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?
I doubt such a stat exists, although perhaps you could extrapolate it by noting when a player hits the ball to an area where statistics show he doesn't usually hit it to, but that's definitive.
Isn't that career BABIP measures? The luck comes from the deviation from that average, no?
If Ichiro has a career BABIP of .350 that means he's hitting it where they aren't 35% of the time. If one year it balloons to .400, you'd suggest he's been a bit lucky that year, but overall is 'good' at hitting where the defense isn't.The Hardball Times had an in-depth article about BABIP and expected BABIP.
They try to do exactly what you're suggesting though, separating skill from variance.
Tambourine Man wrote:
Mitt's a tool used for scooping white balls out of the dirt. A catcher, if you will.