Friday, April 16, 2010

Batting Average

Tonight I'm going to rip off the band-aid and learn about batting averages. There has been too much talk about how terrible Ortiz is* and who stinks even more (J.D. Drew) to ignore the stats any longer. If it has to happen before I graduate to bluehat, it might as well be now.

Most batting averages are somewhere around .300 (pinkhats, say three hundred). Batting average is the ratio of hits to at bats, calculated by dividing the number of times a player gets a hit by the number of at bats. So a .300 means that a player gets 3 hits for every 10 times he steps up to the plate.

Um, what? Don't these guys get paid for this?

Ortiz has a .154. J.D. Drew has a .143. They are both said to be below the Mendoza Line, which is a batting average at or below .200. The Mendoza Line was named after Mario Mendoza, who played for the Pirates, Mariners, and Rangers from 1974-1982. I guess he was good at defense and not so great at batting because he had a career average of .215 (and because he has a not so great batting statistical marker named after him).

And then there's the good. Dustin Pedroia is batting a .405, and Jason Varitek is batting a .500. Before tonight's game, Varitek had only been up to bat four times and gotten two homeruns, making for some easy math to practice calculating batting averages. So far tonight Varitek has been up three times, gotten one home run (the score is 1-1 in the 9th), and out twice. 3 divided by 7... his batting average should be .429.

That was relatively painless. Not like ripping off a bandaid at all... they claim doing it fast helps, but I cry every time.

*For the record Dave thinks he's doing great, but he might just be holding off on the Ortiz-bashing so he can say "I told you so" in July again.

1 comment:

  1. Now that you have batting average down, start looking at on base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentate (SLG) and then the stat-head's stat OPS which is OBP + SLG. Special adviser to the Red Sox and math geek Bill James has made this all common usage in baseball circles.

    Good luck with the rest of the season. You are doing a great job.