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  • Josh Hamilton BABIP

    I noticed that Josh Hamilton has a career .341 BABIP, and has been consistently over .300 and went .390 in 2010.

    How do those compare all-time, and also among more recent players, maybe sinced 1960?

  • #2
    Ty Cobb is #1 with a .383 averaged, followed distantly by Shoeless Joe and Rogers Hornsby.

    Since 1960 the best was Rod Carew at .359 and followed closely by Clemente, Jeter, and Kemp.

    If we more closely try to resemeble Hamilton's playing time we still get Cobb at #1 with a .404 average and if we do it from 1960 and on we get Rod Carew followed by Wade Boggs, Ichiro, and Jeter.

    Through first 6 seasons since 1960 it is Jeter at .372 followed by Boggs, Abreu, Allen, Carew.

    From age 26 to 31 it is Carew at .374 followed by Boggs and Mo Vaughn.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by brett View Post
      How do those compare all-time, and also among more recent players, maybe sinced 1960?
      http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/7...stribution.png

      ESPN: Jeter's legacy is his BABIP (2011)

      43 years worth of data. If the 100th percentile in the distribution since 69' is .367, how did Cobb maintain a .383 CAREER BABIP?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
        http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/7...stribution.png

        ESPN: Jeter's legacy is his BABIP (2011)

        43 years worth of data. If the 100th percentile in the distribution since 69' is .367, how did Cobb maintain a .383 CAREER BABIP?
        A great pure hitter who was also very fast and left-handed.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matthew C. View Post
          A great pure hitter who was also very fast and left-handed.
          Still, like his regular career batting average, it's impossible and probably completely unbreakable.

          How likely is it that Ruth and Cobb happened to belie all the probabilities, and were (objectively, in a vacuum) simply the greatest two ballplayers that ever lived? It isn't the best parallel...but consider.... the greatest minds of the past 50 years pretty much concur that Mozart, Bach, Beethoven haven't been equaled since, and probably never will be. Nor has Issac Newton been approached in his intellect and innovation.....even though he lived ages ago.

          http://bigthink.com/ideas/13154
          Last edited by csh19792001; 05-13-2012, 03:09 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
            Still, like his regular career batting average, it's impossible and probably completely unbreakable.

            How likely is it that Ruth and Cobb happened to belie all the probabilities, and were (objectively, in a vacuum) simply the greatest two ballplayers that ever lived? It isn't the best parallel...but consider.... the greatest minds of the past 50 years pretty much concur that Mozart, Bach, Beethoven haven't been equaled since, and probably never will be. Nor has Issac Newton been approached in his intellect and innovation.....even though he lived ages ago.

            http://bigthink.com/ideas/13154
            One should never expect talent to be distributed evenly. So yeah, it is possible. Even though I have Mays #2 and a Bonds with no PED discount #3.

            But people also overly-romanticize the past. Who's to say that Stravinski or Bortok weren't more brilliant, but that audience for that style of music has disappeared - not the brilliance. Maybe their music would be considered "standards" 100 years from now too if not for social changes. That is why we can't think of it as a vacuum. maybe Konrad Zuse was just as intelligent as Newton and his impact just as great, etc.
            1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Matthew C. View Post
              A great pure hitter who was also very fast and left-handed.


              Also a .383 with the gloves of that period might match a .367. Is there any table of relative BABIP out there.

              On a related note, what makes one hitter like Cabrera or Hamilton high BABIP guys while Bonds and Pujols are significantly lower? I guess part is that Bonds and Pujols k'd less but does that mean that they didn't hit the ball as hard.

              I would think that more patient hitters would have higher BABIPs because they are selective, but that doesn't seem to hold. Homers are important of course, but with 2 power hitters what makes one have a high BABIP?

              It is fascinating that there are MANY different stylistic categories of hitters.

              You have low K hitters who don't walk a lot but have high BABIP and who are not power hitters, like Ichiro.
              You have low K hitters who walk a lot and have high BABIP but are not power hitters like Boggs.
              You have lower K high walk guys with less great BABIP and power like Bonds
              High K High walk power hitters with lesser BABIP like Mathews or Schmidt
              High K low walk power hitters with great BABIP like Cabrera and Hamilton. What makes them different from Mathews or Schmidt? I'd assume fly ball rates.
              Last edited by brett; 05-13-2012, 06:20 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                Still, like his regular career batting average, it's impossible and probably completely unbreakable.

                How likely is it that Ruth and Cobb happened to belie all the probabilities, and were (objectively, in a vacuum) simply the greatest two ballplayers that ever lived? It isn't the best parallel...but consider.... the greatest minds of the past 50 years pretty much concur that Mozart, Bach, Beethoven haven't been equaled since, and probably never will be. Nor has Issac Newton been approached in his intellect and innovation.....even though he lived ages ago.

                http://bigthink.com/ideas/13154
                However, in the case of Issac Newton, much of his postulates on the universe and its physical dynamics have been tweaked, modified , upgraded and challenged.

                The LAWS are LAWS. The rest is theory and is being re-defined.

                As to music, that is very subjective. Another consideration is that the great composers whom you mentioned were creating musical themes in a virtual vacuum, in which instrumental limitation defined parameters of sound creation and harmonics ... and in which these talents pushed everything to the limits, and then some.

                BABBIP also functions largely on a variable very different today from the time of Ruth and Cobb. CONTACT meant everything to hitters; and stuff, placement, ball motion and change of speed were EVERYTHING to pitchers, who wanted batters to hit the ball [at someone]. The pitcher wanted batters to swing at pitches they would otherwise have preferred to take.

