Sabermetrics: Advanced Statistics in Baseball

1880 WordsJul 13, 20188 Pages
Advanced Statistics in Baseball Baseball statistics are meant to be a representation of a player’s talent. Since baseball’s inception around the mid-19th century, statistics have been used to interpret the talent level of any given player, however, the statistics that have been traditionally used to define talent are often times misleading. At a fundamental level, baseball, like any game, is about winning. To win games, teams have to score runs; to score runs, players have to get on base any way they can. All the while, the pitcher and the defense are supposed to prevent runs from scoring. As simplistic as this view sounds, the statistics being used to evaluate individual players were extremely flawed. In an attempt to develop more…show more content…
Fundamentally, on-base percentage is an effective tool used to show how often a player reaches base. It does not, however, take all aspects of hitting into account. On-base plus slugging (OPS) and adjusted on-base percentage plus adjusted slugging (OPS+) are two tools that are more precise and take into account a player’s ability to reach base and hit for contact and power. The formula to calculate OPS takes the formerly introduced OBP and adds it to a player’s slugging percentage (SLG), the amount of total bases (TB) a player collects during one at-bat (AB). SLG = TB / AB OPS = OBP + SLG The hitter’s full performance is fully encompassed by the OPS statistic because of the inclusion of the slugging percentage to the formula. Winning means scoring more than the other team and a team cannot win unless they are getting on base. Therefore, the team that gets more bases has a better chance of winning, but OPS is sometimes left up to factors out of the control of players such as varying sizes of stadiums. To neutralize variables not in control of the hitter, Sabermetricians developed OPS+. The league average OPS+ will always be 100, so if a player’s OPS+ rating is 100 he is an average player. Calculating OPS+ is slightly more difficult to than OPS. OPS+= (OBP/ lgOBP + SLG / lgSLG - 1) * 100 By dividing the player’s OBP and SLG by the respective league averages, factors like stadium dimensions are neutralized. The purpose of OPS+ is to put all hitters onto one even
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