Hi friends, I hope you survived 2019 Halloween’s Snowmageddon with lots of candy and non-frost bitten digits. In looking forward to the 2020 White Sox season, I thought it fruitful to take a break from the Jerry’s Cheap vs Hahn Sucks White Sox Twitter War and focus in on something that involves tons of luck: BABIP. BABIP is an acronym Batting Average on Balls In Play, which just means, what % of the balls you hit that didn’t go over the fence, fell in for hits.
The White Sox lead the MLB by a country mile in this stat. They checked in at .329…..even housing the Colorado Rockies who have a built in advantage of altitude + a ginormous spacious ballpark. To put this in context, the league average in this stat is .300. To put this in more context, the last non-Rockies team to have a BABIP as high as the White Sox was the 2013 Red Sox who also checked in with a .329 BABIP, and they took full advantage of that shit as you might imagine, they didn’t win no 72 games.
Now BABIP isn’t entirely luck, speed helps, hitting more line drives might help, but realistically, BABIP isn’t too predictable year to year, crazy shit can happy and you can slide perilously across the spectrum of luck and have basically no control over it. Think about going down to the gas station and buying some “scratchers” some instant lottery tix. The White Sox bought a few scratchers and hit for $2K last year. It’s probably not going to happen again…..but I figured it might be fruitful to take a look at if they don’t hit for $2K on a scratcher again next year.
ASSUMPTIONS – I assumed an average team gets ~6,200 PA’s and I’ve removed the White Sox 182 HR and applied their 6.3% BB rate and 25.6% K rate to get down to a roughly 4,000 PA. I am also going to assume all of the BABIP “luck” was batted ball Singles, which isn’t true, but that’s conservative and it’s the fun way I want to approach this post, so FUCK YOU!
The White Sox fall from a gargantuan .329 BABIP to what was a 5th place BABIP last year, the Detroit Tigers .308. That means the White Sox would lose 84 Singles from their batting record….yep, they up and disappeared like a fart in the wind. James McCann and Zack Collins combined for 84 singles, those are fucking gone. Buh-Bye
The White Sox fall from a gargantuan (this can’t be spelled correctly) .329 BABIP to what is usually, roughly, league average BABIP of .300, which is what the Miami Marlins put up. That means the White Sox would lose 117 singles from their batting record. Tim Anderson had EXACTLY 117 singles last season. THOSE SINGLES ARE GONE FROM THE RECORD NOW!! No 2020 batting title for you Tim!
The White Sox fall from a gargantuan .329 BABIP to a league worst BABIP, something like the 2019 LA Angels (who have Trout and Ohtani, but not even those two could save them) of .281. The White Sox would lose a whopping 192 singles from their batting record. HOOCHIE MAMA!! That means, roughly everyone that played an OF position (not named Leury Garcia) for the White Sox would go down to zero singles for the season to make this happen.
The White Sox are going to have to acquire much talent to supplement the young talented core, but it’s going to be even more than we think to overcome the iron pyrite of their 2019 batting record.