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Discussion: Batting Average or On Base Percentage

Posted Discussion
Feb. 13, 2016
Capt Kirk
541 posts
Batting Average or On Base Percentage
Which stat is the most important in determining a lineup, BA or OBP?
Also, should seed game hitting stats be used in determining a MVP or ATP?
Capt Kirk
Note: in the 2014 World Championship we played (8) bracket games and I used
the bracketed game's OBP, plus other factors, to select MVP and ATP, in 2015 we played
(5) bracket games, I used the seed games (2) and the bracket games (5) to select
MVP and ATP.
Feb. 13, 2016
k man
Men's 65
308 posts
Kirk, you do mention other factors as it should not be just about BA and OBP.
I play right center outfield. Every tournament I thrown out 2 or 3 guys and make throws that keep guys from taking extra bases. In TOC threw out guy at 3rd base and a batter at 1st base.
Fielders may also be doing major running as courtesy runners during the game. So if you have someone who is involved through all aspects of the game compared to someone who is say only a DH or maybe just catching and gets replaced after reaching base, if they have similar BA/OPS then it's obvious to me who gets MVP. ps - I was never MVP but did make ALL Tourney teams. pps - 1 of my managers counts walks when evaluating, it drives my roommate nuts as I walk quite a bit and he doesn't.
Feb. 13, 2016
Bubble Gum
122 posts

OPS works for me!

Feb. 13, 2016
crusher
Men's 75
524 posts
Question on making a lineup.

Probably a wash BA or OBP.

A lower BA may hit lots of triples and doubles and as a result
score, where the OBP may die at 1st.

Other side the OBP guy is on 1st when the BA drives score home.

For your team if you really want to know, try keeping detailed
records for all of 2016 and see where most runs were scored.

OR, what feels the most productive for you.........

C
Feb. 13, 2016
NYGNYY
175 posts
I believe k man is spot on when determining an MVP. This is slow pitch softball and defense is a difference maker if all things are equal offensively. Not like the pitcher is throwing 80 miles a hour. On my team they count E's as hits---that should tell you something about avg/obp.
Feb. 13, 2016
Slap hitter
28 posts
Best question of the year...Mango, should we share our decades of research on this topic? LOL!!!!
Feb. 13, 2016
OZ40
549 posts
It's not always about batting average. The player that gets the timely hit is the guy I want up most often when the pressure is on. Say one player hits 850 for a tourney and another hits 650. Now, say the player that hit 650 drove in more runs and got more hits in key situations than the player who hit 850, who would be your pick?
Feb. 13, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3206 posts
Oz, I would think that the 650 and 850 batters would need to change places in the lineup. Is it the fault of the 850 hitter that very few teammates were in scoring position when he came to bat?
For that reason I would never consider rbi's in selecting the all tournament team.
As for defense, if two player have similar obp or ba I would give it to the one that played stellar defense.
Feb. 13, 2016
DieselDan
Men's 70
500 posts
Whoever has the most positive input on offense and defense. The guy who turns singles into doubles/triples, hits behind the runners, who can score from first on hits, who is able to PR every inning, who charges ground balls from the OF and keeps the batter at first and base runners only move up one base, who still charges ground balls to infielders in case it gets past them, who covers the gaps, the infielder who charges slow grounders instead of waiting for the ball to reach them and prevent a possible double play or play at the plate, etc. Too many coaches take the easy way out and just go with the highest BA.
Feb. 13, 2016
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
OBP is great but RBIs Extra base hits should be factor in... now, that is good for 50 percent of the vote, now for everyone that doesn't know there is another part of this game besides hitting.. I'll let you take a guess, and this should be factored in! IMO
Feb. 13, 2016
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
516 posts
It's always seemed to me that taking a hit away from the opposition is as valuable as getting a hit. Unfortunately, on defense, its difficult to differentiate the routine play, that anyone should make, from the exceptional play that deserves recognition. If I stand in my position and flawlessly field everything that is hit to me, my fielding pct. is 1.000. If I range all over the field, cutting off balls in the gaps, backing up other fielders, digging throws out of the dirt and play flawlessly, I achieve the same 1.000 fielding pct. Undoubtedly, defense plays a factor, but judging defensive performance is much more subjective, therefore most teams default to considering only offensive statistics.

