OBP versus BA: What does it mean?

Of the 633 players who had at bats last year (not counting pitchers):

Five earned $10 or more under OBP rules than Batting Average.

33 earned $5 or more under OBP rules than BA.

On the negative side, 28 lost $5 or more under OBP rules than BA.

Clearly, values are going to shift, especially for the hitters with especially high and low walk rates, but they will also much better reflect a hitter’s very real baseball skills. That is, his ability to take a walk is a reason hitters like Dan Uggla and Josh Willingham received as many at bats last year as they did. By getting on base a fair amount, they continued to have value even when they weren’t hitting very successfully. It is this aspect of the game that makes OBP a more valuable category than BA.

For the complete list in a spreadsheet visit RotomansGuide.com.



2 thoughts on “OBP versus BA: What does it mean?”

  1. In my opinion we don’t currently have any defensive statistics that reliably describe a defensive player’s talents and skills. Too much of defense is dependent on the pitchers and their characteristics, and the numbers that are available to describe what happens with fielders are either too simplistic or too obscure to to the job of differentiating the fielder’s talents from those playing with him. Maybe some day we’ll have something that works.

    WAR, without the defensive component, is a great way to measure offensive and pitching contributions. But it would make for a boring game. The key to roto-type scoring are the categories, and the need to trade off between them to do well. Focusing on categories is what makes the game work, I think. WAR collapses all the categories into one number, the same as roto prices do. Those are useful measures of a player’s value, but aren’t good markers for playing the game.

    OBP, like BA, is one category. Each measures a player’s ability at the bat to get on base. BA measures one component of getting on base, getting a hit, while OBP measures all the components of getting on base, also including bases on balls and hit by pitches. As such OBP is significantly more complex than than BA, does a better job of measuring what BA is intended to measure, but is much simpler than WAR.

  2. Why not include defensive statistics? Or just look at WAR? OBP is a pretty simplistic measure of a player’s value.

Comments are closed.