A Guide To Baseball Statistics
Why All The Stats?
Baseball players tend to be an interesting bunch. First of all, they are very superstitious. One of the game’s greats, Wade Boggs, ate fried chicken before every game because he believed it helped him get hits. Other players have been known to not change their socks while on a hot streak.
Secondly, baseball players keep track of everything. They track their hits, at bats, errors and so on. In fact, the entire game of baseball keeps tracks of every statistic anyone can keep. Keeping track of all the stats can be hard for those that are not familiar with all the numbers. The following is a short guide of baseball statistics.
Batting without a doubt contains the most amount of statistics in all of baseball. From the number of hits to the number of strikeouts everything a player does while batting is kept track off for future use. Two of the most important batting statistics are the player’s batting average and the player’s on base percentage.
Player’s tend to be judged on their batting average. The higher the average, the better the player is thought to be. The batting average is also fairly simple to calculate. The number of a player’s hits is divided by the number of at bats (excluding walks and hit by pitch) the player gets in a given season. For example, if a player comes to plate 100 times in a season (without a walk or hit by pitch) and gets 30 hits, the player’s batting average is .300. Generally, a .300 batting average is considered very good.
A player’s on base percentage also is a good way to judge a player’s ability. In simple terms, the on base percentage tells how often a player reaches base. The on base percentage is also fairly simple to calculate. The number of times a player reaches base by a hit, walk or hit by pitch is divided by the number of at bats, walks, hit by pitch and sacrifice flies. Generally, a on base percentage of .340 in considered average.
While the batting average and on base percentage are two important batting statistics, other parts of the at bat are counted as well. How many runs a player scores, runs batted in, walks and sacrifices are also kept.
A player’s pitching statistics are also kept in numerous forms. From how many strikeouts to how many walks a pitcher gives up are just a small example of the many statistics kept about pitchers. The most important of all pitching statistics in the pitcher’s ERA.
The pitcher’s ERA, earned run average, tells how many runs a pitcher’s generally gives up in a nine inning game. The higher the ERA, the less dominant the pitcher. Calculating a pitcher’s era is not as simple as it sounds.
Generally, the earned run average is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher by the number of innings pitched and then multiplying by nine. Runs scored because of an error or passed ball is not calculated. Generally, an earned run average under 4.0 is sought.
Baseball also keeps track of fielding and base running statistics including number of stolen bases and number of errors. While it may seem easy to get lost is the myriad of statistics that follow the game of baseball, the fun part is that everyday player’s defy the odds and numbers and do something out of the ordinary. That is one of the many things that makes baseball such a great game.
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