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The Saber's Edge: BABIP Swings

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman writes about all things Baseball for RotoWire. He also handles scouting and reporting for PrepBaseballReport.com. Jeff also contributes to RoyalsReview.com, FanGraphs.com and BaseballHeatMaps.com.

Lonnie Chisenhall is finally living up to his previous prospect status (he was ranked #31 overall in 2010 and #25 overall in 2011 by Baseball America) by hitting .317 so far this season with nine home runs. Chisenhall has seen his AVG jump nearly 100 points from a .225 value in 2013. Most of the increase is from a 120-point jump in his BABIP (.243 to .363). This jump seems fairly substantial, but how common is such a jump? This week, I will look at similar swings in BABIP from year-to-year to determine how often it happens, and how those players have historically performed over the rest of the season.

Chisenhall's jump in BABIP is the biggest in over two decades. Looking at players with a minimum of 300 PA in back-to-back seasons, his 120-point jump is the largest since Andres Galarraga had a 122-point jump from the 1992 to the 1993 season. In fact, only 11 other hitters, besides Galarraga and Chisenhall, have ever seen a 100-point jump since Galarraga's season.

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