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Friday, April 15, 2005


Due to the fact that I hate OPS, I've been looking for something better to use as a measuring stick. For the uninitiated, OPS = OBP + SLG. OBP = (H + BB) / (AB + BB) & SLG = (H + 2B + 2*3B + 3*HR) / AB.

That gives you:

[(H + BB) / (AB + BB)] + [(H + 2B + 2*3B + 3*HR) / AB] = OPS.

You can't add fractions with different denominators. That's basic. Just to add them you have to multiply each numerator by the other's denominator. That gives you a formula like this

[ ( H*AB + BB*AB ) / ( AB*AB + BB*AB ) ] + ( [ H*(AB + BB) + 2B*(AB + BB) + 2*3B*(AB + BB) + 3*HR*(AB + BB) ] / [ AB*(AB + BB) ] )

If that makes sense to you, you're most likely an idiot. Why would we use that? What would possess people to multiply by AB and BB that many times? It's a stupid formula. Very stupid. My initial thought was to try to fix it. I doubt that's worthwhile. It's far too ugly.

Instead, I started looking around. I've always liked Bill James' Secondary Average (TB - H + BB + SB - CS) / AB. A couple things about that bother me a lot. I'm aware that it's meant as a compliment to the incredibly flawed batting average, but I'm looking for an OPS replacement rather than a BA fix. My initial thought is to go with (TB + BB + SB - CS) / PA. Having decided that dividing by PA unfairly punishes batters for taking walks, I went back to AB. This gives us a new stat, a bastardized Secondary Average, or BSA if you will. BSA could also be considered Batting Average + Secondary Average. This is possible because both denominators are the same (AB).

I'll still post OPS, but any future graphs tracking performance will use BSA. If I've missed something obvious, I'd appreciate it if someone could point it out to me.

Minor Update: Over the last two seasons, the aggregate SecA has been roughly equal to the aggregate BA. 2004, SecA = .268 & BA = .263. 2005, SecA = .262 & BA = .262. I'll probably do a few more seasons, but unless they're substantially different I won't bother to update. It's my understanding that there is a much larger variance in SecA, so I'll have a look at that and unless that turns out false (which I doubt), I won't bother to post on it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice blog. I really like your formulation for the BSA. I have argued to my friends over the years for something very similar.

I would add Hit by Pitch to the numerator, and use Plate Appearances in the denominator.

Cheers -- Randy in CV

10:42 PM, April 15, 2005  
Blogger Richard B. Wade said...

You're probably right about HBP. Perhaps a denominator of (AB + BB +HBP)... The first thing that leaps out at me is that HBP stats will be more difficult to find when doing the lists. It's not a particularly good reason for ignoring the stat, but I might anyway for the sake of time (we'll see). I suppose it makes sense to add BB to the denominator because otherwise they're on the same footing as a double and that makes zero sense. Thanks for the insight.

11:56 PM, April 15, 2005  
Blogger Peter said...

You've posted on my site several times, and you always seemed well versed. But I just found your site a few days ago. Good stuff.

10:32 PM, May 06, 2005  

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