Fantasy players are aware of the fickle nature of batting average on balls in play. Certain tendencies and skill sets lend themselves to greater batted-ball success than others. Expected BABIP, or xBABIP, tells us what a player's BABIP should have been.
Several notable Marlins, including shortstop Hanley Ramirez, had substantially better BABIP figures than expected in 2009, which augurs badly for them in 2010. Keep that in mind when evaluating past performance as it factors into future value.
Florida doesn't run much, but Chris Coghlan has told reporters he wants to run more.
The most important ballpark factor at Miami's Sun Life Stadium is its impact on strikeout rates: Even after correcting for the teams that play there, batters have stuck out 9 percent more often in Florida than at the average park.
That makes any home game for the Fish a good time to start your strikeout pitchers and magnifies the value of Florida's arms, like Josh M. Johnson. Pitchers like Ricky Nolasco who boast good control stand a better chance, because Sun Life has also encouraged walks by 5 percent above average.
The Marlins look like fish out of water in the field. Moving Cody Ross to right with the (hopefully) permanent promotion of Cameron Maybin in center will help, but only mildly. Coghlan had never played left field prior to being called up last May, but he should improve rapidly. Flyball inducers like Nolasco can reap benefits if the outfield progresses.
About Matt Trueblood
Matt is a journalism student at Loyola University Chicago. The guest contributor is a featured Chicago Cubs columnist on the Bleacher Report as well as a contributor to hotstove.com. Matt envisions himself as both a writer and analyst and strives to deliver pieces that are both well-researched and thought-provoking. He work first appeared on KFFL.com in February 2010.
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