Continuing our series on how luck effected a player’s season, today I will look at Chone Figgins. I will once again refer you to Chris Dutton and Peter Bendix’s great work on xBABIP which will be referenced. Additionally, BABIP in these posts is defined (H-HR)/(PA-HR-K-BB-HBP).
In my league last year, Chone Figgins had 2B, 3B, and OF eligibility. He also racked up 34 stolen bases to go along with a decent .276 average and 72 runs. While none of these numbers are eye-popping he still was pretty valuable as a guy with a lot of flexibility in a down year. He only played 116 games, and a lot of his numbers were lower than the year before; but a fantasy owner still got pretty good value for him. They were lucky in a sense, as well, because even though his numbers were down he still benefited from pretty good luck on balls in play.
Figgins sported a robust .332 BABIP. Lower than his .389 BABIP the year before, he still outperformed what we’d expect his BABIP to be based on other factors. His xBABIP was a less seemly .295. Had he performed at the level that would be expected in a luck-neutral environment his slash line would have dropped from a paltry .276/.365/.318 to a ghastly .246/.339/.284. With the loss of 14 trips on base, he would lose a couple steals and RBIs coupled with a loss of 5 runs. He already only hit 16 XBH and the loss of two more totally kills his SLG (and as a result his OPS). He essentially becomes Wily Taveras. While that’s decent value it is not what you expect from a guy you take in the 5th round or so. This output seems to be what you would expect from Figgins going forward (maybe a little more but not much). Below is the full stat-line for his 2008 season and what it would have been with a neutral BABIP:
What say ye?