MLB Advanced Analytics: Fly Index
Mike Alexander breaks down Fly Index and takes a look at which players could be in line for more (or less) home runs.
This week’s advanced stat is none other than my and Brian Creagh’s very own Fly Index. In case you missed my post earlier this spring detailing what Fly Index is I linked it. To summarize Fly Index, it is a player’s 85th percentile measure for batted-ball distance. Why the 85th percentile? We care about that tier of contact that isn't quite a home run. Sabermetrics OG Tom Tango came across our humble piece and aptly described it as barrels and near barrels. The 85th percentile seems to work really well because the top 5-to-7% are typically home runs. We want to account for that next tier of contact that isn't quite over the fence. The point of that being if a hitter is hitting balls with both frequency and distance, they are likely to produce power for fantasy.
Let’s take a look at the players hitting the ball in the air a long way. Below is the Fly Index leaderboard for players with at least twenty balls in play.