Stathead Sagas: Good Luck Drafting for Batting Average

Stathead Sagas: Good Luck Drafting for Batting Average

This article is part of our Stathead Sagas series.

Good luck drafting for batting average.

Seriously, you'll need some good luck. If you subscribe to even a piece of DIPS theory – defensive independent pitching statistics – then you believe that pitchers have little control over whether balls in play fall in for hits. At some point – albeit to a lesser extent – the same theory applies to hitters. Some of the hardest hit balls drop in. Some of the weakest hit pop-ups drop just over an infielder's head and trickle away for a double.

So even those who hit the ball the hardest are subject to the brutality of luck, even throughout the course of a 162-game major league season. But talking about this luck – or perhaps uncertainty is a better word – doesn't do us much good. We need to put a number on it. Luckily, we can.

If you're interested in the gory mathematical details, they're available at the bottom of the post. If not, just enjoy the following chart:

Each tab shows a different level of certainty, one with 68% (or just under 2-in-3 odds the player's average falls within this bar) and one with 95% (or 19-in-20 odds). The chart includes anybody with at least 450 projected at-bats – almost every starting player. You can find any player you're interested in there, but I will highlight a few different types of players here.

High Average, High Certainty
Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Robinson Cano and Adrian

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack Moore
Jack Moore is a freelance sports writer based in Minneapolis who appears regularly at VICE Sports, The Guardian and Baseball Prospectus Milwaukee, among others. Follow him on Twitter @jh_moore.
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