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What Is OPS in Baseball & OPS Calculator

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HomeBlogschris.sloan's blogWhat Is OPS in Baseball & OPS Calculator
What Is OPS in Baseball & OPS Calculator

What is OPS in Baseball and How is it Calculated?

Today we will be diving into the world of baseball statistics and discussing the concept of ops. Short for on-base plus slugging, ops is a widely used metric in baseball that combines a player's ability to reach base with their power-hitting abilities. Whether you're a seasoned baseball fan or just starting to learn the ins and outs of the game, this post will provide a comprehensive overview of what ops is and how it's used to evaluate a player's performance on the field.

Key Article Points

  • OPS, which stands for On-base Plus Slugging, is a baseball statistic that is calculated by adding a player's On-base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage.
  • OPS is utilized to evaluate a hitter's performance at the plate.
  • OPS gives an indication of a hitter's capability to generate runs.
  • An above-average season at the plate is indicated by an OPS of .800 or higher in baseball at the major league level.
  • Weighted On-base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) are considered to be more accurate metrics for determining a hitter's abilities than OPS.

On-base plus slugging

On-base Plus Slugging, or OPS, is a widely used statistic in baseball that combines a player's ability to reach base with their power-hitting abilities. It is calculated by adding a player's On-base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG). The OBP is the number of times a player reaches base (via hits, walks, or hit by pitch) divided by their number of plate appearances, while SLG is the total number of bases a player has gained divided by their number of at-bats.

OPS is often used as a quick and easy way to evaluate a player's overall performance at the plate. A good OPS in baseball at the major league level is .800 or higher, which indicates the player is having an above-average season. However, it is important to note that OPS is not a perfect statistic and does not take into account a player's defensive abilities or base-running skills.

Other statistics such as Weighted On-base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) are considered to be more accurate metrics than OPS. These statistics take into account the relative value of each type of base hit and walk, rather than treating all hits and walks as equal. However, OPS is still widely used and accepted by analysts and fans alike as a good measure of a player's offensive performance.

Baseball player with a good OPS hitting a ball.

What is OPS?

OPS, or On-base Plus Slugging, is a baseball statistic that combines a player's on-base percentage and slugging percentage, in order to determine their overall performance at the plate. This metric aims to evaluate how well a player can reach base safely and hit for power.

OPS is curtail in understanding a player's offensive abilities, as it provides an insight into their capability to generate runs. It was originally referred to as “production”.

What is OBP or On-Base Percentage?

On-Base Percentage, or OBP, is a popular baseball statistic that shows how often a player gets to a base safely. It is found by dividing the number of times a player gets on base safely (via hits, walks, or being hit by a pitch) by the number of times they came to bat. OBP shows how well a player can get on base, not necessarily how many hits they get.

OBP is a highly valuable stat in baseball because it shows a lot about how good a player is at hitting. Most of the time, players with a high OBP are more valuable to their teams because they can get on base more often and start scoring runs. OBP is also a key part of the On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) metric, which combines OBP and Slugging Percentage to give a more complete picture of a player's offensive performance.

It's good to know that OBP is not the same as batting average. Batting average only counts hits, but on-base percentage also counts walks and being hit by a pitch. This means that a player with a high OBP could have a lower batting average but still be a valuable offensive player. Because of this, OBP is often considered a better measure of a player's offensive performance than batting average.

What is SLG or Slugging in Baseball?

Slugging in baseball is an important statistic that measures a player's ability to hit for power. The Slugging Percentage (SLG) is calculated by dividing the total number of bases a player has earned from hits, including home runs, doubles, triples and singles, by the total number of at-bats. It is a much better measure of a hitter’s power than batting average because it takes into account extra base hits. A high SLG indicates that the batter is able to hit for more power than other players and can be used to compare hitters across different eras.

Baseball player swinging looking to improve his OPS stats.

Why is OPS a Good Stat?

The on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) is a useful number since it not only gauges a batter's power but also their ability to get on base safely. A high OPS is often indicative of the fact that a player is not just collecting singles, but is also producing a greater number of extra-base hits and, as a result, more runs for their club.

What is a good OPS in baseball?

An great OPS of or more is regarded as being a significant predictor of a player's offensive prowess. Runs scored, RBIs, and home runs are often led by players with an OPS above .800 in their respective leagues. Additionally, they have a higher chance of being chosen for All-Star teams and winning prizes for their offensive play. The top players in the league are often those with an OPS above.800, and they also tend to command the biggest salaries.

Conversely, athletes with an OPS below .700 are often seen as having below average offensive effectiveness. These athletes could have trouble reaching base and may not have strong swings. It's important to remember that certain players, even those with lower OPSs, are vital to their teams because they are strong baserunners or defensive guys. As a result, even while an OPS of.800 or greater is regarded as good, it is not the sole measure of a player's total contribution to their club.

What is the average OPS in the MLB?

The average OPS of an MLB player varies from year to year, but generally it falls around .750. This means that the average player is able to get on base at a rate of around .300 and hit for power with a slugging percentage of around .450. However, it's worth noting that this number fluctuates depending on the era, the offensive environment and the league's performance as a whole. Also, it's important to consider that within a specific league there's a wide range of performance, some players have a much higher OPS than the average and others have lower.

In Baseball, How is OPS Calculated?

