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To some extent, what this suggests is that guys who pitch high in the zone will have lower BABIP (more popups, more Ks).
Tom Tango’s FIP assumes that all pitchers have exactly league-average BABIP ability
I think the focus on popups is simply because we don't have stats on the GB equivalent.
And you're right that the K rate-BABIP correlation is implicitly included in FIP, so it's not actually presuming league average BABIP for all pitchers as DIPS ERA does. I misspoke.
I like the approach here, especially relying only on prior years' data so the predictions are true predictions. To some extent, what this suggests is that guys who pitch high in the zone will have lower BABIP (more popups, more Ks).
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