Intro

Taking on a new sport also involves learning new regulations and related terms, especially when it comes to baseball, with many unofficial and specialized jargons. 

And FIP is a common term, but what is FIP in baseball exactly? Some baseball enthusiasts still struggle to find the answer to this question. For this reason, the article is here to ensure you will comprehend the definition of FIP after reading it. Let’s start!

What Is FIP In Baseball?

FIP is the abbreviation of Fielding Independent Pitching, which indicates a pitcher’s performance under the condition that balls must be in play. 

Therefore, the FIP statistic can tell the pitcher’s results more accurately without the presence of luck in his play. Walks, home runs, and strikeouts are three primary figures deciding the FIP.

FIP means Fielding Independent Pitching – Source: pixabay.com

Actually, the direction of a ball on each pitch can’t be predicted. Sometimes, the hitter can conquer a bloop pitch, and an excellent hit can drive the ball entirely inside the catcher’s palms. 

The FIP statistic’s aim is to wipe out the outfielder’s and infielders’ performance when evaluating the pitcher’s effectiveness. 

Is FIP Reliable?

Actually, there hasn’t been any other statistic to evaluate a pitcher’s performance other than the FIP and ERA. Besides, FIP has better authenticity than ERA. Taking everything into consideration, FIP must be the most reliable statistic to assess a pitcher’s effectiveness.

Fielding Independent Pitching will indicate whether a pitcher is good or not by solely focusing on his performance. The statistic won’t care for any external factors except for the inner technique of the pitcher. 

Its foremost purpose is to erase the unfair comparison among pitchers who have support from an outstanding center fielder while others play besides an average center fielder.

Is FIP Different From ERA?

Before differentiating FIP from ERA, you should know what ERA is. ERA stands for Earned Run Average, a figure demonstrating the average number of runs a pitcher allows in a baseball game (consisting of at least nine innings). So, the lower the ERA is, the better the pitcher performs in his game.

Although the FIP and ERA assess whether a pitcher has done excellently in his game, the elements contributing to these statistics are different.

During a baseball game, a prominent defensive player can help to positively boost the ERA figure of a pitcher. However, if the defensive player is not in good form on that day, he may end up with an awful ERA of the pitcher. 

On the other hand, the pitcher’s FIP won’t be affected by external factors. No matter who the pitcher is playing with, his FIP is evaluated depending on the home runs, strikeouts, and walks. 

The building up of FIP won’t consist of reasons out of the pitcher’s control, such as another player’s performance. Even the boxscore can’t indicate whether the pitcher is doing well in his game or not; only the FIP can.

The FIP statistic is more reliable than ERA – Source: publicdomainpictures.net

Briefly, the FIP will share a more thorough insight into a pitcher’s effectiveness during a baseball game than the ERA. 

How To Calculate FIP?

There are five elements in a formation of a FIP statistic; you should learn their definitions before learning how to calculate FIP:

  • IP (Inning Pitched): This figure shows how many innings the pitcher has completed in a baseball game.
  • HR (Home Run): The HR is counted whenever the batter manages to hit the ball, finish a run around all the bases, and avoid all the interference from the opposing team to reach his home.
  • K (Strikeout): When the batter finishes his batting time with three strikes, he will get a strikeout.
  • HBP (Hit By Pitch): The HBP occurs when the pitched ball hits any spot on the batter’s body or his equipment. 
  • BB (Walk) or Base On Balls: When the batter shows up on the plate and gets four pitches, then he receives the first base. This is called a BB. 
  • FIP Constant: This is a variable needed for the FIP calculation. The FIP constant is added to ensure that the statistic will be evaluated according to the ERA scale. Normally, people rely on the estimated FIP constant value of around 3.1 – 3.2 to calculate the FIP. 

The formula of the FIP calculation is: 

FIP = ((13 * HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K)) / IP + FIP constant

Although there’s nothing wrong with applying the estimated FIP constant for the calculation, you can figure out the precise FIP constant by following this formula:

FIP Constant = League ERA – ((13*league HR)+(3*(league BB + league HBP)) – (2*league K)) / league IP

What Is An Acceptable FIP?

A pitcher commonly performs well when his FIP is less than 4.00 or an excellent performance of below 3.00 FIP. On the contrary, the pitcher must improve in later games if he only acquired more than 5.00 FIP. 

The player who leads the FIP records is Yu Darvish, with a stat of 2.07 in 2020.

What Should You Not Use FIP For?

Although FIP is an appropriate statistic to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness, you shouldn’t use it for the following purposes:

  • Comparing a pitcher with another pitcher via the FIP statistic is not recommended.
  • You shouldn’t depend solely on the FIP figure to assess a pitcher’s career.
  • No one can predict a pitcher’s performance via the ERA and FIP statistics.
  • You can’t replace Batting Average on Balls in Play with FIP.
  • FIP is not a suitable statistic to analyze the performance of a reliever (relief pitcher).

FIP is not the only criterion to assess a pitcher’s performance – Source: wallpaperflare.com

Bottom Lines

What is FIP in baseball? FIP is a considerable statistic in baseball to analyze a pitcher’s performance thoroughly. 

Getting the ins and outs of this term will assist you a lot in being more professional in discussing baseball pitchers with your friends or chasing your dream of being a baseball scout.

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