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June 18, 2013

Pebble Hunting

Blind BABIP Test, Part 2

by Sam Miller

Jose Iglesias has a .507 BABIP this year. This article is not about that BABIP, exactly, but we are starting there. Iglesias entered the season with a .164 career BABIP in the majors, and a .300 BABIP in the minors, and a reputation as the best defensive shortstop in baseball, with a bat that might be just weak enough to support that glove. Finding out Jose Iglesias has a .507 BABIP is like finding out that Chin-lung Hu quietly signed with the Pirates and hit 14 home runs in May. Anyway, like I said, this article isn't about that BABIP.

A year ago, we did a blind BABIP test for a Jake Peavy start; 20 balls put in play, 10 were hits, and you tried to guess which were which based on all the information you could collect up to the point of contact. Gosh, did you ever do terribly. Given a 50 percent chance of guessing the correct answers blindly, you collectively got 52 percent of the answers correct. But maybe that wasn't fair; maybe focusing on the pitcher (who, as we know, controls his BABIP only a little bit) is a doomed exercise. Hitters control their BABIP some bit more than that. So maybe we should be focusing on the batter, looking to see if he's balanced and putting a good swing on the ball or flailing, jammed, late, or on top of the ball. So what happens if we do this from the batter's perspective? Will we be any better? I suspect... well, honestly, I don't know.

There are 10 sets of GIFs below. Each set includes a Jose Iglesias base hit and a Jose Iglesias out. You have to guess which is which, the twist being that the GIF cuts off at the frame before contact is made. In most cases, I'm going to include a screengrab of the final frame to give you a better look to study, though it wouldn't surprise me if it'd do you better to just ignore that and focus on absorbing the natural flow of each GIF, a simpler and Zennier approach. (I'm not putting the final frame for all of them simply because I want to see whether your guesses are better with or without that hint.) Because of our technological limitations, sometimes the final frame shows the bat on the ball and sometimes it shows the ball a few feet in front of the plate, though every final frame is within nine or 10 feet of the plate at the very most.

I truly don't know if you'll get 90 percent or 40 percent of these. I will assure you that each pairing, as well as the order of each pair, was determined by a random number generator, so do not bother getting fooled by patterns (e.g. there have been three hits in a row on the left so the next is probably on the right). The hits and outs themselves were gathered randomly, too, so they're not a particular type or hit or a particular type of out that I went looking for. No attempts to skew this were made, I promise.

Finally, in addition to your answers (either in comments below, or by email to me at the link below, or by Twitter via @SamMillerBP), please predict how many you will get right. I'm interested not just in whether you're capable of spotting the hits but in whether you think you are capable of spotting the hits. Let's have fun!

1. Jose Iglesias vs Michael Kohn (left) and vs Joe Blanton (right)

(This one is the hardest. Don't get frustrated yet!)

2. Jose Iglesias vs. Freddy Garcia (left) and Vinnie Pestano (right)

3. Jose Iglesias vs. Brian Shaw (left) and Alexi Ogando (right)

4. Jose Iglesias vs Jonathan Pettibone (left) and Robbie Ross (right)

5. Jose Iglesias vs. Scott Kazmir (left) and Joe Blanton (right)

6. Jose Iglesias vs. Chris Tillman (left) and Roberto Hernandez (right)

7. Jose Iglesias vs. Jeremy Horst (left) and Freddy Garcia (right)

8. Jose Iglesias vs. Jonathan Pettibone (left) and Chad Durbin (right)

9. Jose Iglesias vs. Michael Stutes (left) and Robert Coello (right)

10. Jose Iglesias vs. Scott Kazmir (left) and Joe Nathan (right)

Did you get 'em? You got all of them, right? Prove to me that you got all of them right! I'll post the answers (or a link to the answers) in this space later today, and we'll see how you got all of them right.

ANSWERS: Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Right, Left. Expect to write the results up in an Unfiltered before too long. (But everybody did awfully.)

