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Delino DeShields ROS BABIP

This is a comment from Reddit u/fawkesmulder, a moderator of r/FantasyBaseball

.286 BABIP for a guy like Delino DeShields is unreasonable. He's one of the fastest guys in the league, his Baseline BABIP should be well above .300 as he can turn groundouts into infield singles.


Looking at batted ball data, .315 is what I calculated his expected BABIP to be going forwards.

  • DeShields has 13.6% infield hit%.
  • League average is 6.7%.
  • DeShields is more than twice as likely (i.e. 6.9% more likely) to get an infield hit.
  • He's also 50% on bunting for hits, which is astounding (also more than twice league average).
  • Baseline BABIP for groundballs is .232 if this is accurate
  • Add DeShields .069 infield groundball advantage, therefore you're looking at a DeShields baseline grounder BABIP of .301.
  • Linedrives are the best -- .690 baseline BABIP according that that source. Flyballs have .218 baseline BABIP. Speed shouldn't have much of an effect on these so I'm not adjusting them, other than accounting for infield flyballs which are guaranteed outs.

I'm going to calculate the expected BABIP for DeShields based on the above data. The expected BABIP will equal the summation of the following:
  • Flyballs -- .218 x .261 (26.1% FB) = .056898. Edit. .218 x .245 (.261 minus the difference between DeSheilds IFFB and league average, which is .111 minus .095 = .016; .261-.016=.245) = .05341
  • Grounders -- .301 x .638 (63.8% GB) = .192038
  • Line Drives -- .690 x .101 (10.1% FB) = .06969

We can take that average and take away his strikeouts/walks to determine his expected batting average/OBP going forwards.
  • 22.1% Ks. So we'll take the baseline BABIP multiplied by .779. = .245 expected batting average.
  • 13.1% BBs. So we'll take the baseline BABIP multipled by .648 (Ks and BBs out) = .204. Add back the BBs. = .335 expected OBP.

I haven't even gotten into directional placement of grounders, so it could be true that DeShields is even better than these projections I just calculated.

Regardless, league averages: .252 average, .314 OBP. DeShields is proving to be roughly a league average hitter by expected batting average, and clearly above average hitter if you're looking at expected OBP.