                A modern hitter should have an extravagant BABBIP because, as I understand it, K's are removed from the denominator. In a world where contact has become a cheap commodity, batted balls in play shrink as a portion of outs made.
                Last edited by leewileyfan; 05-13-2012, 04:40 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brett View Post

                  On a related note, what makes one hitter like Cabrera or Hamilton high BABIP guys while Bonds and Pujols are significantly lower? I guess part is that Bonds and Pujols k'd less but does that mean that they didn't hit the ball as hard.
                  Walks are generally the answer. Barry Bonds would wait for a pitch he could drive and if he got a hold of one he would crush it over the fence which doesn't count in BABIP. Josh Hamilton is not being as selective. He's swinging at a lot more pitches.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leewileyfan View Post
                    A modern hitter should have an extravagant BABBIP because, as I understand it, K's are removed from the denominator. In a world where contact has become a cheap commodity, batted balls in play shrink as a portion of outs made.
                    the fact that BABIP was higher back then must have been due largely to less effective range by fielders, as well as lesser pitching. I read somewhere that a line drive will go for a base hit 70 to 75% of the time, while a fly ball or grounder are aroudn .270. Must have been more line drives.
                    Last edited by brett; 05-13-2012, 03:37 PM.

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                    • #11
                      BABIP wasn't higher back then.

                      1954 is the first time they officially tracked SF and in that year the majors had a BABIP of .275.

                      In 1901 it was .294 but it quickly declined as the leagues settled in. By 1904 it was at .275. They then introduce a new ball and the BABIP jumps up to .301 in 1912 before the spitballers took over and had it back down to .275ish by 1916. We then get new balls in play and spitballers outlawed and BABIP jumps up over .300 for most of the 20's. The 30's saw the ball get tinkered with a good deal and BABIP fell into the .290's for most of the decade. The 40's was high .270's and it has basically stayed in the .270's to .280's up until 1994 where it has been in the high .290's and .300's.

                      Now keep in mind that before 1954 SF were either counted as an at bat, in which case it is getting counted, or was counted as a SH, in which case it isn't being counted and is artificially raising BABIP. I believe up until 1930 what we would call a SF was considered a SH. So in actuality the 1920's actually has a lower BABIP than is recorded.

                      1880's saw a really low BABIP and it wasn't until the mound got moved back that BABIP jumped up and stayed high until 1904.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brett View Post
                        I read somewhere that a line drive will go for a base hit 70 to 75% of the time, while a fly ball or grounder are aroudn .270.
                        Grounders and fly balls are a little lower than that. Over the past 4 seasons, grounders are at ~.235, and fly balls are at ~.220.
                        http://www.baseball-reference.com/le...?t=b&year=2011

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by brett View Post
                          Also a .383 with the gloves of that period might match a .367. Is there any table of relative BABIP out there.

                          On a related note, what makes one hitter like Cabrera or Hamilton high BABIP guys while Bonds and Pujols are significantly lower? I guess part is that Bonds and Pujols k'd less but does that mean that they didn't hit the ball as hard.

                          I would think that more patient hitters would have higher BABIPs because they are selective, but that doesn't seem to hold. Homers are important of course, but with 2 power hitters what makes one have a high BABIP?

                          It is fascinating that there are MANY different stylistic categories of hitters.

                          You have low K hitters who don't walk a lot but have high BABIP and who are not power hitters, like Ichiro.
                          You have low K hitters who walk a lot and have high BABIP but are not power hitters like Boggs.
                          You have lower K high walk guys with less great BABIP and power like Bonds
                          High K High walk power hitters with lesser BABIP like Mathews or Schmidt
                          High K High walk power hitters with great BABIP like Cabrera and Hamilton. What makes them different from Mathews or Schmidt? I'd assume fly ball rates.
                          Correct about the quality of defense.

                          As far as Pujols and BABP... lots of HRs which don't count in BABIP? Also, in the annual "hardest average contact-of-the-ball-speed" Pujols does not generally rate in the top 10, so he might not hit the ball as hard as one would expect.
                          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brett;
                            It is fascinating that there are MANY different stylistic categories of hitters.

                            You have low K hitters who don't walk a lot but have high BABIP and who are not power hitters, like Ichiro.
                            You have low K hitters who walk a lot and have high BABIP but are not power hitters like Boggs.
                            You have lower K high walk guys with less great BABIP and power like Bonds
                            High K High walk power hitters with lesser BABIP like Mathews or Schmidt
                            High K High walk power hitters with great BABIP like Cabrera and Hamilton. What makes them different from Mathews or Schmidt? I'd assume fly ball rates.
                            Note that you could substitute "batting average" for BABIP in all those categories. If two batters have the same batting average, the one with the lower BABIP is the better hitter, e.g. Carew and Dimaggio.

                            I don't see the point of using BABIP to evaluate hitters. It's a composite that doesn't reflect any particular skill. What specific ability is measured by batting average without home runs and strikeouts that isn't better measured by batting average?

                            Of course it's a component of a batter's profile, and I suppose there are some players who hit a lot of line drives, not many homers, and strike out a lot, but I don't think a significant chunk hit the BABIP trifecta.

                            I think its main use is in evaluating pitching and defense and their interaction. Also, because it's subject to random fluctuations, it's useful in identifying lucky pitchers and batters.

                            We tend to think that if something has a name, it's a natural class of some sort. The save is a good example. But as pointed out, the more outs that are strikeouts and the fewer hits are homers, the higher your BABIP.

                            In short, I can't imagine a GM saying, "What we need is a player with a high BABIP," unless, of course, he just meant a player with a high batting average.
                            Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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                            • #15
                              One other thing I forgot to mention is that before the Babe Ruth era many home runs were inside the park home runs and thus should get counted. It is quite possible that between this fact and the fact that SF didn't get counted that the two will somewhat cancel each other out.

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