Have you ever wanted to learn more about the game's newer and more advanced statistics but didn't know where to start? Have you ever read an article that liberally mentions WAR or xFIP, leaving you feeling as if you walked into Math 401 when you haven't taken Math 101? It's ok, don't worry; that's how we all felt the first time we stumbled upon these figures. The good news is that the best of these statistics make a great deal of sense once they are explained. Often, though certainly not always, the calculation of these figures is straightforward upon closer inspection.
Hudson came back from Tommy John surgery in '14 as a relief pitcher so all his batting stats (minus one K in '15) come from his first six seasons. Nevertheless, they're good numbers. In 2011 he won the Silver Slugger Award for pitchers thanks to his .277 batting average with three doubles, one home run and 14 RBI in 65 at-bats, plus three walks. He's now a reliever for the Pirates so probably won't get many at-bats this season.
Barry Bonds, who set the record for the most home runs in a season than any other player in Major League Baseball history, is often cited as a power hitter. His career was later bogged down by issues regarding performance enhancing drugs. However, he managed a total of 762 home runs while also earning a comparatively high ISO compared to his rivals, with the publication Business Insider labeling him #3 in a list of the greatest power hitters of all time.[2]
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP; sometimes referred to as on-base average/OBA, as the statistic is rarely presented as a true percentage) is a statistic generally measuring how frequently a batter reaches base.[1] Specifically, it records the ratio of the batter's times-on-base (TOB) (the sum of hits, walks, and times hit by pitch) to their number of plate appearances.[1] It first became an official MLB statistic in 1984.
As the hitter has recognized pitch height, they will then use the separation between their pelvis and shoulders and much like a rubber band, “snap” into a violent rotation of their body. This immediate energy creation will transfer up the body and into the arms and hands which will then allow the barrel to flail or turn around the hands and knob. Whatever the hitter’s top barrel speed is, the goal should always be to get there as soon as possible. Just like a sprinter off the blocks, gaining top speed in the shortest amount of time is crucial to facing faster pitching.

Batting average simply takes hits into account.  If we’ve learned any one thing from Moneyball it’s that guys that get on base are important regardless of how they do it.  Now I know I’m not going to convince you of anything without some numbers to back things up.  Let’s compare players in the top 20 for batting average to the OBP leaders.  I’ll exclude players like Andrew McCutchen, Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera who appear on both lists.
Durocher, a 17-year major league vet and Hall of Fame manager, sums up the game of baseball quite brilliantly in the above quote, and it’s pretty ridiculous how much fans really don’t understand about the game of baseball that they watch so much. This holds especially true when you start talking about baseball stats. Sure, most people can tell you what a home run is and that batting average is important, but once you get past the basic stats, the rest is really uncharted territory for most fans.
How we keep it free. We support the site through affiliate relationships with baseball retailers. That means if you click on any link on our site that takes you to an online store, they'll give us a small commission on whatever you buy in the next couple weeks. We like this model because it doesn't cost YOU anything extra at all, and it allows us to keep offering much of our content for FREE.
The longest delays probably involve the nerve cells that make the decision to swing. These decision-making cells receive their input from the eye by way of the brain's visual cortex. It takes at least 43 thousandths of a second for information about the velocity and trajectory of the baseball to be sent from the retina to the higher visual cortex. What happens during the actual "decision" is a neurological mystery — but once the decision is made, a signal is sent to the cerebellum initiating a series of pre-programmed, reflex-like actions (for a practiced batter).

Mike Napoli hit a career-high 34 home runs in 2016 with the Cleveland Indians, the third-most home runs in this free agent class, just agreed to a one-year deal, $8.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers in early February. The first baseman was worth just 1.0 fWAR after factoring in his base running skill (minus-5.2 runs) and defensive play (18th in DRS).


