April 17, 2021

Fun With Small Samples: Joey Gallo, BABIP God? (FanGraphs)

Joey Gallo is a walking archetype. You know the rough outlines: strikeouts like you wouldn’t believe, gobsmacking power, and the walks that accompany those two. When he’s good, he’s blasting his way to success; the park almost doesn’t matter when he gets into one, so titanic is his power.

If you knew only that about Gallo — and to be clear, it’s the most important thing — what would you think about his BABIP? It could be sky-high; he whiffs quite a lot, but that doesn’t matter for BABIP, and when he makes contact, it’s the loudest contact there is. He’s barreled up a fifth of his batted balls, and hit 50% of them 95 mph or harder. That makes it easier to find a hole — or make one.

It could be low, though! Many of those hard hit balls leave the park. What might be doubles in the gap or smoked line drive singles for another player might be home runs for Gallo, and singles and doubles are the bedrock of BABIP. Grounders and pop ups are no good; the real juice is in line drives and low fly balls, and he might simply hit his too hard to keep them in the field of play.

The answer is depressingly pedestrian. Gallo’s career BABIP stood at .270 entering this…

Read “Fun With Small Samples: Joey Gallo, BABIP God?” at FanGraphs