Baseball Slugging Percentage (SLG)
Earning bases is one of the most important parts of baseball, as the more bases you get, the more runs you have likely earned. Because bases are so important, it makes sense that there is a statistic which evaluates baseball players by the number of bases a player accumulates during their career. This statistic is known as SLG, or slugging percentage. Read on below to learn more about it.
Slugging Percentage (SLG)
Slugging percentage (abbreviated as SLG) is a measurement of the total number of bases a player earns per at-bat. It is used to analyze a player's ability to hit for power. Like batting average, slugging percentage is expressed as a decimal to the thousandths place. Slugging percentage tallies up the number of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs a player has hit, but adds more value to the extra-base hits.
To illustrate this, here is the formula for slugging percentage:
[(Singles)+(Doubles x2)+(Triples x3)+(Home Runs x4)] / At-Bats = SLG
As you can see, doubles are counted twice as much as singles because the batter earned twice as many bases for that hit. The same principle applies for triples and home runs. Therefore, SLG is used as an indicator for how well a player hits for power, in other words, how frequently they hit extra-base hits during their at-bats.
For example, a hitter that gets the same number of hits as another player but gets more extra-base hits will have the same batting average but a higher SLG. Because extra-base hits get more weight in the SLG calculation, a hitter that gets more doubles and triples will have a higher SLG than one that hits mostly singles, even if they have the same number of hits.
What is SLG in baseball?
How is SLG calculated in baseball?
In baseball, SLG is calculated by adding the number of base hits, with more weight given to extra-base hits, then dividing by the total number of at bats. Singles are given normal weight. Doubles get double value and triples are worth three times as much. Home runs are worth four times as much as singles.
What is a good slugging percentage in baseball?
In 2021, the average slugging percentage across all of baseball was .411, so anything .420 and above would be considered firmly above average. That same season, Bryce Harper had the highest slugging percentage in all of baseball with a .620, representing a dramatically above-average performance on his part. Generally speaking, anything above .450 would be considered good, a slugging percentage over .500 represents a strong season, and batters who carry a slugging percentage of over .600 are some of the best hitters in the league.