Thursday, January 19, 2006

J.J. Hardy and BABIP

Rich Lederer over at the Baseball Analysts has a nice article on J.J. Hardy's rookie campaign. While I agree with his prediction that his second half numbers forshadow a bright future for Hardy, I can't agree with part of his reasoning why.

He points to Hardy's paltry pre all-star.211 BABIP as proof that he was simply "unlucky" for the first half of the year. While that was well below the MLB average, there are plenty of players (mostly pitchers) that rightly earn their low BABIP. How do we determine if Hardy earned his? BIP types is a great place to start. Here's J.J. Hardy's BIP type (LD%, FB%, GB%)frequencies for 2005:

As you can see, for much of the first half, Hardy had a horribly low LD% and a very high GB%. For a guy not gifted with blazing speed, that is the perfect recipe for a low BABIP. Hardy's change in approach resulted in his LD% and BABIP shooting up in June, however.

Hardy earned both his low BABIP early in the season and his higher BABIP in the second half.


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