First of all, what is on base percentage?  In the simplest terms, on base percentage (OBP) calculates how many times a batter reaches base excluding instances such as fielder’s choice and errors.  This means, unlike with batting average, walks are calculated into the equation.  Walks are an important part of baseball.  The more walks you accumulate the more times you’re on base.  This means added run scoring potential as well as stolen base opportunities, both of which are standard scoring categories in basic 5×5 leagues.  In fantasy, we count those runs and stolen bases regardless of who that person reached base, so why should the batter get credit for how he got on base as well?

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Phase 1 of the swing is by far and away the most important phase. It is at this point where the hitter will either be all they can be or something less than that.  Not to say you can’t still get a “hit” but as we say all the time, “your worst mistake is your first mistake”. This basically means, when you make mistakes early in the swing(phase 1), 100 percent swing efficiency can not be reached.  Here is where early in the swing resides and where  the effortless swing can be achieved. In Phase 1, there are two main objectives.
In the final iteration of the "MLB's Worst Tools" awards, today we will discuss hitting for average. Right off the bat I have a problem with describing "hitting for average" as a tool because batting average is a statistic not an innate ability. Additionally, at a blog that champions sabermetrics it probably isn't worth talking about batting average a great deal. In fact, I'm pretty sure the higher ups wouldn't let me. [Editor's Note: He's right] I know that if I mention RBI's in a non satirical way I will be shot on sight. Partly because of my personal distaste for describing the fifth tool in this series as "hitting for average" and partly because I fear the violent wrath of Beyond the Box Score's cruel overlords, from this point on the tool discussed today will be referred to as "hitting for contact".

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).

Should your head stay perfectly still on the backswing? Actually, it should move a little to the right. This is not a conscious thing. If the shoulders turn behind the ball, as they should, the head swivels and shifts slightly to the right (right). A lot of golfers try to keep their head frozen in place, and that can be a killer. It causes tension, blocks the front shoulder from turning back, and promotes a reverse pivot (see main tip). So let your head move naturally as you swing to the top.
To show an example on this comparison of statistics, two ballplayers who play the same position but have drastically different approaches will be examined:  Robinson Cano (Yankees 2B) and BJ Upton (Devil Rays 2B/CF).  Both have somewhat similar batting averages this season - despite a slow start, Cano is hitting .263 while Upton is at a clip of .271.  The difference between batting averages is less than 1 hit per 100 at bats, so they are nearly the same.  When comparing their on base percentages, though, a huge difference is discovered.  Cano, who almost never walks, has an on base percentage of just .298, way below the major league average of .330.  Upton, on the other hand, carries a .381 on base percentage.  So although the two reach base almost exactly the same amount on hits, Upton reaches base nearly 1 more time every 10 at bats than Cano simply because he is willing to take a few strikes in order to draw monumentally more walks.
Should your head stay perfectly still on the backswing? Actually, it should move a little to the right. This is not a conscious thing. If the shoulders turn behind the ball, as they should, the head swivels and shifts slightly to the right (right). A lot of golfers try to keep their head frozen in place, and that can be a killer. It causes tension, blocks the front shoulder from turning back, and promotes a reverse pivot (see main tip). So let your head move naturally as you swing to the top.
To stay connected to the body's rotational energy, it is very important that the first movement of the hands is not directed toward the pitcher - or inline with the incoming pitch. The batter should keep his hands back and allow the rotation of the body against the lead arm to accelerate the hands. The first movement of the hands will then be propelled more perpendicular to the flight of the incoming ball. This will induce the greatest amount of angular displacement to the bat and propel the hands into the most productive path.
LD% – This stands for line drive percentage, which is the percentage of balls a player hits that end up as line drives. As you might imagine, line drives are harder to field than any other type of batted ball, so you can expect them to fall for hits much more often. The league average on liners last year was .690, which means that you can expect a line drive to fall for a hit roughly 69% of the time. It makes perfect sense, then, that the more line drives a player hits, the higher you can expect their BABIP to be. This is supported when you compare the BABIP of players with a LD% above-league average (.313) to their counterparts with a below-league average mark (.297).

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.


Like any stat, OBP is not without its flaws. For one, OBP does not tell us how a player reached base. A home run and a walk count the same when computing OBP. Obviously, a home run is far more valuable than a walk. In addition, OBP is context neutral, meaning that a single with the bases empty and no outs counts the same as a single with the bases loaded and two outs.