Durocher, a 17-year major league vet and Hall of Fame manager, sums up the game of baseball quite brilliantly in the above quote, and it’s pretty ridiculous how much fans really don’t understand about the game of baseball that they watch so much. This holds especially true when you start talking about baseball stats. Sure, most people can tell you what a home run is and that batting average is important, but once you get past the basic stats, the rest is really uncharted territory for most fans.
Leyland’s reference to "moneyball" when the topic of on base percentage came up (and he actually brought it up) might give us a sense of how one that is resistant to the "new way of thinking" looks at sabermetrics. To some, moneyball and sabermetrics are one in the same. Leyland did make reference to "the guys that make the money" when referring to sluggers. No doubt this is true. Players with big home run and RBI totals get paid more as free agents than players with only a high on base percentage or guys that play solid defense. The movie "Moneyball" features Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, who tries to field a winner by assembling players that cost less money but have high on base percentages, run the bases well, and play solid defense. So it’s easy to see where Leyland, and no doubt many others, get the idea that "moneyball" and sabermetrics are all about "on base, on base, on base."Actually, that is a gross over simplification of what sabermetrics is all about.
As the hitter has recognized pitch height, they will then use the separation between their pelvis and shoulders and much like a rubber band, “snap” into a violent rotation of their body. This immediate energy creation will transfer up the body and into the arms and hands which will then allow the barrel to flail or turn around the hands and knob. Whatever the hitter’s top barrel speed is, the goal should always be to get there as soon as possible. Just like a sprinter off the blocks, gaining top speed in the shortest amount of time is crucial to facing faster pitching.
GB% – This stands for ground ball percentage, which is the percentage of balls a player hits that end up as ground balls. The league average on grounders last year was just .239, which means that only about 24% of ground balls end up as hits. So, because of that, you would expect players who hit a lot of grounders to have a lower BABIP, right? This is not necessarily true, however, because most ground ball hitters end up being the speedsters that are more likely to beat out grounders than your average player. In general, you can expect players with a high GB% to have a slightly higher BABIP, but you definitely want to take a look at their speed before making that assumption.
Recall that we can use the batter's OBP, the pitcher's OBP, and the league OBP to find an expected OBP for a given matchup using the odds ratio. Since gOBP is still a proportion, we can use it to perform the same analysis. To determine which is more accurate, we first group the batters and pitchers into bins with width five points (.005). We then find an expected OBP for all pitchers and batters in that bin, and compare this to the actual results of those matchups. As an example, consider the first pair in our database: David Aardsma and Bobby Abreu, who faced each other once in 2010.
To test this, I collected all batters in the Retrosheet database since 1975 who logged at least 300 plate appearances in two consecutive seasons. (Multiple batters, of course, could appear multiple times.) This covered 5,607 batters, from Barry Bonds's 2002 (.582 OBP, .587 gOBP) to Mario Mendoza's 1979 (.216 OBP, .219 gOBP). As before, I fit a linear relationship between each statistic in year 1 and the same statistic in year 2, and determined the respective correlation coefficients.
In Part 1, we'll take a look at the method to the madness of on base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) and see if we can give them their due respect on the scale of importance. In part 2, we'll explore why wOBA is a better stat to use than OPS and produce a scale so we can easily see what wOBA is above or below average and how the Tigers' players fit in.
Of course, on base percentage isn't the only important statistic to determine the effectiveness of a baseball player.  This is because all walks drawn only put the hitter on first base and will rarely drive in a run, while hits are capable of putting the hitter on 2nd or 3rd base, or even crossing the plate with a home run.  Along with that, hits are capable of driving in many more runs than walks.  Other stats are used to calculate these, such as slugging percentage and OPS, or on base percentage + slugging percentage.  These statistics and their impact on baseball will be examined in later articles.  In the case of on base percentage, it is a hugely underrated stat that pays dividends for individuals and teams willing to take pitches.  It allows teams such as the Chicago White Sox, despite an extremely low team batting average, to still compete and put up a lot of runs.  Although it can't necessarily be proven that on base percentage is more important in judging the effectiveness of baseball players, it can be nonetheless shown that a hitter without an extremely high batting average can still be a great contributor and table setter for a major league team.
OPS stands for on base plus slugging and is exactly what it sounds like. You take a player’s OBP and add it to their SLG to get OPS. This stat is often used to measure a player’s overall ability as a hitter, combining their skill at getting on base (OBP) with their aptitude to hit for power (SLG). Sometimes it will be included at the end of a typical slash line, so if you see a slash with four different numbers in it, then OPS is what the fourth one represents.
Professional instructors at Winning Pitchers Academy and Research Center have been marking up our training lanes and mound turf for 12 years with large pieces of side walk chalk. Using this visual training process of instruction is essential to increase students skills and performance. Now Winning Pitchers Academy and Power Drive Performance brings you the best designed training mats ever made for professional training at home, high school, college or pro levels.
Batting average (AVG): Right off the bat, we've got to say that batting average is not the best stat to judge offense. There's too many things wrong, starting with the fact that there are a lot of variables involved such as not including walks, or the subjective nature of awarding hits and errors. Still, what batting average does have over all the other statistics is history and context. We all know what a .300 hitter is, we know how bad a .200 hitter is and how great a .400 hitter is. We still celebrate the batting crown, and although not as much as we once did, it still means something and probably should. -- C. Trent Rosecrans

