Overall, BABIP is a stat that is largely out of the batters control, which makes sense because as a hitter, once you hit the ball onto the field, you can’t affect what happens next. The league average BABIP is usually right around .300, meaning balls in play typically land for a hit about 30% of the time. So in theory, if a player has a BABIP of .350, you might say he had a “lucky” season, and you could expect him to regress the following season, right? On the surface it makes sense, but the whole point of this article is to look beyond just the surface stats, and that is exactly what we will do.
To stay connected to the body's rotational energy, it is very important that the first movement of the hands is not directed toward the pitcher - or inline with the incoming pitch. The batter should keep his hands back and allow the rotation of the body against the lead arm to accelerate the hands. The first movement of the hands will then be propelled more perpendicular to the flight of the incoming ball. This will induce the greatest amount of angular displacement to the bat and propel the hands into the most productive path.
Now that we’ve covered slash line statistics and plate discipline numbers, all that’s left to go over is batted ball data. The most common batted ball stat that is used is batting average on balls in play, or BABIP for short. While a typical batting average tells you how often a player gets a hit in general, this batting average determines how often a player ends up getting a hit when they hit the ball within the field of play. It is calculated by subtracting home runs from totals hits and dividing that by at bats minus strikeouts minus home runs plus sacrifice flies, which translates to the following formula:
Most baseball players think that hitting is all about the upper body and that they can simply ignore the fitness of the lower body. This is a grave mistake. When you are swinging your bat on the plate, your legs and trunk are playing a critical role in supporting your swing and adding momentum to it. So make lower body exercises a regular part of your drill as well. The lower body will help you add that extra bit of power into your hitting.
Of course there’s some difficulty in identifying the best active hitting pitchers, foremost because hurlers are so often asked to just lay down a bunt or attempt to move a runner via sacrifice. And those are good skills to have. So we decided to use OPS (on base % + slugging %) as a measure because sacrifices are filtered out from at-bats and OPS indicates pitchers that can hit and hit for extra bases, and also draw a walk. Now take a look at this group of pitchers’ hitting credentials (minimum 40 at-bats). Also note that the MLB average OPS across all hitters in '16 was .739.
Explosive Hips are crucial to power hitting. They are also the most overlooked and underdeveloped group of muscles. They are typically extremely tight and weak. The two best things you can do to “unlock” your power in your hips; a comprehensive mobility routine and exercises that involve your hips. I like exercise that involve these two skills in one movement; lateral lunges and single leg split squats are two exercises that create mobility in the hips and are powerful movements.
These types of movements encourage poor technique and motor patterns. I have talked about the central nervous systems relationship with movement patterns in the past with speed development and in baseball youth athletes, the same rules apply here. This type of training negatively affects your body’s motor/muscle recruitment patterns during a game setting.
That’s a reasonable question, right? If you ask an individual you can probably have reasonably civilized conversation. Pose this question to the masses though, and you’ll hear the outcries and irrational debates from the masses. Change just for the sake of change is not always good, but some changes are overdue and this is one of them. So are you one of those people staunchly against removing the batting average category from your league? Well then, let me see if I can convince you otherwise.
If the swing is on-plane early and the player is a little bit late on a fastball, he will still be able to hit a line-drive to the opposite field instead of either popping up or swinging and missing completely. If the bat is on-plane through the swing as well, a player that is fooled on a curveball will still be able to shoot the baseball somewhere instead of either rolling over or striking out.