Baseball Basics: What Is OPS In Baseball?

As baseball enthusiasts, we often find ourselves immersed in the game’s statistics, each number weaving a story of a player’s prowess on the field. OPS, or On-base Plus Slugging, stands out as a key sabermetric measure that goes beyond the conventional batting averages and home run counts. In this blog, we take an in-depth look into OPS, exploring its calculation, significance, and the invaluable insights it provides into a player’s offensive capabilities.

On-base Plus Slugging (OPS)

OPS, an acronym for On-base Plus Slugging, is a crucial sabermetric statistic in baseball that measures a player’s offensive performance. It combines two essential aspects of a player’s game: getting on base and hitting for power. 

It is calculated by adding a batter’s on-base percentage and their slugging percentage. This gives an overall total of how effective a hitter has been at reaching base and hitting for extra bases.

In baseball, OPS is a valuable tool for measuring productivity since it considers more than just the traditional basic stats like batting average and home runs. It also considers more detailed statistics such as plate appearances, walks, strikeouts, and slash lines. A batter’s career OPS indicates their overall performance is much better than one or two linear weight stats alone.

How to Calculate OPS In Baseball?

A big part of Major League Baseball has always been the stats. When people talk about baseball and its different leagues, they often talk about batting average, runs knocked in (or RBIs), hits, total bases, runs, and other things. 

As baseball has evolved over the past few years, the numbers have become more difficult to understand. Now, sabermetrics numbers like on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), and wins above replacement (WAR) are the norm. 

On-base percentage plus slugging (OPS) is one of the most important numbers for MLB fans to get a sense of how valuable a player is. The number seems hard to figure out and understand at first glance, but it’s actually very easy and simple and can be broken down into steps.

These kinds of numbers help us compare great players like Rogers Hornsby of the Cardinals, Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers, and Ted Williams of the Red Sox.

You can calculate the OPS of a player by adding their on-base and slugging percentage. 

On-base Percentage = (hits + base hits + hits by pitch) ÷ (at-bats + hits by pitch + sacrifice flies)

Slugging percentage = (breaks for on,  run, two runs, three runs, and four home runs) / at-bats. 

What is a Good OPS?

In baseball, an OPS above 800 is generally considered good. To be precise, however, the specific threshold for a “good” OPS can vary from league to league and level of play. Major League Baseball’s average OPS over the last few seasons has hovered around 750. This implies that a player with an OPS above 800 is performing above the league average.

An OPS surpassing 900 would categorize a player as very good, as evidenced by the OPS leaders in MLB outlined below. In 2022, the top 5 players boasted an average OPS of .990. Throughout MLB history, the Average for the top 5 players stands at 1.090.

An OPS+ of 100 represents the league average. Each point above or below this average equates to one percentage point. For instance, if a player had a 90 OPS+ last year, it indicates that their OPS was 10% lower than the league average. OPS+ proves valuable for comparing players across different years and teams, as it accounts for the varying effects of the league and the park.

Who Has The Highest OPS In Baseball?

Shohei Ohtani finished with the highest OPS in MLB in 2023, posting a career-best 1.066 in 135 games played. He is one of three players with a 1.000 OPS or better this season.

Josh Gibson had the highest single-season OPS with a 1.4744 OPS in 1937. Branch Rickey and Allan Roth created the on-base percentage statistic in the 1950s as a way to figure out the number of times a player gets to any base.

Initially, it didn’t have the sacrifice fly denomination, but when it was officially accepted in 1984, it did, using the above formula. Slugging Average was developed later, and the two were combined to create On Base Plus Slugging.

Conclusion for Baseball Basics: What Is OPS In Baseball?

Baseball is one of the most popular sports worldwide. Like most sports, it has its terminology and rules that might be tough to grasp, especially for those unfamiliar with the sport. Among baseball’s most important concepts is OPS, one of the many statistics players and fans use to evaluate players.

On-base plus slugging is a baseball sabermetric statistic determined by adding a player’s on-base and slugging percentages. The ability of a player to get on base and hit for power, both of which are vital offensive talents, is shown. 

When it comes to ‘advanced metrics,’ OPS is a very straightforward statistic because all that is required to calculate it is the basic addition of the on-base percentage and the slugging percentage. 

On the other hand, OPS+ is more difficult to understand because it takes into account both park effects and league considerations. OPS is reported in raw figures, whereas OPS+ is scaled to 100, which is the Average of all players in the league. Both of these are rate statistics. 

Frequently Asked Question

There are some questions which are related to What Is OPS In Baseball are as follows:

What is a good OPS in baseball?

A good on-base plus will range between .750 and .950 in the MLB. Some great hitters have posted even higher odds.

How is OPS in baseball calculated?

On-base plus slugging, or OPS, is a sabermetric baseball number that is found by adding up a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage. It shows how well a player can get on base and hit for power, which are both important attacking skills.

What is the slugging percentage in baseball?

The slugging percentage represents the total number of bases a player records per at-bat. Unlike on-base percentage, slugging percentage deals only with hits and does not include walks and hit-by-pitches in its equation. The slugging percentage differs from the batting average in that all hits are not valued equally.

What is the highest OPS in baseball?

The all-time leader is Babe Ruth, with a career 1.1636 OPS.

What is the max OPS in baseball?

Who has the highest OPS in baseball? The best career OPS in baseball history belongs to none other than Babe Ruth, who boasted an OPS of 1.164 at the time of his retirement, according to Baseball Almanac.

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