #8
                Didn't Ted Williams call Mantle the best right handed hitter in the league?


                • #9
                  some guesses -

                  1. Mantle was very fast, and was more likely to get infield hits on balls hit to the left side than to the right

                  2. Yankee Stadium was very deep in left center then, and combined with his power, outfielders would probably play him deeper than other rhb, allowing more short flies to fall in for singles.
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