As to Batting Average vs. OBS, I think it depends on how you calculate OBS. If it's just hits + walks / AB, I think OBS is a better gauge. If you calculate is hits+walks+errors / AB, as many managers do, I think it OBS rewards the batter for defensive lapses and Batting Avg. becomes a better measure.
Feb. 14, 2016
OZ40
549 posts
Good points Bruce. I should have been clearer in my post. I was alluding to a players ability to handle the pressure situations. We all know guys who can hit to beat the band when there is no pressure. I want the guy who hits in pressure situations. I wouldn't necessarily use rbi's either for that reason. I mean, who deserves all tournament selection more, the guy who drove in runs when the team was way ahead or the guy who got the hit with two outs in the final inning to tie or win the elimination or championship game and was also hitting timely like that throughout the tournament? Likewise defensibly too, is it the guy who goes deep in the hole and makes a phenomenal play in a game your winning by a huge margin or is it the guy who makes the play to rob a batter and save a run from scoring that would have eliminated his team from the tournament. To sum it up -I guess- stats don't tell the whole story is what I'm saying.
Feb. 14, 2016
Tri18
351 posts
Years ago when a lot of us were playing under endorsement agreements and personal services contracts this issue came up because there was bonuses and contracts involved in it. Many teams tried to popularize their contract players by inflating stats. As a rule, softball then changed from keeping BA to keeping OBP as the way to measure a players achievements at the plate. I agree with it for a variety of reasons and just as an FYI , nobody in competitive softball considers BA very much anymore. A walk is a hit and a plate appearance, a sacrifice is an out and a plate appearance, and an error is considered a hit. All of this takes away the "favorable interpretation " that some players seem to get over others in the scorebook. OBP is really the stat to keep and look at these days as that is what a vast majority of tournament softball teams do in every other age group. That being said....I feel defense is often overlooked and even the additional challenges of certain positions need to be considered when voting for All Tourney , MVP, and defensive MVP awards. If you play center field in a three man outfield, short stop, or pitch those are 3 positions that POTENTIALLY require more physical effort and stamina than some others. How you field your position, the throws you make, and the attempts you have should all be thought about. I help run my team (Team 1 Sports / Miken 50 Major Plus) and when I became involved with the coaching side I implemented a new policy as I did not wan the one to be solely responsible for award decisions. We now pass the scorebook around to each team mate and remind everyone to consider defense too in their vote. Each player is given a slip of paper and they write down the names of the players they feel earn the amount of awards that we won as a TEAM. WE then count up the votes and if we get 3 All Tourney selections the top 3 vote getters get the award so the entire team makes its selections , not just the manager. OBP is just another way to make this process simple and fair to everyone. Hope this helps you guys out.

Alan Tanner
Team 1 Sports / Miken
Feb. 14, 2016
DoubleL10
Men's 70
904 posts
Alan, I could not agree with you more. I have managed teams and use only OBP for the reasons you mention.
In addition to considering defense as well, at our age (65-70), I also would consider those who run for others in the equation. Guys who play the outfield and do a lot of extra sub running I value highly.
In any case, selections should not be based SOLELY on OBP in my opinion.
Feb. 14, 2016
taits
Men's 65
4548 posts
This is another one of the debates that comes around every so often.
I feel there is a flaw in both. If one hits into a double play or forces an out, those are not taken into consideration yet he gets a hit for both categories should he get on base.
Feb. 14, 2016
Capt Kirk
541 posts
We calculate OBP; hits (includes getting on as result of an error), & walks.
If a player hits into a force play, and gets on base, if will be AB but will not be included in the OBP.. Sacrifice(s) are not counted as a AB.
Capt Kirk
Feb. 14, 2016
rh25
Men's 70
29 posts
My teams keep OBP the same as Alan Tanner stated with one exception. We did not count a SF as an out if it knocked in the 5th run or whatever the limit was. Otherwise we did count it as an out.

Also, for the guy who thinks guys who hit in force out or dp's count as on base. No one does that. They are outs.

Years ago I use to keep track of base on errors and noticed that the same guys usually had the most every season. Guys that ran fast or hit the ball hard.

Feb. 14, 2016
mad dog
Men's 65
4182 posts
yeah rh25...that gets me..when some guy will say he got on base when he has forced someone...and wants a hit for it.....i go with the idea...if ya hit the ball and get on base without causing an out...ya get a hit in the book..b/c trying to have everyone agree on errors and such gets to be a pain in the butt...thats just me tho...makes it easy for the score keeper....
Feb. 14, 2016
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
OPB is ...............................