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

Related Content:  Jose Iglesias,  Babip

40 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Schere

r
r
r
r
l
l
r
r
r
l

Jun 18, 2013 04:35 AM
rating: 0
 
fabiopao

RLRRRRRLLR

Jun 18, 2013 04:53 AM
rating: 0
 
benjh5

Hits: R R L L L R R L R R
Outs: L L R R R L L R L L

Jun 18, 2013 05:18 AM
rating: 0
 
MJ

R
L
R
R
R
R
L
L
R
R

Generally picked the side that most looked like it would result in a ground ball (higher BABIP than a fly ball statistically). On a few it looked like the contact would have resulted in a cheap bloop the other way or a jam shot blooper so I picked those ones as well.

Jun 18, 2013 07:09 AM
rating: 0
 
MJ

6/10, 1 better than what would be expected by random guessing... I'll take it!

Jun 19, 2013 07:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Tythelip

Hits: R L L R L R L R R L
Outs: L R R L R L R L L R

I think I did pretty well, ten of ten.

Jun 18, 2013 07:29 AM
rating: 0
 
Tythelip

Nailed 'em 10 out of 10.

Jun 19, 2013 09:27 AM
rating: 0
 
tballgame

LRRRLLRRRL. Come on 60%

Jun 18, 2013 08:40 AM
rating: 0
 
gweedoh565

Hits:

1. R
2. L
3. R
4. L
5. L
6. L
7. R
8. R
9. L
10.R

I think I got almost 50% correct.

Jun 18, 2013 08:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Karl Hungus

Hits: R R L L L R L R L L
Outs: L L R R R L R L R R

Jun 18, 2013 08:53 AM
rating: 0
 
ravenight

1. L
2. L
3. R
4. R
5. R
6. R
7. R
8. R
9. L
10. L

I'll say I got 7 of 10 - there's at least a few where I have a really strong feeling one way or the other.

Jun 18, 2013 08:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BobcatBaseball

1. Right
2. Right
3. Left
4. Right
5. Right
6. Left
7. Right
8. Right
9. Left
10. Left

Did anybody from last year test get it all right?

Jun 18, 2013 09:11 AM
rating: 0
 
bradabel

Hits: R L R L R R R L R R
4/10

Jun 18, 2013 09:20 AM
rating: 0
 
hegglund

1. R
2. R
3. R
4. L
5. L
6. L
7. R
8. L
9. L
10. R

Don't tell me you did something sneaky like put all the correct ones on one side or the other.

Jun 18, 2013 09:28 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

1. Right - Pitch missed target - more likely for fielders to miss
2. Right - Better, more balanced swing
3. Right - Pitch seems to hang (maybe the gif froze?)
4. Right - Pitch seems to be in Iglesias' "wheelhouse"
5. Left - Good, balanced swing
6. Left - Good, balanced swing
7. Right - just because ( I am least confident about this one)
8. Right - Pitch missed target (see #1)
9. Right - Pitch seems to be in Iglesias' "wheelhouse" and it missed the catcher's target.
10. Left - Less sharp movement to the pitch.
Confidence ratio - 70%

Jun 18, 2013 11:01 AM
rating: 0
 
Seth Victor

L
R
L
R
R
R
R
L
R
R

5/10

Jun 18, 2013 11:03 AM
rating: 0
 
jharrison3

R
L
R
L
L
R
R
L
L
R

Jun 18, 2013 11:53 AM
rating: 0
 
jharrison3

Oh, and I bet I got 3 right.

Jun 18, 2013 12:05 PM
rating: 0
 
bobbykester

Wait...What?...Jose Iglesias has made 10 outs this season?...

Jun 18, 2013 11:59 AM
rating: 0
 
DNicholas

Hits
L
L
R
L
L
R
R
R
L
L
I think my chances are 50/50.

Jun 18, 2013 12:08 PM
rating: 0
 
DNicholas

5 out of 10. Nailed my expectation!

Jun 19, 2013 05:21 AM
rating: 0
 
William Burke
(963)

L
R
L
R
L
L
R
R
R
R

Jun 18, 2013 12:18 PM
rating: 0
 
Kevin Ebert

I think these are the hits:

L
R
R
R
R
L
R
R
R
R

I'd guess I got 6 or 7 of them right.

