What Does BABIP Mean in Baseball?

selective focus photography of white baseball balls on ground

BABIP, or Batting Average on Balls in Play, is a sabermetric statistic that measures a player’s non-home run batted balls at play. Unlike other metrics, BABIP can be used for both hitters and pitchers and considers factors such as player quality, defense, and luck. Websites like FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, and MLB provide BABIP rankings for players.

For pitchers, a good BABIP score is below the league average of .300, whereas for hitters, a good score is above the average of .300. A higher score is considered better for batters, while a lower score is better for pitchers. The formula for calculating BABIP is (H – HR) / (AB – HR – K + SF).

A high BABIP score for a hitter does not necessarily reflect their skill but rather the quality of the defense they faced and their luck. Speed and accidental hits can also affect a hitter’s BABIP score. A pitcher’s BABIP score can be affected by their participation in defense, but ultimately, their score is largely determined by the other defensive players on the field.

While BABIP can be useful for analyzing player trends over time, it should be used in conjunction with other statistics to accurately reflect a player’s skill. Luck and the quality of the defense faced can cause fluctuations in a player’s BABIP score.