Baseball On-Base Percentage (OBP)
Since players must sequentially touch all four bases in baseball to score, a player’s ability to get on base is an important factor to measure. On-Base Percentage, otherwise known by the abbreviation OBP, measures the frequency of a batter reaching base. Read on to learn more about On-Base Percentage and how it’s calculated.
On-Base Percentage (OBP)
On-base percentage (abbreviated as OBP) measures the frequency that a batter reaches base. It is calculated by dividing the number of times the batter reaches base, by their number of plate appearances (Times on Base/Plate Appearances). Like batting average, on-base percentage is expressed as a decimal to the thousandths place.
Since on-base percentage incorporates walks as well as hits, a player's OBP is usually higher than his batting average. An average OBP is around .320, and what would typically be considered a good OBP is around .370 or over.
The more complete version of the formula includes what exactly is considered a Time on Base or a Plate Appearance. Here is the detailed formula:
(Hits + Walks + Hit-by-pitch) / (At-bats + Walks + Hit-by-pitch + Sacrifice flies) = OBP
If a player goes to bat three times in a game and gets two hits, one walk, one sacrifice fly and no hit by pitch, their OBP for the game is .600. This is because (2 + 1 + 0) / (3 + 1 + 0 + 1) = 3 / 5 = .600. That means that the player reaches base about 60% of the time in that single game.
What is OBP in baseball?
What is a good OBP in baseball?
Generally speaking, any OBP of over .350 is considered very good in baseball, as that means the batter in question reached base well over a third of the time. The OBP leader in 2021 was Juan Soto with a mark of .465, which is a godly rate in which he reached base in nearly half of his at bats. For comparison, the average OBP in 2021 was .317.