Here at Red Reporter, some of us are more interested in statistics than others, but we've all been known to use these newer metrics. Unfortunately, we don't always take the time to explain the figures. I know that I'm frequently guilty of inserting statistics without providing an adequate illustration of their meaning. In an effort to provide context to these figures and their use, we've decided to roll out a new series of posts exploring these new metrics. We will start with the simpler statistics and work our way to others from there. You won't need a statistics or mathematics degree to understand these posts, and best of all, we'll have fun. I promise.

Players who hit 40 or more home runs produced 3.4 fWAR on average, the lowest rate since 2008 (1.8) and the third-lowest average on record since expansion, slightly behind the 1984 campaign (2.8 average fWAR from a batter with at least 40 home runs). Compare that with the average fWAR from batters with between 20 and 29 home runs (3.1 in 2016) and it is easy to see where the value lies.
Powerful Legs that are trained through various movement patterns and skill sets. For example, you create a ton of power by super setting (performing these two exercises one after the other with little rest, then repeating) an exercise like a squat and a box hop. This combination of a strength development exercise and a plyometric exercise create explosive power.
Outfielder Ty Cobb, whose career ended in 1928, has the highest batting average in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.[1] He batted .366 over 24 seasons, mostly with the Detroit Tigers. In addition, he won a record 11 batting titles for leading the American League in BA over the course of an entire season. He batted over .360 in 11 consecutive seasons from 1909 to 1919.[2] Rogers Hornsby has the second highest BA of all-time, at .358.[1] He won seven batting titles in the National League (NL) and has the highest NL average in a single season since 1900, when he batted .424 in 1924. He batted over .370 in six consecutive seasons.[3]

Runs Batted In: "The guys that knock em in," as Leyland calls them, do make the big bucks in the baseball market. But RBI are, to a great extent, a function of opportunities. You can’t drive in runs, other than solo home runs, unless there are runners on base to drive in. A typical lineup should be arranged so that the big RBI guys follow guys who frequently get "on base, on base, on base." Leyland happened to be talking about Jhonny Peralta, his 80 RBI, and his value to the team when he launched into his philosophical discussion of on-base percentage. What he didn’t mention was that Peralta led the league in at bats with runners in scoring position the previous two seasons. It should be understood that players who get hits tend to also get hits with runners on base, or in scoring position, at about the same rate, averaged over time.
Last season, the average hitter who belted between 20 and 24 home runs provided 2.9 wins above replacement, similar to what Asdrubal Cabrera (.280 average with 23 home runs and .810 OPS) gave the New York Mets in 2016, for which he was paid $8.25 million. A 40-home run hitter, like Nelson Cruz (.287 average with 43 home runs and a .915 OPS), averaged 4.5 fWAR but was paid $14.25 million. In other words, you could have two Cabrera-type hitters for a little more than it would cost to sign one like Cruz and get slightly more value overall.

So now going back to the original example of Mike Trout’s 2014 slash line (.287/.377/.561), you should be able to look at it and know not only what statistic each number represents, but what it means in regards to Trout’s value as a player. Before we move on to the next section, however, I also want to mention two stats that are commonly associated (and sometimes included) with the slash line, the first of which is OPS.

