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Exploring the Significance of OPS in Evaluating a Batter’s Performance

Understanding OPS in Baseball: On-Base Plus Slugging

Baseball is a sport that revolves around statistics. From batting average to on-base percentage, the numbers that players generate have long been used to assess their abilities.

One relatively new statistic that has recently gained a considerable amount of attention is OPS, or on-base plus slugging. This statistic has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks in part to its ability to provide valuable insights into a hitter’s run production ability.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at this metric, exploring its definition, importance, and significance in the game of baseball.

Defining OPS

OPS is a formula that combines a hitter’s on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) to produce an overall measure of productivity at the plate. To calculate OPS, you simply add a player’s OBP and SLG together.

This gives you a number that represents the sum of his ability to reach base and hit for power. The formula for OPS is as follows:


In other words, OPS is a way of measuring a player’s ability to get on base and hit with power.

It combines two key aspects of a hitter’s game – getting on base and hitting for extra bases – into a single metric.

Importance of OPS in Baseball

OPS is an important statistic in baseball because it provides insight into a hitter’s overall ability to produce runs. The ability to produce runs is one of the most important facets of hitting, and a player’s OPS can help provide a well-rounded view of his ability to do so.

One of the primary components of OPS is on-base percentage. OBP is a measure of how often a player reaches base safely, either via a hit, walk, or hit by pitch.

Having a high on-base percentage is important because it means that a player is getting on base and giving his team more opportunities to score runs. In essence, OBP is a measure of how often a hitter avoids making outs.

The other key component of OPS is slugging percentage. SLG is a measure of a player’s power at the plate.

It takes into account the total number of bases a player has accumulated, as well as the number of times he has come to bat. Having a high slugging percentage is important because it means that a player is hitting the ball hard and hitting for extra bases.

When you combine these two metrics – OBP and SLG – you get a measure of a player’s overall productivity at the plate. A high OPS score indicates that a player is both getting on base and hitting the ball with power – two essential components of any productive hitter.

Significance of OPS Score

OPS scores can provide a lot of insight into a player’s overall ability to produce runs. In general, an OPS of .800 or above is considered to be very good, while an OPS of .900 or above is considered to be excellent.

Players with OPS scores in this range are generally considered to be above-average hitters, with a strong ability to produce runs. One of the key benefits of OPS score is that it provides a simple, easy-to-understand measure of a player’s overall productivity at the plate.

Rather than having to consider multiple different measures – such as batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage – you can get a quick snapshot of a player’s abilities simply by looking at his OPS score. Another benefit of OPS is that it can help to identify hidden gems – hitters who may not rank highly in other statistics, but who are able to produce runs consistently.

Because OPS takes both on-base percentage and slugging percentage into account, it’s possible for a player to have a high OPS score even if he doesn’t excel in other areas.


OPS is becoming an increasingly important metric in the game of baseball. By combining a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage, it provides a metric that is both simple to understand and provides valuable insights into a hitter’s productivity at the plate.

Whether you’re a fan of statistics or new to the game, understanding OPS and its significance can help you gain a better appreciation of the game of baseball. Good OPS in Baseball: What You Need to Know

OPS has become one of the most popular stats in baseball over the past decade, and for good reason.

This powerful metric provides valuable insights into a player’s offensive abilities, making it an important tool for evaluating hitters at all levels. In this article, well delve deeper into this metric, exploring what constitutes a good OPS in baseball, how it varies from season to season, and how to calculate it.

Defining a Good OPS in Baseball

At the major league level, a good OPS can be considered in many different contexts, depending on the circumstances. As a general rule, an OPS over .800 is considered solid, while an OPS over .900 is considered excellent.

Hitters who produce OPS numbers in this range are likely to be above-average in terms of run production, and they are likely to contribute to their team’s success. However, what is considered an excellent OPS may vary depending on the season and the circumstances.

For instance, an OPS of .800 might be good enough to earn a player an everyday starting role on a certain team, while that same OPS might only be considered mediocre on another team. Similarly, an All-Star season could require an OPS of .900 or better, while an MVP season could require an OPS of 1.000 or better.

