Aramis Ramirez' BABIP
It's an off day, so rather than do it in the Shout Box, I thought I'd create a new post to respond to Intrepid Reader Chief's most recent comment, asking if Aramis' struggles have had anything to do with a low batting average on balls in play, or BABIP.
I'm not a stats expert either, but when I see that a hitter has a low BABIP, the next thing I do is look at his batted ball stats. Fangraphs breaks up batted ball types into three categories: ground balls, fly balls, and line drives.
For example, check out Derrek Lee's rate stats so far in 2010, compared to last year's totals, as well as his career rates:
2010 - 21.1 LD%, 38.3 GB%, 40.6 FB%
2009 - 19.2 LD%, 35.1 GB%, 45.7 FB%
career-21.3 LD%, 39.7 GB%, 39.0 FB%
Nothing way out of whack, really. Lee is hitting plenty of line drives, so his low BABIP does suggest a fair amount of bad luck.
Now let's look at Aramis Ramirez:
2010 - 15.1 LD%, 24.4 GB%, 60.5 FB%
2009 - 21.3 LD%, 34.6 GB%, 44.1 FB%
career-19.8 LD%, 35.1 GB%, 45.0 FB%
A huge chunk of what used to be line drives and hard hit ground balls are instead turning into fly balls this year. And unless those fly balls are getting hit a long long way -- and in this case, they're not -- they're easy outs.
That's why I'd bet on a D-Lee turnaround, but not on Aramis coming back anytime soon.