That's an interesting statement wart. I have always wondered how much control batters have over their ability to place a ball when they hit it.
For example, in the 10th inning of Game 6, did Berkman see how dep the outfield was and then handle the pitch well enough to keep it from going too deep; would have have been able to drive it into a gap had the OF been playing regularly; or did he simply try to hit the ball as hard as he could, that's all he could do, and we're all lucky that the Rangers had the 'no doubles' OF alignment?
In comparison, obviously Jay was lucky to get a little bloop land earlier that inning, and he had no control over that.
I can't remember who I heard it from, but it was someone pretty good at playing baseball... they said "Batters are hit producers, not hit directors."
But the ability to try to hit to certain fields is definitely a skill that is preached early on. I was watching highlights from the Nats I think and the infield was playing Werth (I think) with a really dramatic pull-shift. They showed 2 of his abs in a row and you could tell he was just trying to guide the ball in the hole between 1st and 2nd. Not hit hard at all but got singles both times, leading off an inning, trying to get on base.
So that's an example of what is being talked about with BABIP. I used to think that you'd be able to tell how much of a low BABIP was luck by only factoring LD%. Cause if all a guy does is hit weak little 6-3 grounders, he'll have a low BABIP but you can't say the usual "he's just been unlucky!" No, he's been getting beat.
On the flip side, if a guy has a knack for putting the ball in the general area he wants to, he'll have a higher BABIP, but you couldn't say "he's been lucky!" Well, maybe a little, but he's doing what he's trying.
It's almost like there needs to be a "success at doing what you're trying to do" stat. Hitting the ball to the right side to move a guy over. Hitting a flyball to the outfield for a sac fly. Hitting a line drive with no on or a guy on 2nd with 2 outs. Pushing a groundball to a vacated spot due to an infield shift. Does something like that exist?