Jun 18, 2013 12:28 PM
rating: 0
 
yoshiki89

L R L R L L R R R R
(I picked the gif where we was more erect, hot hunched over, just before he made contact; not really sure why)

Jun 18, 2013 12:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Marco Lepe

L
R
R
L
R
R
L
R
L
R

I'd guess I have almost no skill at this, and will go with a 50%!

And I went ahead and chose the Joe Blanton one because, you know.

Jun 18, 2013 13:52 PM
rating: 0
 
Marco Lepe

Except the first one, because I didn't read realize it was Blanton on the right. That's ok!

Jun 18, 2013 13:54 PM
rating: 0
 
gcarbert

R
R
R
L
L
R
R
R
L

Jun 18, 2013 13:57 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

You're missing one! This makes me suspect that you might be one off on all of these and, therefore, will end up getting... half right, like everybody else. (Spoiler: Everybody has been terrible so far, basically)

Jun 18, 2013 14:12 PM
 
Tythelip

I got every one right.

Jun 19, 2013 09:29 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

That's why I said "basically"! I had you in mind.

Jun 19, 2013 09:30 AM
 
redspid

Blind monkey test without looking LRRLRRLLLR

Jun 18, 2013 14:41 PM
rating: 1
 
Marco Lepe

Your first six match my first six ha! Oh dear...

Jun 18, 2013 14:50 PM
rating: 0
 
misterjohnny
(925)

Hits:
L
R
L
R
L
L
R
R
R
L

It comes down to whether Jose can hit a high fastball. Many of these were a pitch up vs a pitch down. If he is good with the high fastball, I got about 70%. If he can't catch up, I'm at 30%. I'll go with 70%.

Jun 18, 2013 14:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Brady Childs

I'm predicting that I get 2 right, because randomness.

1) Right
2) Left
3) Right
4) Left (The Red Sox destroyed Pettibone in this game)
5) Right
6) Right
7) Right
8) Left
9) Right
10)Left

Jun 18, 2013 14:53 PM
rating: 0
 
ddietz2004

1. R
2. L
3. R
4. R
5. L
6. L
7. R
8. R
9. R
10. L
I'm predicting I will answer half correctly because I probably out thought myself.

Jun 18, 2013 15:51 PM
rating: 0
 
StefanAFrisch

L
R
R
R
L
L
R
R
R
L
I think my Zen impression was influenced the most by pitch location rather than anything about the batter, so I suspect I was pretty random.

Jun 18, 2013 16:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt10

1. L
2. R
3. R
4. R
5. L
6. L
7. R
8. L
9. L
10 R

I'm guessing I got 6

Jun 18, 2013 18:13 PM
rating: 0
 
louispupu

1L out, pop up to catcher or weak comebacker to pitcher
1R hit, line drive over the 1st baseman

2L out, 1 or 2 bouncer to 3rd
2R hit, line drive to right-center

3L hit, comebacker up the middle
3R out, grounder to short

4L out, grounder to 2nd
4R hit, double to right-center gap

5L out, grounder to short
5R hit, line drive over 2nd basemen

6L hit, line drive to right
6R out, grounder to short

7L out, pop up to 1st base
7R hit, line drive to left

8L out, grounder to 1st
8R hit, soft liner just over shortstop

9L out, fly out to right
9R hit, line drive to left-center

10L hit, line drive to center
10R out, bouncer to short

Jun 19, 2013 01:26 AM
rating: 0
 
louispupu

Oops I just see you posted the answer at the end, however, will you post the detailed result on each at-bat so I can check out my call on each one? Thank you.

Jun 19, 2013 01:28 AM
rating: 0
 
gjhardy

Upon review, the one consistent thing I am able to discern is that Joey Churches can hit a high fastball. But he also has some hits off swings in which his rear end is going in the wrong direction and he looks like he's in emergency swing mode. Hence the BABIP over .500?

Jun 20, 2013 07:07 AM
rating: -1
 
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