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A Guide To Baseball Statistics

Updated on September 14, 2009
A Guide To Baseball Statistics
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.

Players With A High Batting Average Tend To Considered Great Players
Players With A High Batting Average Tend To Considered Great Players
The On Base Percentage Tells How Often A Player Reaches Base Safely
The On Base Percentage Tells How Often A Player Reaches Base Safely


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.

The Earned Run Average Tells How Many Runs A Pitcher Would Likely Give Up In Nine Innings
The Earned Run Average Tells How Many Runs A Pitcher Would Likely Give Up In Nine Innings


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 Keeps Statistics On All Aspects Of The Game
Baseball Keeps Statistics On All Aspects Of The Game

Other Statistics

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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    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Glad it helped. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you, helped explain the key areas to someone from London about to follow their second season.

      Much appreciated


    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the comment

    • profile image

      Baseball Training Bat 

      7 years ago

      Good post on statistical information about baseball. Thanks a lot.

    • SportsInfo247 profile image


      8 years ago from Arizona

      This is a good basic description of some of the more common statistics used in baseball. Great for beginner baseball fans as it just gets more complex from here.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sacramento, California


      I agree. Just got familiar with WHIP in my fantasy league and think it a great measurure. Thanks for the comment.

    • dosters profile image


      8 years ago from Chicago

      Another good metric for measuring pitching is WHIP, or Walks+Hits per Inning Pitched.

    • bgpappa profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Thanks for the input.

      Thanks for reading

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a very good article and I enjoyed reading it! Easy for people who do not understand baseball to understand and a quick read as to the importance of statistics in baseball.

      I agree that Batting Average and On Base Percentage are important, but I would add two more in addition to these. I would include RBI's and runs scored. Why you may ask? RBI, or Runs Batted In, gauges how many people scored because of the direct action of that hitter. Runs scored can tell how well a player runs the bases and take into account speed as well. Poor base runners and slow runners do not score as many runs as speedier and better base runners. Usually a player with the higher batting average should score more runs while the player with the lower average should have a higher total of RBI's, but it does not always work that way. Altogether I think this would provide a better insight as to the quality of a player.

      Let me know what you think. I really like the article, just trying to provide a little more insight.


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