The Last, Greatest Post About Austin Jackson & BABIP: Part 4 - Variance

Next2 of 3Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

First of all, here are their career numbers:  bear in mind that due to talent and longevity all of these guys are at least in the running for future admission to the Hall of Fame (where thus far only Carew presently resides):

Career Nettles Evans Trammell Whitaker Carew Jeter
BB% 0.107 0.148 0.090 0.121 0.095 0.090
K% 0.140 0.158 0.103 0.130 0.113 0.168
ISO 0.166 0.181 0.123 0.151 0.100 0.139
BABIP 0.241 0.247 0.295 0.290 0.358 0.357
AVG 0.242 0.245 0.282 0.277 0.326 0.315
OBP 0.324 0.358 0.347 0.364 0.391 0.385
SLG 0.407 0.427 0.405 0.428 0.427 0.453
wOBA 0.327 0.351 0.338 0.354 0.368 0.372

For reference, so far in 2011 the league as a whole is averaging a BB% of .0845, a K% of .1823, an ISO of .138 a batting average of .252, a BABIP of .297 and OBP of .320 and a slugging percentage of .390. Bear in mind that in spite of the drop in scoring following the end of the juiced era, the 1960s and 1970s (and to a lesser extent 1980s) saw less offense than today.

Now take a look at the players’ standard deviations and standard errors:

St. Dev. Nettles Evans Trammell Whitaker Carew Jeter
BB% 0.0161 0.0166 0.0183 0.0250 0.0247 0.0151
K% 0.0306 0.0337 0.0226 0.0265 0.0300 0.0159
ISO 0.0330 0.0451 0.0459 0.0482 0.0360 0.0282
BABIP 0.0211 0.0204 0.0296 0.0285 0.0279 0.0270
AVG 0.0241 0.0211 0.0312 0.0215 0.0306 0.0221
OBP 0.0251 0.0224 0.0351 0.0233 0.0332 0.0262
SLG 0.0517 0.0592 0.0713 0.0557 0.0617 0.0433
wOBA 0.0332 0.0289 0.0396 0.0254 0.0367 0.0265

Which stats seem the least reliable?

Coeff. of Var. Nettles Evans Trammell Whitaker Carew Jeter
BB% 0.1506 0.1122 0.2029 0.2062 0.2591 0.1691
K% 0.2189 0.2133 0.2201 0.2034 0.2648 0.0945
ISO 0.1991 0.2489 0.3725 0.3183 0.3589 0.2035
BABIP 0.0872 0.0825 0.1003 0.0982 0.0778 0.0757
AVG 0.0998 0.0858 0.1107 0.0777 0.0938 0.0701
OBP 0.0776 0.0627 0.101 0.064 0.0849 0.0679
SLG 0.1268 0.1389 0.1762 0.1302 0.1447 0.0955
wOBA 0.1014 0.0825 0.1174 0.0719 0.0997 0.0714

If we compare standard errors for BABIP and Isolated Power, walk rates and strikeout rates – all of which are supposedly much more consistent and predictable attributes than BABIP – it is BABIP that looks like the one to bet on. If we start from the knowledge, after a long career, that a player actually does have (or does not have) BABIP skills we don’t see guys that rely on high BABIP numbers to be productive being any flakier or less consistent than guys that rely on a batting eye or biceps – if anying they may be more consistent and reliable. There is nothing wrong, inherently, with trying to build a team around balls in play skills. Nor is there anything wrong, inherently, with putting a guy in the leadoff slot who needs that high BABIP to set the table. The problem is in recognizing, without the benefit of hindsight, whether those skills exist at all.

Next2 of 3Prev
Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Next Tigers Game View full schedule »
Monday, Sep 11 Sep4:05at Cleveland IndiansBuy Tickets

Tags: Alan Trammell Austin Jackson BABIP Darrell Evans Derek Jeter Graig Nettles Lou Whitaker Rod Carew Sabermetrics