Changes in Average OPS

Just as what is considered a good OPS fluctuates depending on circumstances, the average OPS in baseball changes from season to season. In general, OPS scores tend to be higher in today’s game than they were in the past, a reflection of the increased emphasis on slugging percentage throughout the sport.

For example, in 2019, the league-wide OPS was .758. This marked a decrease from the prior two seasons, which had league-wide OPS numbers of .774 and .758, respectively.

While this is only a small sample, it does suggest that we are seeing a tightening of the game in terms of offensive productivity. The bottom line: what constitutes a good OPS is relative and changes based on the era and the level of competition in question.

However, its safe to say that an OPS of around .800 or higher is a good place to start when evaluating a hitter’s production.

Calculating OPS in Baseball

You can calculate OPS in baseball using a simple formula that takes two core statistics into account: on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). You add these two percentages together to get a hitter’s OPS score.

To calculate OBP, divide a player’s total number of hits and walks by his total number of at-bats, walks, and hit-by-pitches. To calculate SLG, divide a players total number of bases by his total number of at-bats.

The formula looks like this:


For example, say a player has reached base 200 times and has had 500 at-bats. Additionally, they have recorded 150 singles, 30 doubles, and 20 home runs, giving them a total of 260 bases.

You can calculate their OBP as follows:

OBP = (hits + walks + hit-by-pitches) / (at-bats + walks + hit-by-pitches)

OBP = (150 + 0 + 0) / (500 + 0 + 0)

OBP = .300

Next, calculate the player’s SLG:

SLG = total number of bases / at-bats

SLG = 260 / 500

SLG = .520

Finally, add OBP and SLG together to arrive at the OPS:


OPS = .300 + .520

OPS = .820

In this example, the player has an OPS of .820, which would be considered very good by most standards.


OPS is a powerful tool for evaluating a player’s offensive output in baseball. By combining two key measures of productivity – on-base percentage and slugging percentage – this metric gives us a more complete picture of a hitter’s skills at the plate.

Understanding what constitutes a good OPS is important for evaluating individual players, and recognizing trends in the league-wide average can give us insight into the direction of baseball as a whole. By gaining a deeper understanding of this valuable statistic, fans of all levels can gain a greater appreciation of the game.

Not All Sunshine: Criticisms of OPS in Baseball

While OPS has become one of the most useful statistics in baseball, it is not without its criticisms. Some argue that OPS places too much value on extra-base hits, while undervaluing on-base percentage.

Further, others suggest that OPS does not take into account situational hitting and fails to account for base-running ability. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the criticisms of OPS, explore alternative metrics that might provide a better picture of a player’s productivity, and introduce OPS+ as a tool for evaluating a player’s adjusted OPS score.

Criticisms of OPS as a Metric

One of the criticisms of OPS is that it places too much emphasis on extra-base hits, especially in relation to walks. Proponents of this argument claim that OPS tends to overrate sluggers who hit a lot of doubles and home runs at the expense of players who walk frequently and get on base consistently.

Another criticism of OPS is that it undervalues on-base percentage. While OPS does include OBP, its lack of focus on OBP relative to SLG diminishes the importance of making contact and getting on base in other ways.

Finally, there is a denominator mismatch issue with OPS. The formula for OPS has OBP and SLG added together, but this is not proper for calculating OPS.

This mismatch happens because the denominator for OBP includes at-bats, walks, and hit by pitches, while the denominator for SLG only includes at-bats. OBP is divided by a total of plate appearances, which SLG does not include.

Better Stats than OPS

While OPS is a useful statistic for evaluating offensive productivity, there are some alternatives that might provide a more nuanced picture of a player’s skills at the plate. Two of the most notable of these metrics are Weighted On-base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).

wOBA is a statistic that assigns specific weights to each different type of offensive event, taking into account their specific value in terms of run production. By taking into account the relative value of different offensive outcomes, wOBA provides a more accurate measure of a player’s productivity than OPS.

Similarly, wRC+ adjusts a player’s OPS score based on park factors and league averages. This means that wRC+ can provide a better picture of a player’s productivity, especially when comparing players who play in different ballparks or in different eras.