On-base percentage (average) is the measure of the number of times a player gets on base via hit, walk, or hit by pitch, expressed as a percentage of his total number of plate appearances.

What’s a plate appearance you ask? Unlike an “AT BAT,” a plate appearance is counted every time a player comes to bat regardless of the outcome of that time at the plate. The statistic known as "AT BAT” counts only the times a player gets a hit or makes an out, while “PLATE APPEARANCES” count walks, sacrifices, hit by pitch, and so on.

Here’s how you calculate an on-base percentage: Hits+Walks+HBP/At Bats+Walks+HBP+Sacrifice Flies)

Disclaimer: No hit by pitches in slow pitch.

I used to bat 10th on a good hitting team. Several times I led our team in RBI's because I usually had people on base for me. The biggest difference I had was I didn't score many runs because the two batters behind me were weak hitters.

The manager told me I would have batted higher but I didn't cross the plate often enough. The bad thing was I was the fastest and probably the best baserunner on the team.
Feb. 14, 2016
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3206 posts
Wayne, you batted 10th and the next two were "weak hitters"? Were they number 11 and 12 ore 1 and 2? I would guess 11 and 12.
Agreed that "No hit by pitches in slow pitch". I'm thinking that is your adjustment to baseball obp. My adjustment would be no sacrifice flies also and if you hit into a double play you would get two plate appearances. You can imagine some teammates thoughts on that! :)
Currently we give sacrifice flies if it scores the 5th run. I disagree with that... score that run or runners with a hit.
Feb. 15, 2016
joel 1975
131 posts
what's wrong with batting last in line up,sure makes the guy's hitting in the lower spot's 6th,9th &10th quit complaining that they are hitting to low in the line up when your out hitting them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb. 15, 2016
joel 1975
131 posts
on base percentage some guy's want walk if it wont help there batting avg.
Feb. 15, 2016
joel 1975
131 posts
if you have a guy go 7for 12 that's .583 the next guy goe's 4 for8 with 4 walk's that's .500 why is the guy with the 7 hit's hitting better?????????????????? doesn't make since especialy if the guy that walk's a lot is fast and score from second on base hit.
Feb. 15, 2016
Tri18
351 posts
Taits,
When someone hits into a fielders choice or double play, that is scored as an out and a plate appearance. Thus, a player is not rewarded for an out. Also, we did just add in a little asterisk in the rbi column. We asterisk a "team sacrifice" when a player willfully hits a fly ball on purpose to score the last run of the inning or a run to run rule another team. He is given a no at bat in the scorebook for doing so. On our team it becomes very important especially if we avoid hitting a home run in that situation.
AT18
Team 1 Sports
Feb. 15, 2016
Webbie25
Men's 65
2339 posts
Lots of good points here. I agree with the double play being 2 outs-unless it is because a runner made the mistake-getting thrown out trying for an extra base, leaving early on a fly or something like that. I do believe also in the sac for the 5th run or to win a game, but only if it has a big effect on the game. Outside of that, I am embarrassed to hit a 'sac'.
Lots of players cause errors just by hustling. If the other team knows you will come out full speed no matter what-they will make more errors. Also, maybe taking a look at 'slugging percentage' might help.
I have known guys that counted fielders choices as hits-unbelievable for sure. Probably the same guys that count batting practice home runs in their home run count for the year.
OZ, you are right about the guys that hit in the clutch. We often know who not to pitch to in those situations, and there should be some way to reflect that in the stats.
One other interesting fact-last year in San Clemente we were out of home runs, but still had scored about 20+ on some team in the open inning, and Mike Adair told me he would give me credit for a home run anyway if I mercifully hit it out. I did, and he did! Take that, 'Stat Purists'!
Feb. 15, 2016
The Screamer5
67 posts
All great points...! Batting average and on base percentage are important and definitely have their place in developing a lineup and the batting order...but to me, over the course of a tournament, most players on the team know the players who've been overall killing it at bat and in the field (without knowing the actual percentages). I wish more coaches would get input from each player on the team before naming All Tourney and team MVP players. To me there are many variables that go into being MVP or All Tourney. (BA and OBP are just two of them.) For me timely and clutch hitting carry a little more weight.

