On an individual level, I'm partial to OPS+ because it's a clear upgrade over traditional measures and, unlike oWAR (which I think is more accurate in a vacuum), it's not quite as off-putting to the uninitiated. I'll happily lean on oWAR when appropriate, though, as it contains a base-running component. On a team level, I tend to stick to runs scored and OPS with on-the-fly adjustments made for ballpark effects.
I am a 13 year old beginner and I am struggling with the mechanics but have the basic knowledge of hitting. This article really helped me, just today i went to a batting cage after reading this article and used all of these steps, my first time trying i was unsuccesful missing 3 of the first pitches but after i relaxed my hands and stopped trying to hit the ball as hard as i could i hit my next 8 balls. My mom has also been pushing me to hit the gym so i could hit the ball harder, but after reading this article she has been pushing me more to increase bat speed instead of working out. Thank you so much Doug I’m hoping i have a future in baseball and can be as successful as you were.
The main application of slugging percentage is to go beyond just being able to tell how good a player is at getting hits, but how good they are at getting quality hits. For example, Robinson Cano and Andrew McCutchen both had a batting average of .314 last year; however Cano slugged just .454 opposed to McCutchen who finished with a .542 mark. While both players got hits just as often, McCutchen got the more valuable kinds of hits more often (he had more doubles, triples, and homers than Cano), so he was the better hitter in 2014.
Some of these can be dismissed while others can be countered.  You can say power hitters are more valuable because they draw walks, but there are also non power hitters that draw walks that would benefit as well.  A majority of those power hitters are early round picks so you’re really putting their value where it should be as opposed to increasing it.  If anything, the non power hitters that draw high walks benefit more from this. 
At the point of contact, we see a culmination of every drill worked on for power thus far. First, from the interlocking throws drill, we have a good palm up, palm down path at the point of contact. From the half and full turn drills, we see she has great hip rotation to the ball, from the paint stick and don’t squish the bug drills, she has excellent weight transfer to the launch point, so great that her back foot has come off the ground and moved forward. She is generating power from the lower half and harnessing it with her bat path. The crossover drill is a great drill to finish off the set of previous drills designed to generate power for softball.
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.
Statistical analysis to measure player performance has become so sophisticated over the last quarter century that traditional tools like batting average and earned run average have been augmented and in some cases even replaced by more encompassing measurements like on-base percentage, which became an official statistic in 1984, and the more revolutionary OPS--a term that combines a player's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

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).


That's a difference of about one error every two games. This seems insignificant, but we can use Tom Tango's run environment generation program to see what kind of effect those extra errors would have on offense. Plug in the 2013 MLB batting statistics (counting HBP as BB and ROE as hits) and the program estimates a run environment of 4.8 R/G*. But double the amount of errors, and that number jumps by half a run to 5.3 R/G.

Adjusted OPS-plus (OPS+): You might be familiar with OPS, which is simply on-base percentage added to slugging percentage (forget, for the moment, that they have different denominators). OPS+ is simply OPS adjusted for park and league conditions. It's scaled to 100, which means that 100 indicates a league-average OPS adjusted for park and league. An OPS+ of 110, for instance, is an OPS that's 10 percent better than the league average. On the other end, an OPS+ of 85 is one that's 15 percent worse than the league average. It's useful in that you can make a thumbnail comparison between, say, a hitter in Coors Field in 2000 to one in Dodger Stadium in 1968. It helps correct for the two things that most often corrupt unadjusted stats -- home parks and eras -- and it leans on the the two most important things a hitter can do -- get on base and hit for power. - Dayn Perry
The ABCA ‘Best of Show “HITTERS POWER SWING” is now available to all customers.  Due to initial production and popularity, HPS orders were limited to high school, college and professional coaches only.  As of Thursday, 12/14/17 the HPS can be ordered on the HITTERS POWER DRIVE web site.  Units will be shipped within one business day of order.  There is a holiday introductory $20 price saving through January 7, 2018.  Use code HPSNOW at checkout.
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.

There is a very important Biomechanical Principle that pertains to the initiation of the baseball swing. The principle states: "A ballistic motion, once initiated, produces trajectories that can only be changed at its margins." This means, the forces applied to the bat during initiation produce trajectories that will set the tone for the entire swing. If the swing is not initiated correctly - little can be done to compensate for it.
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Certainly this feat also involves an almost instantaneous ability to estimate trajectories. In the case of the frog, researchers have been able to locate specific nerve cells in the frog retina and in the brain which are excited by small, dark, moving objects. The frog apparently pays no attention to these objects until their images begin to grow bigger on his retina, indicating that they are moving closer to him. If all other visual cues are right, out goes the tongue.
First compare the names on the left to the ones on the right.  Notice anything?  With the exception of Buster Posey, did you draft any player from the left side before any player on the right?  OK there is Dexter Fowler, but there are always a few exceptions with any example.  The players on the right are the superior players, Matt Carpenter included.  While he didn’t live up to expectations, Carpenter did score 99 runs.  The only players to score more runs from either list all come from the right side, Bautista and Trout.  Denard Span was 10th in the league in scoring runs (like I said, an exception to every rule) but the next highest player from the left side is Howie Kendrick down at #30.  Everyone else on the left had 81 or fewer runs scored where everyone on the right scored more than 81 times except Hanley and Fowler (who both had under 450 at bats due to injuries).

Some of these can be dismissed while others can be countered.  You can say power hitters are more valuable because they draw walks, but there are also non power hitters that draw walks that would benefit as well.  A majority of those power hitters are early round picks so you’re really putting their value where it should be as opposed to increasing it.  If anything, the non power hitters that draw high walks benefit more from this. 