OPS+ in Baseball

OPS+ is a statistic that adjusts the traditional OPS score by comparing it to league averages. Specifically, OPS+ is a player’s OPS score adjusted for park and league factors, with 100 being the league average.

A score of 110 would indicate that a player was 10 percent better than league average, while a score of 90 would indicate that he was 10 percent worse. OPS+ is a more nuanced statistic than traditional OPS because it takes into account contextual factors that can impact a player’s productivity at the plate.

By adjusting for park factors, OPS+ provides a more accurate picture of how productive a player is, especially when comparing players across different ballparks. Interpreting OPS+

OPS+ is calculated using a player’s unadjusted OPS score and adjusting it based on the league’s park effects, which impacts batting statistics such as extra-base hits.

Thus, an OPS+ score of 100 is considered average, while a score above that indicates that a player is above average at the plate, and a score below that means a player is below the league average. The highest OPS+ score of all time belongs to Babe Ruth, who posted a mark of 238 during his 1920 season with the New York Yankees.


OPS is a valuable metric in baseball, providing insights into a player’s productivity at the plate. While there are criticisms of OPS to consider, the introduction of OPS+ and other advanced metrics has helped to provide a more nuanced picture of a player’s offensive abilities.

Ultimately, by using a combination of traditional and advanced metrics, fans and analysts alike can gain a deeper appreciation for the game of baseball and the players who play it. OPS vs.

Batting Average in Baseball

When it comes to evaluating a player’s productivity at the plate, OPS and batting average are two of the most commonly used statistics in baseball. While batting average simply measures the percentage of at-bats in which a player hits the ball, OPS combines on-base percentage and slugging percentage to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a hitter’s abilities.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between OPS and batting average, and discuss why OPS is considered to be a more important metric for evaluating hitters.

Comparison of OPS and Batting Average

Batting average is a relatively simple statistic that measures a player’s success at the plate by calculating the percentage of at-bats in which a player records a hit. While batting average has been a staple in baseball stats for decades, it has its limitations in evaluating a player’s hitting abilities.

OPS, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive statistic that takes into account both a player’s ability to get on base (OBP) and the number of bases he accumulates per at-bat (SLG). Because OPS rewards hitters for walks and extra-base hits, it provides a more nuanced view of a player’s productivity at the plate.

For example, a player who averages a .300 batting average but doesn’t draw many walks or hit for power is unlikely to score as many runs as a player who hits .250 but has a high on-base percentage and hits for a lot of extra bases. By combining these two measures into a single metric, OPS provides a more holistic view of a player’s offensive productivity.

Additionally, OPS accounts for situations where a player contributes to run production through sacrifice flies or sacrifices bunts. In these situations, the batter has done something productive that has advanced the team in scoring a run, which would not count in a batting average calculation.

Importance of OPS in Evaluating Hitters

OPS is an essential statistic for evaluating a player’s ability to produce runs. At the end of the day, run production is the most essential component of baseball, and hitters who have high OPS scores are better equipped to score runs and, in turn, help their teams succeed.

While batting average can be a useful statistic, it doesn’t provide a comprehensive picture of a player’s abilities. A player with a high batting average but low on-base percentage and slugging percentage is less likely to be productive at the plate than a player with a lower batting average but a higher OPS score.

In essence, OPS is a more valuable statistic than batting average because it takes into account how effectively a player can reach base and how well he hits the ball when he does make contact.

FAQ on OPS in Baseball

Q: What is a sacrifice fly and how does it affect OPS? A: A sacrifice fly occurs when a batter hits a fly ball that is caught by a fielder, but a runner advances and/or scores as a result.

Sacrifice flies count as an at-bat but do not count as a hit. They do, however, count towards a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage, so they are factored into the OPS calculation.

Q: Who has the highest career OPS in baseball history? A: Babe Ruth holds the record for the highest career OPS in baseball history, with a mark of 1.164.

He is followed by Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, and Jimmie Foxx. Q: What are some frequently asked questions about OPS?

A: Some frequently asked questions about OPS include:

– What is a good OPS score in baseball? – How is OPS+ calculated?

– How does OPS compare to other advanced metrics in baseball? – Who are some of the all-time leaders in OPS?

– Why is OPS important for evaluating hitters in baseball

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