One more unrelated opinion. I've been fortunate and blessed to be awarded All Tourney and Team MVP a few times for my team after some recent senior tournaments. While I appreciated being recognized, they just didn't mean much to me at all if we didn't WIN the tournament...in which case I've turned the awards down or passed it on to someone else on the our team who I felt was also deserving.
Feb. 15, 2016
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Bruce,

They were by far the oldest and the slowest on the team!

We could score runs in bunches, but our defense was lacking most of the time. The big hitters at the top were usually hitting with no one on base as they either went yard or had deep fly outs. Didn't make sense then to bunch them all up at 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. Left for some open innings.

I just didn't like being left on base all the time when I could motor on the bases. At least, a long fly out could move a runner over into scoring position on a base hit.

OTOH~ I've been on a team where I was the offense. Knock in three runs and scoring two.
Feb. 15, 2016
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Softball might be better using OPS: the sum of a player’s on-base percentage and their slugging percentage.

I would measure OBP much differently in softball for sure.
Feb. 17, 2016
Slap hitter
28 posts
Helloooooooo Tate22...I thought you would have weighed in on this topic by now. Especially after our 1 1/2 hour drive with Mango. Lol!
Feb. 17, 2016
Tate22
Men's 60
280 posts
Yo,Slappy (aka the fabulous Gary Springer), you know I'm an OBP convert. Bottom line, it rewards not making outs and creating runs. And BTW, CONGRATULATIONS TO CORNERSTONE. What exactly does "Retired in Championship" mean???

Tate 22
Feb. 17, 2016
FOFO
Men's 60
275 posts
I would like to see solo home runs that aren't the 5th run with two outs or game winners counted as outs in the book. Why reward selfish players with a hit when in fact their actions hurt the team.
Feb. 17, 2016
Tri18
351 posts
Dodo,
Great point as we have thought of that on our team too. Could be a new way that we do things in the future....
AT18
Team 1 Sports
Feb. 17, 2016
Slap hitter
28 posts
Tate 22 ...That warms my heart...I can't remember who owes who lunch, Mango or me. One of us bet that you would never convert...LOL! Welcome to creating positive stats for the TEAMS sake! I'm proud of you! LOL!
Feb. 18, 2016
Webbie25
Men's 65
2339 posts
I agree with the thought about a solo home run-but only to a point. There are occasions when a solo can spark a flat team, or provide a needed run late in the game when homers are available. But I think a solo that wastes a home run should not be counted as a HR in the stats, and that grand slam with the 5th run on 3 and no outs should be counted as an out. Maybe that early solo could be evaluated at the end of a game. If you have homers left, then it counts. If you ran out, it does not count in your stats. This is why stats can get complicated.
Feb. 20, 2016
Capt Kirk
541 posts
On Base Percentage plus slugging (OPS) Calculation: https://www.easycalculation.com/sports/baseball-ops-calculator.php
Feb. 23, 2016
Webbie25
Men's 65
2339 posts
Stats can lie, also. This past weekend I made 2 outs in 16 or 17 at bats. I made one error in 5 games at third base and in left center. Good? Well, I hit one easy fly ball lost in the sun,had 3 infield hits that I reached base on without an out being recorded that were hit so poorly the ball hardly made it to the fielder, and walked twice in situations where 5 was on 3 and they were setting up the force. In the field I went until the 5th game and had a total of 4 balls hit to me-and booted one. Doesn't sound quite so good now, does it? There also has to be some interpretation of your performance, too.
Feb. 23, 2016
B94
Men's 50
138 posts
A "good" scorekeeper is a must to keep accurate stats. I've seen it many times where one guy has hit similar to what you've described and the next guy has hit lasers that have had unreal plays made on them and a HR that a fielder went up and stole. Game on the line I still want the guy who is smashing the ball at the plate even if he's "0-fer" at that point...

