Baseball Offensive Stats
In baseball, there are a variety of statistics which fans and coaches can use to judge the quality of certain players, and of overall teams. These stats enumerate important aspects of a baseball game, and how well a player is doing by each standard. Baseball stats are generally divided into two categories: offensive and defensive stats. Below, we will take a look at offensive stats, breaking them down into their different categories, and examining what each stat means.
The following offensive statistics are generally considered the most important offensive stats for any baseball player, and are usually among the first seen on their profiles or records:
Plate Appearances (PA)
The number of times in a game that a player completed his turn at batting, regardless of the result of that turn.
The number of times in a game that a player crossed home plate to score.
The number of times in a game that a player safely reached base after hitting a ball.
Extra-Base Hits (XBH)
Intentional Walks (IBB)
Strikeouts (SO or K)
The number of times a player received three strikes while at-bat, earning an out.
Runs Batted In (RBI)
The number of times in a game that a player's hit directly resulted in a run
Batting Average (BA or AVG)
Batting average (abbreviated as BA or AVG) is one of the most standard and commonly used statistics to measure a batter's offensive performance. Batting average is the measurement of how many times, on average, a player gets a hit every time he is at bat. It is calculated by dividing a player's hits by his at-bats, with the following formula:
Hits/At-Bats = AVG
Batting average is always expressed as a decimal to the thousandth place. A typical batting average is around .260, and what would typically be considered a good batting average is .300 or over.
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.
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+Base-on-Balls+Hit By Pitch) / (At-Bats+Base-on-Balls+Hit By Pitch+Sacrifice Flies) = OBP
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.
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 he hits multi/extra-base hits during his at-bats.
On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS)
On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a statistic that combines on-base percentage and slugging percentage to provide a more holistic measurement on a player's offensive skills. It is calculated by adding the value of a player's on-base percentage to the value of his slugging percentage, using the following formula:
OBP + SLG = OPS
Since it provides a broader overview of a player's performance than just the OBP or the SLG, and is more detailed than the batting average, OPS is one of the most commonly referenced offensive statistics.
Doubles are extra-base hits in which the runner reaches second base. It is important to note that runners who pick up a base hit but then proceed to second base on an error or a throw to another base in the infield are not credited with a double.
Doubles are extra-base hits in which the runner reaches third base. It is important to note that runners who pick up a double but then proceed to third base on an error or a throw to another base in the infield are not credited with a triple.
Home Runs (HR)
The number of times a player hits a ball farther than the outfield fence and scores as a result.
Total Bases (TB)
The complete number of bases gained by a batter over the course of his career.
Stolen Bases (SB)
The number of times a baserunner advances a base he did not reach by hitting or by another batter advancing him. Bases are most commonly stolen while a pitcher is throwing a pitch. For example, if a player hits a single, he gets a stolen base if he safely reaches second while a pitch is being thrown.
Caught Stealing (CS)
The inverse of stolen bases, caught stealing (CS) represents the number of times a runner has attempted to steal a base and been thrown out. This does not include scenarios in which a runner successfully steals the next base but then attempts to reach the base after that, only to get tagged out.
Double Plays (GDP)
The number of times a batter hits a ball that results in multiple outs on bases over the course of one play.
The following are more advanced metrics used to measure a batter’s value on the field outside of standard counting stats and common averages. These metrics are widely featured in the new wave of sabermetrics in baseball.
Wins Above Replacement (WAR)
Wins Above Replacement is an offensive statistic that assesses the value of players by enumerating how many more wins they are worth than a replacement player of the same position. For example, the WAR of an MLB first baseman attempts to determine how many more wins that first baseman could give a team than a Minor League first baseman, or a first baseman who is currently a free agent. The value of a player’s WAR also depends upon the position itself, with positions that see lower levels of performance from replacements (such as shortstops) generally having superior WARs to positions where replacements are generally at the same skill level as roster players (such as first basemen).
In order to calculate WAR, the following formula is used for position players:
(The number of runs above average a player is worth in his batting, baserunning and fielding + adjustment for position + adjustment for league + the number of runs provided by a replacement-level player) / runs per win = WAR
Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP)
Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) is an advanced version of batting average that only takes into account at bats in which the batter hit the ball in play. This statistic is meant to measure luck or lack of luck relating to just how often balls a batter puts in play end up being fielded for outs, as well as helping to deduce just how often batters are hitting the ball hard and subsequently getting base hits.
The formula for Batting Average on Balls in Play is:
(H - HR) / (AB - K - HR + SF) = BABIP
Isolated Power (ISO)
Isolated power is a statistic which measures a hitter’s raw power. It considers only extra-base hits, and emphasizes the different types of extra-base hits differently. For example a player who goes 1-for-5 with a double would have an ISO of .200, as would a player who goes 2-for-5 with a single and a double, but also a higher batting average than the first player. The formula for ISO is:
(1x2B + 2x3B + 3xHR) / At-bats OR Slugging percentage - Batting average = ISO
On-Base Plus Slugging Plus (OPS+)
OPS+ attempts to normalize the standard of OPS across the entire MLB, also accounting for factors such as different ballparks. With OPS+, a score of 100 is considered the league average, with 150 being 50 percent better than league average. The formula for OPS+ is:
(OPS / league OPS, adjusted for park factors) x 100 = OPS+
Average Exit Velocity (EV)
Average exit velocity (EV) is a statistic used to measure the average speed in which a batter hits the ball. Exit velocity has become a major part of how scouts and fans assess a player’s hitting ability, as players who hit the ball at higher speeds are more likely to get hits than those who don’t. Average exit velocity can be determined by adding up the sum of all a batter’s exit velocities and then dividing that number by the number of batted ball events a batter earned.
Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA)
Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) is a weighted version of on-base percentage that attributes more points to a players average when they get a hit that earns them extra bases or in some way increases the odds of a run being scored. This statistic is meant to gain a general grasp of what a player’s offensive value is.
The formula for calculating wOBA, with the term "factor" indicating the run expectancy of a batting event, is:
(unintentional BB factor x unintentional BB + HBP factor x HBP + 1B factor x 1B + 2B factor x 2B + 3B factor x 3B + HR factor x HR)/(AB + unintentional BB + SF + HBP) = wOBA
Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+)
A batter’s wRC+ statistic takes their number of runs created and applies an adjustment to it in order to account for various factors that may have influenced their ability to create runs, including, but not limited to factors such as the ballparks they played in and the era in which they played. This statistic attempts to correct for various factors such as power-hitting eras (including the aptly-named Steroids Era) that may have made certain groups of players more likely to create runs than players of other times and places. This allows for a more general standard by which to compare players on run creation. The formula for calculating wRC+ is:
(((wRAA per PA + league runs per PA) + (league runs per PA - ballpark factor x league runs per PA) / league wRC per plate appearance, not including pitchers)) x 100 = wRC+
What is an average OPS in baseball?
The average OPS across Major League baseball shifts year by year, but in 2021 the average OPS amongst all players was .728. This represents a small decline from 2019, when the average OPS amongst all teams was a .740.
What is considered 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.
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.