Is a .400 BABIP sustainable?

My ESPN column for the week.

Batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is one of those leading indicator metrics that can identify potential outlying performances. It is not a perfect gauge, but extremes are rarely sustainable. Pitchers' BABIPs tend to regress to something near .300. Batters' BABIPs tend to regress to their own established career rate, which typically does not stray far from .300.

In the history of Major League Baseball, there have been only 26 instances where a player has gone an entire season (minimum 500 plate appearances) with a BABIP of .400. Ty Cobb alone . . .

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