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« The Three Strikeouts of Clayton Kershaw | Main | Wood Gives Away the Plate »

Marlon Byrd Hitting Ropes

Marlon Byrd's .417 BAbip heading into Saturday's action put him 14th among all batters this season with a minimum of 30 plate appearances.  Byrd has a lifetime .327 BAbip, and while there is an element of skill involved in BAbip, it tends to decline with older players.  Part of this is due to a decline in speed - older players aren't able to leg out infield singles like they could in their younger years.

For the Cubs Marlon Byrd, it's quite clear what's propping up his BAbip early in the season.

Marlon Byrd through April 8, 2011
Line Drive7.8571.286.8570.0%
Fly Ball3.000.000.0000.0%
Ground Ball12.333.333.3330.0%
Pop Up2.000.000.0000.0%

Six of Byrd's line drives in play have resulted in hits so far this season. Compared to his previous three year average, Byrd has been a little lucky so far this season.

Marlon Byrd 2008-10
Line Drive258.7581.043.7491.2%
Fly Ball362.269.723.17011.1%
Ground Ball600.252.283.2520.0%
Pop Up65.092.108.0920.0%

I guess what's most surprising, if anything could be labeled as such this early, is that Byrd has hit more line drives than fly balls so far. Although it's always important to note that line drives are subjective calls and interpretation varies depending on the scorer. Lastly, compared to his previous three seasons, Byrd has been somewhat lucky on his ground balls so far. Expect his overall BAbip to regress in the coming months as his averages on ground balls and line drives come back down a bit.

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