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Two Yankees Compared

The following represents a comparison of two Yankees so far in 2019 (through August 25, last night’s game not included):

The core numbers from these two players are quote close. Player A strikes out much less and walks a bit less than Player B. Their isolated power numbers are quite close. Player B hits a lot more line drives (more on this later).

Their results diverge radically when we look at BABIP. BABIP is batting average on balls in play. It’s basically the percentage of balls hit in the field of play that turn into hits. To a great extent, BABIP is luck driven from the perspective of the batter. This is not entirely true as line drives and grounders are more likely to go for hits. As such, we’d expect that Player B would have a higher BABIP than player A given his nicely high line drive percentage of 26.3%. Player A’s line drive percentage is a relatively average 20%. His BABIP should be around .300 given that result.

If we assume that an additional 10% of Players A’s balls in play go for singles (to adjust for a .203 BABIP increasing to a .300 BABIP), his performance numbers increase dramatically. The sum of his OBP and SLG is .894 which is virtually identical to Player B’s .885.

Now granted, this is all small sample size stuff, especially for Player A.

And for those of you who are still reading, Player A is long time AAA player Mike Ford. Player B is Luke Voit. If Ford can keep this up, he should get a shot to stay in the big leagues somewhere in 2020.

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