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Monday, April 25, 2016

BA, OBP, SLG: which tells you more?

In 2015 142 batters "qualified for league batting title" ranging:

Batting Average (BA) is in disrepute but of the other two meat and potatoes stats, if you could look at just one, which would it be: On Base "Percentage" (OBP) or Slugging average (SLG)? Included above are OPS (OBP + SLG) and OPS+ (adjusted for parks).

Of the 142 batters, 20 had BA at least .300. Let's see what the top 20 in the other stats would be.

OBP: .369 (21 batters)
SLG: .502 (the only batters .500 or higher)
OPS: .864
OPS+: 133 (33% above "league" average)

Joc Pederson was the anchor man in BA at .210. However, his OBP was a whopping 136 points higher (65%), number 51 of 142. That helped Pederson reach OPS+ 112, number 65 of 142; number 71 would be halfway.

That would baffle the few old timers who still cling to BA.  Here are the in OPS+ and OPS+ ranks on number 20 for each of the other stats:

BA (.300): 116 rank 50
OBP (.369): 160 (Nelson Cruz),133 ranks 6,20
SLG (.502): 135 17

Both OBP and SLG come out about the same. I'd have picked SLG. BA lags.

Nothing up my sleeves, just some understandable common sense stuff.

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