At the hitting vault, we use two basic drills focused specifically on unlocking the lower half and hitting with more power. The half turns drill is essential to begin learning and mastering the movements to the point of contact with the lower half. It is incredibly important to be in a good, strong position with your hips and legs to drive the ball. To do this drill, you are going to want the hitter to pin the barrel of the bat against the back leg, and the handle/knob of the bat against the back shoulder, demonstrated in the picture. Working from this position is going to keep the front shoulder closed, preventing flying open and rolling over.
Follow through. Properly following through is important for multiple reasons. Not only will it help you to add all-important distance generating backspin to the ball, but it will help point out any flaws in your swing.[7] In most cases, you want your hands to finish high which ensures that the bat head stays through the hitting zone as long as possible.
So OBP=Runs, Billy Beane was right.  That doesn’t mean that the players on the left are bad, but they are inferior to the players on the right when it comes to scoring runs (and several other categories).  Justin Morneau had a fine season, but 17 home runs and 62 runs scored hardly make him the better fantasy player.  Lorenzo Cain stole 28 bases, but with 53 RBIs and 55 runs scored that .301 average is kind of empty, don’t you think?  So far OBP favors the better overall player.
The ABCA ‘Best of Show “HITTERS POWER SWING” is now available to all customers.  Due to initial production and popularity, HPS orders were limited to high school, college and professional coaches only.  As of Thursday, 12/14/17 the HPS can be ordered on the HITTERS POWER DRIVE web site.  Units will be shipped within one business day of order.  There is a holiday introductory $20 price saving through January 7, 2018.  Use code HPSNOW at checkout.
The strongest man doesn’t always have the hardest hit, technique determines many factors and in most cases is more important than your strength or power levels. But if you’re somebody who has your batting technique in check, adding strength and power to the muscles responsible for improving your performance in this area can dramatically alter your presence on the plate.
Without a doubt, batting average is important.  It shows a hitters ability to reach base on a swing, a vital part of baseball.  However, let's compare the two statistics in a more logical manner.  Every inning, there are three outs that the defense must make in order to end the inning.  On base percentage shows the odds that a hitter does not make one of these three outs.  It is calculated by counting walks as well as hits, so prolific walkers will often display a high differential between batting average and on base percentage. 
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.

Walk/strikeout ratio.  The exception is that he  does look at the ratio of walks to strikeouts.  Elite hitters in high school shouldn’t be striking out a lot.  No more than 7 strikeout in 100 at bats in high school.   For example, 12 walks and 88 strikeouts is NOT what they want to see.  On the other hand, more walks than strikeouts is very promising.   Orioles scout Jim Thrift knows that this stat shows a lot about a player’s discipline, hand/eye coordination and knowledge of the strike zone.    
Getting on base is an important skill, so you want to use OBP to determine if the player in question is a good offensive performer. However, OBP can only take you so far and it should only be used in the context of other statistics because OBP weights every time you reach base equally, whether you hit a home run or an infield single. If used in conjunction with slugging percentage or isolated slugging percentage, OBP is a very useful tool. In general, something like wOBA or wRC+ will tell a more accurate story, but if you’re looking for something extremely simple OBP is a much better bet than batting average.

There’s a very good chance that you’ve heard these phrases at some point, “that was effortless” or “kid’s got easy power”. If you’re unfamiliar with “effortless power” you might not understand what I mean. Simply put it means that a hitter will display great power  but visually it doesn’t look like they tried to swing hard. Perhaps the more scientific way to describe and “effortless swing” would be, efficient.
How do these players create such a powerful swing? Rule number one; do not confuse POWER with strength. These are two very different dynamics. Power is an explosive movement. It is created through a combination of speed, and strength. Strength is created through maximal force. This is the biggest learning lesson here; you do not create power for hitting by lifting maximum weight. Power lifting like bodybuilders and muscle heads do, does not translate into softball power hitting. Power lifting is mostly all for show and not athletic performance. If you have the biggest arms, traps, and chest in the world, how are you going to swing the bat? Power lifting and Power hitting are two totally different things.
That’s a reasonable question, right?  If you ask an individual you can probably have reasonably civilized conversation.  Pose this question to the masses though, and you’ll hear the outcries and irrational debates from the masses.  Change just for the sake of change is not always good, but some changes are overdue and this is one of them.  So are you one of those people staunchly against removing the batting average category from your league?  Well then, let me see if I can convince you otherwise.
Another very common stat used to measure plate discipline is a player’s walk-to-strikeout-rate (or BB/K). This is again a fairly straight forward stat, and it is measured simply by dividing a player’s walk total into their strikeout total. The result gives you the average number of times a player walks between each strikeout. So if a player had a BB/K of an even 1.00, that would mean that they walked just as often as they struck-out (which is exceptionally good plate discipline).
While I don’t feel hitting coaches should try to “clone or cookie-cut” their hitters. I do believe we should strive to build on the strengths of every hitter. However, every good hitter, (past, present, and future), performs a series of sequential moves (working from the ground-up), that enables the barrel to enter the back of the strike zone, accelerating through contact. 

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.

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.


During the entire middle portion of the pitch, the batter must time the ball and decide where to swing. If the batter decides to swing, he must start when the ball is approximately 25 to 30 feet in front of the plate. The ball will arrive at the plate about 250 thousandths of a second later -- about the limit of human reaction time. The bat must make contact with the ball within an even smaller time range: A few thousandths of a second error in timing will result in a foul ball. Position is important, too. Hitting the ball only a few millimeters too high or too low results in a fly ball or a grounder.
The other statistic I wanted to mention that sort of goes hand-in-hand with slugging percentage is isolated power, or ISO for short. This is calculated by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage (SLG-AVG) to give you how many extra bases a player averaged per at bat. ISO is important because it removes singles from the equation to give you a better idea of a player’s true power capability.
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