What Is FIP in Baseball Stats?

FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, is a baseball statistic that measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the defense behind him was average.

FIP defined

Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, is a baseball metric that became popular among sabermetricians in the early 21st century. The stat is intended to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness at prevents runs, independent of his defense. FIP therefore uses only data that a pitcher can control: strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs. All other results are beyond a pitcher’s control and are credited (or blamed) to their fielders.

How is FIP calculated?

FIP is a complex statistical formula that attempts to distill a pitcher’s performance down to one number. It’s important to remember that FIP is not perfect, but it is a good tool for assessing a pitcher’s true talent level.

The basic idea behind FIP is that a pitcher has control over three things: strikeouts, walks, and home runs. He does not have control over balls put in play, because that depends on the defense behind him and luck. Therefore, FIP tries to answer the question: if this pitcher pitched in a neutral environment with an average defense, how many runs would he allow?

FIP is calculated using the following formula:

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

where HR = home runs allowed, BB = walks allowed, HBP = hit by pitch, K = strikeouts, IP = innings pitched. TheBaseball-Reference.com website uses the following value for the Constant: 3.10 for seasons prior to 2002; 3.24 for seasons from 2002-present.

So, for example, let’s say a pitcher throws 100 innings in a season and gives up 10 home runs, 30 walks, and strikes out 80 batters. His FIP would be:

FIP = ((13*10)+(3*(30+0))-(2*80)) / 100 + 3.10
FIP = (130+90-160) / 100 + 3.10
FIP = 60 / 100 + 3.10
FIP = 0.60 + 3.10
FIP = 3.70

What does FIP tell us about a pitcher?

FIP is a metric in baseball that stands for Fielding Independent Pitching. It is used to evaluate pitchers by measuring the outcomes of balls in play, rather than relying on fielders to make plays. The idea behind FIP is that a pitcher has the most control over walks, strikeouts and home runs allowed, so those are the only factors that should be considered when determining how effective a pitcher is.

FIP is similar to another metric called ERA+, which measures a pitcher’s ERA in relation to the league average. However, FIP is considered to be a more accurate predictor of future success, as it stripping away the impact of luck and defense that can affect ERA.

One drawback of FIP is that it does not take into account a pitcher’s ability to induce ground balls, as this is not something that a pitcher has complete control over. However, ground balls tend to be less dangerous than fly balls, so pitchers who can induce them tend to have lower ERAs anyway.

Overall, FIP is a useful metric for evaluating pitchers, as it gives us a better idea of how they are likely to perform in the future, without being affected by factors outside of their control.

Why is FIP a useful stat?

Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, is a baseball metric that measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the defense behind him was exactly average. Because it focuses on those things that are under the pitcher’s control — strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed — it is useful in evaluating pitchers independent of their teammates.

FIP can be used to predict a pitcher’s future ERA more accurately than ERA itself can. In general, pitchers with a lower FIP will tend to see their ERA improve in the future, while pitchers with a high FIP will tend to see their ERA rise. This makes sense intuitively — pitchers who strike out a lot of batters and don’t walk many tend to be more successful than those who don’t, regardless of the quality of their defense.

While FIP is a useful stat, it’s important to remember that it does have its limitations. For one thing, it doesn’t account for balls in play, so it doesn’t directly take into account defensive abilities (although it does indirectly take them into account by measuring strikeouts and home runs allowed). Additionally, because it relies on statistics that are prone to fluctuation from year to year—such as home run rates—it can be less reliable than other metrics in forecasting a pitcher’s future performance.

How does FIP compare to other pitching stats?

FIP is a useful stat because it takes into account the things a pitcher can control – strikeouts, walks, and home runs. It’s also helpful because it strips out the defense – so if you have a pitcher who pitches for a team with a great defense, their FIP will be lower than their ERA, because some of the hits they gave up were turned into outs by their fielders. Similarly, if you have a pitcher who pitches for a team with a bad defense, their FIP will be higher than their ERA.

FIP is not perfect – it doesn’t account for stolen bases or hit by pitches, two things that are within a pitchers control. And as we mentioned before, it also doesn’t account for sequencing, which can be important. But overall, it’s a pretty good stat, and one that can be helpful in evaluating pitchers.