OPS is calculated by adding a player's on-base percentage (OBP) and their slugging percentage (SLG). To calculate a player's OBP, the formula is: (Hits + Walks + Hit-by-Pitch) / (At-bats + Walks + Hit-by-Pitch + Sacrifice Flies). This measures how often a player reaches base safely, through hits, walks, or hit-by-pitches. To calculate a player's SLG, the formula is: Total Bases / At-bats. This measures the player's power, by calculating the total bases per at-bat. Once a player's OBP and SLG are calculated, they are added together to give the player's OPS.

Example OPS Formula

For example, if a player has a .350 OBP (reaches base safely in 35% of their plate appearances) and a .450 SLG (gets .45 total bases per at-bat), their OPS would be calculated as follows: .350 + .450 = .800. This is considered to be an excellent OPS, as it is above the league average of around .750.

Solid OPS Hitter Swinging a Metal Baseball Bat

Criticisms of OPS

Baseball's OPS statistic is often criticized for failing to account for a player's defensive skills. OPS is a useful indicator of a player's offensive performance, but it offers no information about how effectively a player plays defense. The implication of this is that a player with a high OPS may not be as important to their club as a guy with a lower OPS who is a superb defender.

OPS has also been criticized for ignoring the environment in which a player's performance occurred. For instance, a player with a high OPS who plays in a league or stadium that favors hitters would find it simpler to put up offensive statistics than a guy with a comparable OPS who plays in a pitcher-friendly setting. 

It's also crucial to note that the method does not weight OBP and SLG equally since the SLG term is multiplied by 1.8 in order to give greater weight to the power figures, contrary to some people's claims that it does. This implies that although while the player with the higher average and strong OBP will likely be more useful overall, the player with the lower average and good OBP will have a lower OPS than the guy with the higher average and greater power.

Are there better stats than OPS?

Some baseball statisticians contend that more accurate indicators of a player's total offensive worth may be found in other advanced statistics like wRC+ or wOBA, which attempt to account for a player's performance in its context and also compensate for various ballparks.

What about OPS+ (OPS Plus) vs OPS?

OPS+ is a baseball statistic that takes into account a player's league and park when figuring out his OPS. It is similar to ERA+, which is a better-known stat for pitchers. It shows a player's OPS as a percentage compared to the average of the league, where 100 is the average and numbers higher than 100 are better. It is worked out by comparing a player's OPS to the average of the league and then taking into account the ballpark where the player played. For example, if a player's OPS is.800 and the average for the league is.750, the player's OPS+ is 106. This means that the player's OPS is 6% above the average for the league. This change makes it possible to compare a player's offensive performance in different times and ballparks more accurately. It lets you compare players from different times and ballparks in a fair way and see how much better or worse they were than the average player in the league.

OPS vs. Batting Average: Which is better?

On-base plus slugging (OPS) and batting average are both ways to measure the offensive performance of a baseball player, but they measure different things. By dividing the number of hits by the number of at-bats, batting average is a simple way to figure out how often a player gets a hit. Fans and the media like to talk about this number, but it has some problems. It doesn't take into account other ways a player can get on base, like walks or being hit by a pitch, and it also doesn't show how strong a player is.

On the other hand, OPS is a more complete statistic that takes into account a player's ability to get on base (through hits, walks, or being hit by a pitch) and hit for power. It is found by adding a player's on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) (SLG). OBP tells you how often a player gets on base, and SLG tells you how strong a player is by figuring out how many bases he or she gets per at-bat. Because of this, OPS is seen as a better measure of a player's offensive value than just batting average. Also, it's important to note that other advanced statistics, like wRC+ or wOBA, are also thought to be better indicators of a player's overall offensive value because they account for different ballparks and different time periods.

On-Base Plus Slugging FAQs

Are Sacrifice Flies Counted as part of OPS?

Yes, sacrifice flies do count towards a player's plate appearances for calculating their on-base percentage.

Do walks count for OPS?

Yes, because a players on-base percentage or OBP is part of the calculation for OPS Stats, then walks are counted in OPS.

Who has Highest Career OPS in Baseball History?

As of today, the career OPS record holder is Babe Ruth with a career OPS of 1.164.

Who has Highest Single Season OPS?

Josh Gibson, at only the age of 25, has the highest single-season OPS with an astounding 1.4744 OPS in 1937. 

What was Barry Bonds OPS in 2004?

In 2004, Barry Bonds recorded a 1.422 OPS. It is regarded by many as the true single season record as the era and statistics were different in 1937 vs 2004.

OPS Overall is A Valuable Statistic for Determining a Players Hitting Abilities

In conclusion, OPS is a valuable statistic for evaluating a baseball player's offensive performance. It is calculated by adding a player's on-base percentage and their slugging percentage, which provides a comprehensive measure of a player's ability to get on base and hit for power. It is considered to be a more accurate indicator of a player's overall offensive value than batting average alone, as it takes into account other ways a player can reach base and doesn't give any indication of a player's power. Additionally, advanced statistics like OPS+ and wRC+ adjust for different ballparks and different eras, and they allow a fairer comparison of a player's offensive performance across different eras and ballparks. Overall, while OPS is not the only statistic to consider when evaluating a player's overall value, it is an important one that provides valuable insight into a player's offensive performance.

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