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.
But fear not! This is your crash course in advanced baseball stats, explained in plain English, so that even the most rudimentary of fans can become knowledgeable in the mysterious world of baseball analytics, or sabermetrics as it is called in the industry. Because there are so many different stats that can be covered, I’m just going to touch on the hitting stats in this article and we can save the pitching ones for another piece. So without further ado – baseball stats!
Baseball, specifically hitting, is being dramatically altered by today’s data driven, analytical beliefs. How do we achieve desirable results and not drastically change the proven swing path that dates back to Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente? What if I showed you similarities in the swings of Albert Pujols and Ichiro? (You would be amazed).
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.
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.
"It's all about having a quality at bat," said Garrido, who has won five national titles. "You can't just go up there and start swinging and expect to get hit after hit. You have to be able to separate the pitches you can hit and the pitches you can't hit. And when you find that pitch let the ball location help you decide where you want to hit it. If you can do that you are on your way."