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May 14, 2013

Punk Hits

Javier Lopez Learns BABIP

by Ian Miller


This might come as a shock to you, but there are some players who don't value advanced statistics.

I guess I always figured that major-league baseball players would try and take advantage of every possible strategic advantage, and a knowledge of statistics – his own, or a competitor's – can give a player an edge. So I was surprised to have my attempts to talk stats rebuffed by a couple of different Giants players before their game against the Braves last Friday night.

“I don’t believe in any of that,” Hunter Pence told me. "I find that it gets in my way. I'd rather just focus on the moment of competition, how my body's feeling, and my plan of attack against whoever's pitching that day."

Chad Gaudin's response was similar when I asked him about some vagaries of his PITCHf/x data. "If it has anything at all to do with stats, I'd rather not do it. I don't wanna know about it." Stats just get him all up in own his own head, he told me, and he feels like he can't afford to let anything distract him from the task at hand.

But Javier Lopez is different.

“I’m learning my sabermetrics,” he told me, when I informed him that he’s entered the day with an almost incredibly high BABIP of .458. “BABIP, what’s that, walks and hits or something? No, that’s WHIP. What’s BABIP?”

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (05/14)
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Premium Article Punk Hits: Eyes on the... (05/21)
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