#### Local, Sports

# Baseball Stats for Beginners – Part 1

**Slugging Percentage (SLG)**

Now, in Matt’s fourth at-bat, he hits a double into the corner. Since he has two hits in three at-bats, his batting average would be .667; since he’s been on base three times in four plate appearances, his OBP would be .750. These make up 2/3 of the slashline, the final percentage being slugging.

So, since he’s gotten two hits in three at-bats, his average stands at a nifty .667. Since he got a double, though, his slugging percentage would be higher. When calculating slugging percentage, a single counts as one point; for a double, two; a triple, three; a home run, four. Since Matt has a single and a double in three plate appearances, figuring out his slugging is simply a matter of dividing 3 by 3, so his slugging percentage would be 1.000. If he’d hit a triple instead of a double, you’d add 3+1 and then divide that by 3 to get 1.333. If he hit a home run, you’d add 4+1 and divide by 3 to get 1.666. In theory, the highest slugging percentage a person could ever have is 4.000, if a player hit home runs every at-bat.

*What’s a good slugging percentage?*

This is a little murkier, but generally speaking, .450 or above is pretty darn good. A slugging percentage of over .500 means the batter’s probably hitting 25-30 home runs in a season. A slugging percentage of over .600 is very rare. Albert Pujols had a slugging percentage of .617 in his 11 years in St. Louis. Babe Ruth holds the career record at .690.

When combined, these three percentages make up the

**Slashline**

If you ever hear me say “so and so slashed” or “this guy had a slashline of” followed by three percentages, it’s simply the three aforementioned percentages, batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage, in that order. In our hypothetical, after those four plate appearances, Matt’s slashline would be .666/.750/1.000.

FromĀ *this*, you can take the last two percentages to get

**On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS)**

You may see a higher percentage mentioned as a player’s OPS. This is a relatively new metric intended to define the effectiveness of a hitter. You’re simply adding the on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as the name suggests. In our example, Matt’s OPS would be 1.750.

*What’s a good OPS?*

Again, it’s a little harder to define here, but anything over .750 would be considered pretty good. .800 or above is very good; .900 or above is All-Star caliber; anyone with an OPS of 1.000 or above is a contender for MVP. Bill James (the man who helped fuel the ideas inĀ *Moneyball*) has a slightly different scale.