While we haven’t seen the sport’s top hitters blasting home runs at record pace, as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire did at the height of the steroid era, we are seeing a significant rise in the power numbers of players in the 20-home run range. The result is a plethora of players who are capable of providing a club with power at the plate, giving general managers more options to add home run hitters to their lineup than ever before.

While watching a New York Mets game early this season, before one plate appearance the broadcast graphics displayed that catcher John Buck had a batting average (AVG) of .400 and an on-base percentage (OBP) of .396. Several games later I saw a similar phenomenon for Buck, whose OBP was again several points lower than his AVG. (In other words, the stats presented were very likely to be actual and not an on-screen typo.)
Of course there’s some difficulty in identifying the best active hitting pitchers, foremost because hurlers are so often asked to just lay down a bunt or attempt to move a runner via sacrifice. And those are good skills to have. So we decided to use OPS (on base % + slugging %) as a measure because sacrifices are filtered out from at-bats and OPS indicates pitchers that can hit and hit for extra bases, and also draw a walk. Now take a look at this group of pitchers’ hitting credentials (minimum 40 at-bats). Also note that the MLB average OPS across all hitters in '16 was .739. 

I am in a 14 team league with average and OPS, wish it was OPS and OBP. I had Dozier in that league, the year before I had Altuve and Dozier. I went after SanDiego’s Cabrera what a mistake. Hope to have Altuve and Dozier this year but for value Altuve looks to be a early 2nd round pick, that is to high for me, I would rather get a guy with power and RBI’s in the first two rounds.

A hit is more valuable than a walk?  Why?  Your team pays you to get on base.  Granted they want players that can hit, but they also see the advantage of the guy that can draw walks.  Sure the guy that gets a hit can drive in runs more frequently if men are on base, I can’t argue with that.  In the same respect, we don’t put an asterisk next to the runs driven in because the guy in front of you walked.  On the flip side, the guy who walks more has more opportunities to score runs, so you’re trading one category for the other. 

Many players make the mistake of losing the momentum of their swing as soon as they make contact with the ball. This is a mistake. You want to add as much power and momentum as possible to the ball to throw it far. In order to do so, you should continue swinging your bat even after it has hit the ball. A good way of doing this is to assume that you have to hit two other balls immediately behind the ball you are hitting. So you have to continue swinging through the entire motion before stopping. Continued swinging adds extra power to your hit, essentially adding a ‘pushing’ momentum to it apart from the hitting force that you put into it.
You just need to look at some of the players hitting between .280 and .285 to see the validity in Correa's point: Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones qualify for the new .300. Every one of them was an All-Star this year.
×