That said there's a reason some say, "it's sometimes better to be lucky than good..."
Feb. 23, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts
Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics used to say about stats... 'my uncle drowned in a pond with an average depth of 5 feet... he was 6'5", how was this possible'...
Apparently it was his uncle's misfortune to be in the deeper portion of the pond.
The most important stat is a 'W'...
BW
Feb. 23, 2016
stick8
1951 posts
FOFO, would you apply that same principle if the solo was not the 5th run of the inning?
Feb. 23, 2016
Gavin5
Men's 70
29 posts
The most common walk is the intentional walk when the max runner is on third. I have a problem with awarding this batter the equivalent of a hit in the book when he's done nothing. That's the main issue I have with OBP.
Feb. 23, 2016
CurtfromKY
62 posts
Wow look at all the "ideas" and "suggestions" for scorekeeping but what it all boils down to is how each team decides to award or not award the stats. None of these are wrong if that is what the team accepts and knows up front. No argument. And unless each team has an AMAZING bookkeeper in the bleachers, we lose track as we get involved with the game. But, I do want to disagree with one statement. Because of something that happened during a game last season, my attitude has changed about the "nothing matters but the Win". Just like the safety concerns at my workplace, I want to leave after each tournament as good as I came. We played against a team and after the game, one of the players had a heart attack and NEVER came back to the field- or got to go home! The team left and did not finish the tournament. I am quite sure "winning" was the LAST thing on their minds. So, I propose that stats are important in their place and winning is our goal, but going home safe and sound to be the final victory!
Feb. 24, 2016
16wood
Men's 65
77 posts

CurtfromKY:
I'm not sure that your quotes shown below was directed to my post or not.
If it was, please re-read my last sentence... it states that the most important 'Stat' is a 'W'... please don't read this as winning is more important that safety, etc.
Conversely, if your post was directed to another post/posts, I apologize for not being diligent enough to re-read this entire thread.


'my attitude has changed about the "nothing matters but the Win".'
... 'I am quite sure "winning" was the LAST thing on their minds.

BW
Feb. 25, 2016
FOFO
Men's 60
275 posts
Stick,
There are occasional instances when a solo is not a negative, maybe with 2 outs, or late in a game and there are plenty left, or when it is the 5th run but the reality is it's usually a negative. What team doesn't want to have some HR's available for the open inning so guys can just free swing. I'd rather leave one on the table than use them all up early in the game.
Feb. 26, 2016
garyheifner
609 posts
My team worries about neither. We don't keep any stats. One of the advantages of our roster, that has been basically the same since 2002, is that we all know who plays and bats where.
Our managers don't play the roster "whore" game of dropping and adding players each year. Our pile off rings speaks for stability. We play through it when players or hot or not.

Feb. 26, 2016
CurtfromKY
62 posts
I meant no disrespect to anyone above with my comments about the "W" stat. Most everyone I play against or around have a very heartfelt attitude of contentment about playing-win or lose. I only referenced that game because I don't want those other few to lose sight of the END game. I do keep our stats but not as a tool for determining the way to win but more of a pick-me-up for the ones that struggled. Good luck in the upcoming season. Play safe and BE SAFE!
Feb. 28, 2016
Adiktiv6
Men's 60
90 posts
Average or OBP ?? It don't matter cuz in my mind I always bat .1000!!!
A dik
Feb. 28, 2016
k man
Men's 65
308 posts
Adik, I think you mean 1.000, because .1000 is way below the Mendoza line!
Feb. 29, 2016
Webbie25
Men's 65
2339 posts
Hey, someone else knows what the Mendoza Line is. I made that comment during a tourney recently and nobody knew what I was talking about. If memory serves-dubious at this age-it was a major league shortstop that hit around .200 which was supposedly the cutoff point for how low a person could hit and still contribute enough to play in the major leagues.
I do have one more thing to say about stats, too. They can almost be a negative, especially if someone is struggling. It puts extra pressure on, and sometimes you just don't need that when you are 'lost'. I say don't put too much emphasis on stats.
Feb. 29, 2016
Capt Kirk
541 posts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendoza_Line:
The Mendoza Line is an expression in baseball in the United States, deriving from the name of shortstop Mario Mendoza, whose mediocre batting average is taken to define the threshold of incompetent hitting. The cutoff point is most often said to be .200[1] (although Mendoza's career average was .215) and, when a position player's batting average falls below that level, the player is said to be "below the Mendoza Line". This is often thought of as the offensive threshold below which a player's presence in Major League Baseball cannot be justified, regardless of his defensive abilities. Pitchers are not judged by this standard, since their specialized work and infrequent batting does not require as much hitting competence. The expression has been also extended to other realms to indicate a low-end cut-off point.
Feb. 29, 2016
Adiktiv6
Men's 60
90 posts
No, I meant .1000....I never said I was a good hitter!!
A dik
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