When thinking about major leaguers, we consider a high BABIP an indicator of unsustainable performance. A guy running a .400 BABIP is sure to come back to earth (except maybe Daniel Murphy), and most everyone should be around .300.
It would follow logically that the same should be true for the minor leagues. Even if you want to argue that minor league defenses or pitchers would contribute to higher minor league BABIPs, a surprisingly relevant Baseball Prospectus article (from 2005!) shows that while BABIP is significantly higher in the very low minors, the effect is nearly gone at the highest levels of the minors: BABIP is .322 at AAA compared to .309 in the majors.
So what do we make of Trea Turner? You’ve surely heard of his offensive exploits in the minors: He’s a career .322/.385/.458 hitter in almost two full minor league seasons, with a .321/.386/.474 line at AAA Syracuse this year. With a bat like that, no wonder many want him to replace Danny Espinosa as the Nats’ starting shortstop.
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