ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Batting Average Is Not The Best Measure Of A Hitter

Updated on January 15, 2013

From the very first baseball game i ever saw on tv till now it has been the case 100% of the time that when a hitter comes to the plate the batting average is flashed on the screen. Batting average very simply takes the number of hits divided by the number of times at bat. More specifically, it counts a single, double, triple, and home run all the same. Many of you have heard of the statistic slugging percentage but for those that dont know its calculation it is really a beautifully simplistic mathematical formula.

It is what is called a weighted average. A single has a weight of 1, a double a weight of 2, a triple a weight of 3, and a home run a weight of 4. You add all those points up and divide by the number of at bats.The logic behind those weights is completely obvious for anyone who has ever seen even one baseball game. All other things being equal, a home run is the best you can possibly do in a given at bat.Slugging percentage gives you the most credit for just such a hit. So a hitter gets more mileage from home runs, triples, and doubles in the formula then they do from singles.

Lets look at an example where batting average can be misleading. In 1996, Tony Gwynn hit .353. Yes i'm talking about batting average. This was above his career average. But while he scored 67 runs he only had 50 rbi. This is because his slugging percentage was only .441. It must be noted that most would consider a slugging percentage of .500 is to be very good. In 1998, Tony Gwynn hit .321, which was below his career average. But he scored 65 runs and drove in 69 which means he accounted for 17 more runs in '98 then he did in '96. His slugging percentage in '98 was a robust .501. Where was the biggest difference in the stats? He had only 3 home runs in 1996 but 16 in 1998. This gave him 52 more points in the numerator of that fraction. I would suggest then before you judge a hitter the moment you see his batting average you perhaps go online and take a look at his slugging percentage. Of course if the television broadcasts would provide this stat you wouldnt have to.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • adjkp25 profile image


      6 years ago from Northern California

      I think batting average is just one of many factors used to determine a good hitter.

      True a batting average over .350 is very good but anemic numbers in every other category minimizes the .350 average a little bit.

      For me a very good hitter goes around .300 and can hit 20-30 homers while driving in 90-100 runners. Every team would love to get a hitter that hits around .350 but if they have nobody behind him to drive him in it doesn't matter how much he gets on base.

      Honestly I think on base percentage is a little bit more important than batting average. With so many hitters striking out too many times the focus should be getting on base, however they can. Base runners attract a pitchers attention and may cause him to give the next hitter something good to hit.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)