Baseball, like many sports, has become incredibly stat-heavy. Finding how baseball batting average is calculated is the first step in learning about advanced statistics. Also, finding your own batting average can help young baseball players improve their game.
What is batting average in baseball?
According to the official definition provided by MLB, it is a tool to measure a hitter’s success at the plate. It is also one of the oldest statistics in the baseball world: Created in the late 1800s, it is said its origins come from the same statistic that was used in cricket.
It has two abbreviations, BA or AVG, and it also can be used to measure pitchers success. This one is rephrased to a batting average against and its abbreviation is BAA.
How baseball batting average is calculated?
In the baseball world we now live collapsed by a lot of statistics thanks to the sabermetrics, the batting average is one of the easiest statistics to calculate, and now we’ll show you how.
The first thing you need is the baseball player hits or base hits which are commonly called. You have to understand that this statistic is the sum of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs.
Before you look for the hits of the baseball player you will calculate the batting average for, you have to establish the period of time you want to calculate, for example, you can look for hits of a season, or the whole career, or just a specific period of time like 20 days or some.
Secondly, you need to find the ballplayer at-bats which stand for the amounts of time the player has made an effort to hit the ball.
Something you need to know is that walks, hit by a pitch, or sacrifices aren’t included in at-bats, because they aren’t considered as an offensive skill.
To obtain a baseball player batting average you need to divide the number of hits the player has in the span of time you chose by the number of at-bats he has taken in the same span of time. That is essential; you can’t combine hits and at-bats from different times. The result gives you the batting average of a baseball player.
Batting average against of a pitcher can be calculated the same way as batting average of a normal player, but the hits are those the pitchers received divided by the at-bats the pitcher face against him.
Numbers always have a meaning and baseball isn’t the exception. If you are new in the baseball world and suddenly read that a player has a .300 batting average, you probably don’t know exactly what it means.
But no problem, this guide was made exactly to help those who didn’t know its meaning to understand this beautiful game in all possible ways.
The batting average number goes between zero (0.000) and one (1.000) and is always round up to three decimal, so when you hear a player has a batting average of “three hundred” that means 0.300.
A .300 batting average indicates you that for every 10 at-bats a player would take, he would collect 3 hits. Explaining it like this would get you to think that have a .300 BA is something every normal player would do, but it is exactly the opposite.
Having an over .300 BA season means the player had an amazing offensive year, in fact, no one has finished a season with a batting average over .400 since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
According to some sabermetrics experts, batting average alone can’t judge a full offensive season of any player. For that there are two other tools that were created with the concept of batting average as a baseline, those are on-base percentage and slugging.
On-base percentage or OBP as is usually seen represents the times a player reaches base safety. And in order to calculate its number you only need to add to the batting average formula walks and hit by pitch. Slugging (SLG) is a ramification of batting average that symbolizes all bases a player reaches when hit the ball. The formula to calculate it is the sum of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs and divide them by at-bats.
The combination of the three stats divided by slashes is what people called ‘slash line’ and have a better representation of offensive skills.
In every sport, there are many statistics which help evaluate every player’s skills, and in baseball that area is plentiful. Batting average is just one of the hundreds of statistics you need to know if you want to become a baseball expert.
Today you just didn’t learn how baseball batting average is calculated but also understood the meaning of it.
“I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sport is to hit a baseball. A .300 hitter, that rarest of breeds these days, goes through life with the certainty that he will fail at his job seven out of ten times.” Ted Williams.
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