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OBP has become synonymous with the book “Moneyball” because at in the early 2000s, teams weren’t properly valuing players with high OBPs and the Oakland A’s could swipe talented players for cheap because they were one of the few teams paying attention to walk rate. These days, every team has come to accept how vitally important OBP is to their success, and that particular “market inefficiency” has been closed.
Not only that, every baseball player in any situation would benefit from improving their hitting power. This has to be a focus of yours. Technique and power development can be trained simultaneously in the same training program and not overlap one another. So go to hitting practice, hit the gym, and be the guy the other team doesn’t want to see in the warm-up area.
Well, if you go to Fangraphs.com, go to the player stats page and you click on "Advanced" (which is code for sabermetrics), you’ll see that there are several statistical categories after each player, but they are sorted according to wOBA, by default. So, perhaps wOBA is to sabermetrics what batting average once was to statisticians of the 1950s and 60s. Probably the most important measure of a player’s offensive value.
Compared to catching a hard-hit line drive on the run, it would seem that catching the pop-up fly would be simple. But it isn't. It may be that, given enough time, the room for error in estimation of flight path actually increases; a player may think himself into an error. This is like trying to draw a straight line freehand. If you look where you want to draw the line and then just draw it there without concentrating, you will probably succeed in drawing a fairly straight line. If, on the other hand, you worry about how straight the line is, millimeter by millimeter, the task becomes impossible. Catching a ball may be easier when there's no time to think.
The Hitters Power Drive device is very portable. The built in handle makes it easy to carry and transport. The device can be used on a floor, flat ground, any outdoor surface or indoor practice surface. Hitters can practice from the hitting training aid on their own with or without hitting baseballs from their hitting power initiation position. Without having to hit baseballs to practice and receive feedback it allows use in their yard, inside their home, basement and garage. With the unit being very portable measuring 14’inches in circumference” and weighing approximately 19 pounds they can transport from their home to the yard, gym, training rooms / facilities or field.
I'm an agnostic when it comes to a silver bullet statistic. Sure, it might exist somewhere, but I haven't seen evidence to support that. Instead, I think the sheer number and variety of statistics we have show just how much beauty and nuance there is in the game, and why it's the greatest game that's ever been. That said, I like OPS+ because it incorporates many different things -- getting on base (i.e. not making outs) and slugging, while also putting those performances into the context of a time (the season) and place (ballaparks). I also like the simplicity of 100 being average -- so if you see something like Barry Bonds' run of four years with a 230 or better OPS+ is simply superhuman (or some may say, unnatural).
Here at Red Reporter, some of us are more interested in statistics than others, but we've all been known to use these newer metrics. Unfortunately, we don't always take the time to explain the figures. I know that I'm frequently guilty of inserting statistics without providing an adequate illustration of their meaning. In an effort to provide context to these figures and their use, we've decided to roll out a new series of posts exploring these new metrics. We will start with the simpler statistics and work our way to others from there. You won't need a statistics or mathematics degree to understand these posts, and best of all, we'll have fun. I promise.
Slugging percentage (SLG): Compared to most of the other "old" statistics, slugging is beautiful in its simplicity -- it's simply total bases divided by at-bats, and gives us a nice snapshot of a player's power. Think about it, with batting average you have to factor in fielder's choices, errors and walks and the such, while slugging is easy (although, it is a derivative of batting average, as you need at-bats instead of plate appearances). It also passes my test for a useful stat -- immediate understanding of what it means when you glance at the number. - Rosecrans
IFH% – This stands for infield hit percentage, which is the percentage of ground balls a player hits that end up being infield hits. It actually ties right into the fact I mentioned earlier about speedy players beating out grounders, and IFH% is the stat we use to measure that skill. Players with a GB% and IFH% that were both above-league average put up a .315 BABIP last year, as opposed to their counterparts, whose BABIP was just .300.
This is often overlooked but feeling torque in your front side is important. Work on this by trying to hit a ball as far as you can off a tee. Feel the hands back as your bottom half starts your swing. The torque created from separation is extremely important if you want to hit the ball further.  Click here for more tips on how to achieve good separation in your baseball swing.
A force profile is simply a curve that is measured as you take yourself through a movement and measure the amount of resistance at each point during that movement. For example, everybody knows what a biceps curl looks like. At the bottom of the movement you have no resistance, half way through the movement (at about 90 degrees) it becomes maximally difficult, and then once you get to the top of the movement it becomes slightly easier again.
We all know that a .260 batting average is about average while a mark of .200 is quite poor. We know that .300 is a good figure and that .340 will often win the batting title. However, the values of an average, good, or bad OBP are not so ingrained in us. In 2013, the major league OBP was .318. Among players who qualified for the batting title, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera had the highest OBP with a mark of .442. Kansas City's Alcides Escobar posted the lowest figure at .259. Below, I have included a table that shows OBP for various percentiles in 2013. For example, Matt Holliday's OBP of .389 was better than that of 90% of qualified batters in 2013.
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).
First of all, what is on base percentage?  In the simplest terms, on base percentage (OBP) calculates how many times a batter reaches base excluding instances such as fielder’s choice and errors.  This means, unlike with batting average, walks are calculated into the equation.  Walks are an important part of baseball.  The more walks you accumulate the more times you’re on base.  This means added run scoring potential as well as stolen base opportunities, both of which are standard scoring categories in basic 5×5 leagues.  In fantasy, we count those runs and stolen bases regardless of who that person reached base, so why should the batter get credit for how he got on base as well?
Overall, BABIP is a stat that is largely out of the batters control, which makes sense because as a hitter, once you hit the ball onto the field, you can’t affect what happens next. The league average BABIP is usually right around .300, meaning balls in play typically land for a hit about 30% of the time. So in theory, if a player has a BABIP of .350, you might say he had a “lucky” season, and you could expect him to regress the following season, right? On the surface it makes sense, but the whole point of this article is to look beyond just the surface stats, and that is exactly what we will do.
The human ability to estimate trajectories of moving objects is difficult to explain. Good fielders begin their movement just as the ball is hit, without wasting even half a step. An outfielder instantly begins running toward the spot where he thinks the ball will fall. Sometimes, he will make a running catch without losing a stride, thrusting his glove into position at the last second.
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.
Setting up the drill, you want to have the bucket behind the back foot of the hitter. The purpose is to work on the transfer of weight from the back leg. In order to do that, we cannot simply rotate our back leg while our foot is anchored. This is why this drill is so helpful, the bucket will give you immediate feedback for incorrect or correct weight transfer.
The ability to accurately predict where the ball will be involves the extrapolative capacities of the brain, but these skills are not completely unique to humans. For example, relatively tiny-brained animals like frogs can spear flies on the wing with their sticky tongues. To do so, their brains must be programmed to determine when the flies are within range and which way they are moving. Dragonflies and birds of prey are able to dive on and capture small moving animals.
Here are our nine candidates for best primary offensive stat -- and please note that every offensive stat here is very important, we're just trying to pick which is the top dog. Also note, categories such as doubles, triples and stolen bases are clearly important but couldn't be rationally argued as the most important stat. Thus, they were left out. - Matt Snyder
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.
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped or uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference. OBP is calculated in Major League Baseball (MLB) by dividing the sum of hits, walks, and times hit by a pitch by the sum of at-bats, walks, times hit by pitch and sacrifice flies.[1] A hitter with a .400 on-base percentage is considered to be great[2] and rare;[3] only 55 players in MLB history with at least 3,000 career plate appearances (PA) have maintained such an OBP. Left fielder Ted Williams, who played 19 seasons for the Boston Red Sox, has the highest career on-base percentage, .4817, in MLB history.[4] Williams led the American League (AL) in on-base percentage in twelve seasons, the most such seasons for any player in the major leagues.[4][5] Barry Bonds led the National League (NL) in ten seasons, a NL record.[5][6] Williams also posted the then-highest single-season on-base percentage of .5528 in 1941, a record that stood for 61 years until Bonds broke it with a .5817 OBP in 2002.[7] Bonds broke his own record in 2004, setting the current single-season mark of .6094.[7]

