Lots of old school baseball fans look at batting average as evidence of a player’s worth. While not entirely wrong, batting average does not give a complete picture of a player’s value, much like temperature does not give a true indicator of comfort without humidity! Batting average is a simple formula based upon the percentage of times a player gets a hit as compared to at-bats. Who would you rather have on your team – Player A with a .347 batting average or Player B with a .329 batting average?
Before you answer, maybe you should look at their OB% as well. Player A has a .417 OB% – pretty good. Player B has a .448 OB% – better! But, let’s look at OPS. Player A has a .968 OPS, which is incredible, but Player B has an insane 1.139 OPS! Player A is a player everyone would like to have: Jose Altuve, but Player B is Here’s Comes the Judge!
Batting average is important and so is OB%, but if you really want to know a player’s true worth, look at OPS. OPS is OB% + SLG%. Dee Gordon has a .295 BA but his OPS is .701. Jonathan Schoop also has a .295 BA, but his OPS is .883. Batting average in that case tells you nothing! Kike Hernandez is only hitting .215 but is OPS’ing .760. Dee Gordon straight up for Kike – No way… and then we also got Austin Barnes… but I digress.
On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player’s on-base percentage and slugging average. The ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two important offensive skills, are represented. An OPS of .900 or higher in Major League Baseball puts the player in the upper echelon of hitters. Typically, the league leader in OPS will score near, and sometimes above, the 1.000 mark.
Bill James uses seven different categories for classifying a players’ OPS:
|A||Great||.9000 and Higher|
|B||Very Good||.8333 to .8999|
|C||Above Average||.7667 to .8333|
|D||Average||.7000 to .7666|
|E||Below Average||.6334 to .6999|
|F||Poor||.5667 to .6333|
|G||Very Poor||.5666 and Lower|
The Dodgers have 14 players with an OPS over .700. Well, Kenley Jansen should not count, so it’s actually 13. They have 3 GREAT Players:
- Turner – 1.056
- Bellinger – .961
- Barnes – .935
Corey Seager barely missed at .897 and with Chris Taylor at .844 the Dodgers have 2 VERY GOOD players. Joc Pederson at .826 is an ABOVE AVERAGE PLAYER along with Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig. Toles, Utley, Hernandez and Forsythe all qualify as AVERAGE players because they are all over .700 OPS. Odds are, Joc, Yasmani and Yasiel have a shot at hitting over .8333 OPS as well before the season is done. Corey Seager could be over .900 which would mean if Turner and Bellinger, the Dodgers have 3 Great Hitters. It’s going to be a fun thing to watch.
While OPS does not tell the whole story, if I only had one stat to rely on, it woulds be OPS!
Off the Tracks
So, if you know me, you should know that I am not afraid to think outside the box. So (don’t kill me yet), I was listening to MLB Radio and they were talking about how the new Marlins owners don’t want to do a fire sale – they want the current ownership to do a fire sale. So, of course, I got to thinking about making a bold move. Here it is:
Dodgers trade Yasiel Puig, Yadier Alvarez, Willie Calhoun and Yusniel Diaz and Yasiel Sierra (plenty of Cubans) to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. That solves their salary issues. The Dodgers could ship A-Gon in the deal to offset some salary, but I don’t think they would do that to Adrian… would they?
- Taylor 2B
- Seager SS
- Turner 3B
- Bellinger 1B
- Stanton RF
- Ozuna LF
- Grandal C
- Pederson CF
That’s a monster lineup, but it likely will never happen.