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One of my favorite tools for assessing players in fantasy baseball is Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP). A great piece done on BABIP can be found here. To those unfamiliar, here is a brief synopsis:
“Simple logic states that once a ball is hit into play, there is nothing a hitter can do to increase his chances of a hit. So, if you keep hitting them into play, they’ll eventually start to drop for you” – Steven Lourie
Basically, BABIP measures the percentage of plate appearances that end with a ball hit into play and is credited with a hit. Home runs are excluded from BABIP since they are out of play. The average BABIP for a player is usually in the area of .290-.300. So knowing that, we should be able to examine who is benefiting from luck or who is a pure hitter.
Players with ridiculously high BABIP’s should be “sell high” candidates since there is very little possibility of them keeping them up. Likewise, a player with a very low BABIP in relation to their batting average is likely due for a rebound. However, this does not necessarily mean they will do a 180 and fall off the charts/become offensive juggernauts.
Here are just a few players who have extraordinary BABIP’s:
Now for players you should be trying to trade for:
As always, not everything goes according to plan. Some players can keep their lucky streaks going all season. Again, just because I say that these players are due for gains and dropoffs, it doesn’t mean they will start doing the complete opposite of what they have been doing. Most of the time it will be a slight regression or improvement, but in some instances, big things can happen.