It is important to remember that there will almost certainly be some “bleeding” of the phases.  As much as a hitter might train, their will always be tiny little timing and mechanical mistakes leading to some of the “bleeding effect” of the phases.  The most important thing to remember as a hitter is really to be great at preparing to swing properly followed by being great into Phase 1.  If the the transition from your load into Phase 1 is executed at a high level, then Phase 2 and 3 will require very little attention.  Eliminate early mistakes and prepare to feel effortless power.
Runs scored (R): Aside from when a player hits a home run, he'll need some help from teammates -- most of the time -- to score a run. Still, players can do a lot to increase the number of times they score. Getting on base frequently, stealing bases, taking extra bases on singles or doubles, taking a base on a passed ball right in front of the catcher or even being such a scary baserunner to draw a balk are ways to spin around the bases better than others. Guys who score the most runs are great players, not those simply lucky to have good teammates driving them in. Here are the top 10 all-time in runs scored: Rickey Henderson, Ty Cobb, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Cap Anson, Stan Musial and Alex Rodriguez. Marginalize that group at your peril. - Snyder
Equal power and equal run scoring abilities, yet using batting average, Dozier is inferior.  It doesn’t seem fair that two players of equal skills are ranked so far apart in fantasy, but player X had 31 more hits while Dozier had 31 more walks with the same results.  If you’re a numbers guy you might have guess who player X is, but for those that haven’t figured it out, it’s Anthony Rendon.  Rendon is shooting up draft boards while Dozier is left waiting until the mid-early rounds.  If there was a poster boy for using OBP over BA, it’s Dozier. 
The third and final number in a slash line represents slugging percentage. This number is very similar to batting average, but instead of treating all hits as equals, it weighs each type of hit according to its significance. Slugging percentage (or SLG) is calculated by adding singles, 2 X doubles, 3 X triples, and 4 X home runs all divided by at bats. Another way of looking at it is total bases divided by at bats. Here is the official formula that is used:
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