Skip to main content

Hitters with High BABIPs in 2022: Buy or Sell? (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

by Chris Clegg | @RotoClegg | Featured Writer
Feb 12, 2023
Brandon Marsh

It is important to preface this conversation with the fact that BABIP is not all luck. I often hear people talk about a player’s BABIP naturally regressing toward league average, but that is not always the case. Yes, some hitters can have a lucky season with a high BABIP. But, others own the skill of running higher BABIPs.

Players that hit the ball hard, have a high percentage of line drives and possess fast sprint speed tend to be able to sustain higher BABIPs. Players that can do all three? Those are the players we are typically drafting at the top of fantasy drafts.

Maybe you ask the question, what is BABIP? It is simply batting average on balls in play. That means a player’s batting average on all plate appearances that do not end in a walk, strikeout, hit-by-pitch or home run.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

Hitters with High BABIPs in 2022: Buy or Sell?

In today’s article, we will look at the hitters with the highest BABIPs in 2022 and what it means. For qualification’s sake, I pulled data from all hitters with at least 400 plate appearances.

Name Team BABIP
Paul Goldschmidt STL 0.368
Nathaniel Lowe TEX 0.363
Xander Bogaerts BOS 0.362
Michael Harris II ATL 0.361
Brandon Marsh PHI 0.360
Freddie Freeman LAD 0.359
Riley Greene DET 0.354
Jeff McNeil NYM 0.353
Andres Gimenez CLE 0.353
Andrew Benintendi CHW 0.352

Paul Goldschmidt (1B – STL)

2022 BABIP: .368 | Career BABIP: .349

Goldschmidt dominated his way to the National League MVP award in 2022. The then 34-year-old mashed 35 home runs and posted a .317/.404/.578 slash. His high batting average appears to be fueled by a league-best.368 BABIP. Goldschmidt actually saw his line drive rate drop by five percentage points from 2021, but he still hit the ball extremely hard to all fields, which allowed him to run a high BABIP.

Considering his skill set, I’m buying Goldschmidt in 2023 until he shows us he will actually decline.

Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TEX)

2022 BABIP: .363 | Career BABIP: .349

Lowe enjoyed a massive breakout year in 2022, where he hit 27 home runs and slashed .302/.358/.492. What fueled the breakout? Lowe always hit the ball hard, so it’s not like he saw a massive power outbreak because he hit the ball harder. Ultimately, Lower found the sweet spot more often and improved his launch angle. His ground ball rate dropped by six percentage points, and in the process, Lowe hit more line drives and fly balls. His BABIP soared, as did his batting average. But is it sustainable?

Lowe likely sees a bit of batting average regression, but he should still be an extremely solid player that you can start at first base.

Xander Bogaerts (SS – BOS)

2022 BABIP: .362 | Career BABIP: .336

His counting stats did not jump off the page, but Bogaerts posted a strong season. His .307/.377/.456 slash was impressive, and Bogaerts tacked on 15 home runs and eight stolen bases. The batting average was not a surprise, as Bogaerts has a .304 batting average over the last four seasons combined. But, it was fueled by a BABIP that was his highest since 2015 by over .030 points.

It was a bit surprising to see Bogaerts post such a high BABIP. His line drive rate was down, he had a below-average hard-hit rate, and his sprint speed is declining. I have no doubts that Bogaerts will find a way to hit for a high batting average considering the fact his lowest average since 2018 has been .288. Bogaerts may have a bit of BABIP regression in 2023, but you should still expect a solid batting average.

Michael Harris II (OF – ATL)

2022 BABIP: .361 | Career BABIP: .361

Harris has quite the 2022 season after he debuted in late May, earning Rookie of the Year honors. Harris hit 19 home runs and stole 20 bases across 441 plate appearances. He tacked on a .297/.339/.514 slash with a .361 BABIP. Most everyone expects regression coming for Harris, but I’m not sure that it is as much as people think. Harris hits the ball hard often. His 90th percentile exit velocity of 108.4 mph ranked ahead of sluggers like Shohei Ohtani, Bryce Harper and Matt Olson. Harris’ ground ball rate was a bit high, but there’s not a ton of reason to worry, especially since he hits the ball hard and has high-end sprint speed.

Maybe there is slight regression for Harris, but his profile should run high BABIPs throughout his career. Even if we bake in regression for Harris, the power and speed should still give him a high floor for fantasy.

Brandon Marsh (OF -PHI)

2022 BABIP: .360 | Career BABIP: .376

Marsh has had a short Major League career but has steadily improved. After his trade to the Phillies at the deadline, he took off. Marsh finished the season with the Phillies posting a .288/.319/.455 slash with three home runs and two stolen bases. He did run high BABIPs all season, though.

Marsh’s issues run deeper than a high BABIP. He struggles with contact and strikes out at a high clip. He chases often and makes poor swing decisions. Even if he runs high BABIPs, there could be concerning batting averages due to the contact issues. Buy the BABIPs, but sell the strong finish to the season.

  • Freddie Freeman (.359 BABIP): Buy
  • Riley Greene (.354 BABIP): Sell (But could still run good BABIPs)
  • Jeff McNeil (.353 BABIP): Sell (But is still a safe bet to hit .300)
  • Andres Gimenez (.353 BABIP): Sell
  • Andrew Benintendi (.352 BABIP): Sell

Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.

SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

Featured, Featured Link, MLB