Time to Hit the xBABIP Calculator
Back in January, I finally finished my project to convert Chris Dutton's xBABIP Calculator (or the xBABIP Quick Calculator, to be precise) into a Google Doc and OpenOffice document. In simple terms, BABIP (batting average of balls in play) tells us whether or not a player was lucky or unlucky. In turn, xBABIP (or expected BABIP) looks at other elements of a hitter's stats (such as fly balls, line drives, and at bats) and guesses how off their actual BABIP is. Today, I finally get to use that winter invention for new numbers!
Let's take a look at the heart of the Cubs lineup, the guys who we really need to hit the ball hard:
*I'm including Byrd, but I don't think he's really someone who we expect to be hitting really well. He's league average with a bat in his hands.
The numbers in red indicate the player has been unlucky to some degree. The only player who has thus far been lucky, according to Dutton's xBABIP Calculator, is Derrek "Refuse to Age" Lee, which is fine with me because no one expects him to have a .448 wOBA for the rest of the season. If he regresses a little, he'll still be very awesome.
Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez have been pretty unlucky so far. Byrd, who's quickly becoming a fan favorite for his DeRosa-esque averageness, has been able to slug way above his head despite his poor luck. Ramirez, on the other hand, has just been old-fashioned unlucky.
I was honestly surprised to see Alfonso Soriano on the unlucky side of the spectrum. He's hit 8 fly balls (which is good) but also 8 ground balls (which is not so good), and -- frankly -- he's just been looking silly at the plate lately (sans today's double). Soriano is still swinging wildly at breaking pitches and crushing everything else right into the clay at his feet. Additionally, he hasn't drawn a walk yet. That blows my mind. Derrek Lee has 6 already.
Google Doc xBABIP Quick Calculator: Google Docs link
The original release: at The Hardball Times