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A-Gon's 2011 BABIP suggests he's due for a setback.
What it stands for
Batting Average on Balls In Play.
What it says
BABIP measures how many of a batter's balls in play go for hits, or how many balls in play against a pitcher go for a hit, excluding home runs.
Why it's important
BABIP can be used to spot fluky seasons.
How to use it
Compare it to their career BABIP numbers. If a player's BABIP was abnormally high or low during a particular season, it's safe to assume it will hover around their career averages the next season.
Adrian Gonzalez. A-Gon hit .338 last season, 34 points higher than his previous career-high set in 2006. Now, look at his BABIP from last year: it was .380. Gonzalez's career BABIP is .323, meaning A-Gon should most likely come close to that in 2012, which will lower his batting average.
Pitching wise, James Shields is a good example. From 2006-2010, Shields' BABIP was never lower than .282 Then, in 2011, Shields had a remarkable .258. Expect the BABIP to increase for Shields, meaning worse numbers in his 2012 campaign.