Line Drive Percentage
LOVEMYTEAM.COM Fan Friendly Awards Fan Survey Online Poll
Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Line Drive Percentage
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on September 17, 2012
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

The Los Angeles Dodgers were dealt a devastating blow this weekend when they announced that their ace Clayton Kershaw would be shut down indefinitely.  They are fighting for their playoff lives and entered Sunday’s matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals tied for the final wild card spot.  They have a loaded offense, but now after losing both their Number 1 and Number 2 starters (Chad Billinglsey was lost after his August 24th start due to an elbow injury) they will turn to recently acquired Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Joe Blanton to carry the team to the finish line.  If their offense begins to click and show its potential they can certainly reach the wild card play-in game but when it comes to playoff baseball, you would much rather rest your hat on your pitching.  Manager Don Mattingly made an interesting statement that the Dodgers will try to schedule a four man rotation the rest of the way which would help their chances, but also might wear out the rotation before the playoffs but the prevailing thought must be to make the play-in game first and worry about everything else after.

We have looked at both Groundball and Fly Ball percentage from the perspective of pitchers and today we’ll be looking at Line Drive Percentage (LD%).  There was a quick reference to Line Drives in the Ground Balls player analysis article that Line Drives lead to 1.26 Runs/Out (R/O), while Fly Balls led to 0.13 R/O and Ground Balls 0.05 R/O.  With this background it seems to make it favorable to have a lineup full of players who can drive line drives, which is much harder than it looks.

Even more favorable to fill a lineup of players who consistently hit Line Drives, The Hardball Times writes that Line Drives “are not necessarily the hardest hit balls, but they do fall for a hit around 75% of the time.”  FanGraphs put a table together on what the league average for LD%, Fly Ball Percentage (FB%) and Groundball Percentage % (GB%):

Hit Type

League Average

LD%

20%

GB%

44%

FB%

36%

In 2011, the league average looked like this:

Hit Type

League Average

LD%

19.6%

GB%

44.4%

FB%

36%

While line drives are the hardest type of hit to come by for batters, with a hit success rate of 75%, they are certainly the most desirable.  On Thursday we’ll look at the top batters this year and see if there is any relation or correlation between their high Batting Average, their LD% and their Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP).

Bookmark and Share

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address