Baseball statistics play an important role in evaluating the progress of a player or team.
Since the flow of a baseball game has natural breaks to it, and normally players act individually rather than performing in clusters, the sport lends itself to easy recordkeeping and statistics. Statistics have been kept for professional baseball since the creation of the National League and American League, now part of Major League Baseball.
Many statistics are also available from outside Major League Baseball, from leagues such as the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players and the Negro Leagues, although the consistency of whether these records were kept, of the standards with respect to which they were calculated, and of their accuracy has varied.
Development of statistics
The practice of keeping records of player achievements was started in the 19th century by Henry Chadwick.^{[1]} Based on his experience with the sport of cricket, Chadwick devised the predecessors to modernday statistics including batting average, runs scored, and runs allowed.
Traditionally, statistics such as batting average (the number of hits divided by the number of at bats) and earned run average (the average number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher per nine innings) have dominated attention in the statistical world of baseball. However, the recent advent of sabermetrics has created statistics drawing from a greater breadth of player performance measures and playing field variables. Sabermetrics and comparative statistics attempt to provide an improved measure of a player's performance and contributions to his team from year to year, frequently against a statistical performance average.
Comprehensive, historical baseball statistics were difficult for the average fan to access until 1951, when researcher Hy Turkin published The Complete Encyclopedia of Baseball. In 1969, Macmillan Publishing printed its first Baseball Encyclopedia, using a computer to compile statistics for the first time. Known as "Big Mac", the encyclopedia became the standard baseball reference until 1988, when Total Baseball was released by Warner Books using more sophisticated technology. The publication of Total Baseball led to the discovery of several "phantom ballplayers", such as Lou Proctor, who did not belong in official record books and were removed.^{[2]}
Use of statistics
Throughout modern baseball, a few core statistics have been traditionally referenced  batting average, RBI, and home runs. To this day, a player who leads the league in all of these three statistics earns the "Triple Crown". For pitchers, wins, ERA, and strikeouts are the most oftencited statistics, and a pitcher leading his league in these statistics may also be referred to as a "Triple Crown" winner. General managers and baseball scouts have long used the major statistics, among other factors and opinions, to understand player value. Managers, catchers and pitchers use the statistics of batters of opposing teams to develop pitching strategies and set defensive positioning on the field. Managers and batters study opposing pitcher performance and motions in attempting to improve hitting. Scouts will use stats when they are looking at a player who they may end up drafting or signing to a contract.
Some sabermetric statistics have entered the mainstream baseball world that measure a batter's overall performance including onbase plus slugging, commonly referred to as OPS. OPS adds the hitter's onbase percentage (number of times reached base by any means divided by total plate appearances) to his slugging percentage (total bases divided by atbats). Some argue that the OPS formula is flawed and that more weight should be shifted towards OBP (onbase percentage).^{[2]} The statistic wOBA (weighted onbase average) attempts to correct for this.
OPS is also useful when determining a pitcher's level of success. "Opponent Onbase Plus Slugging" (OOPS) is becoming a popular tool to evaluate a pitcher's actual performance. When analyzing a pitcher's statistics, some useful categories to consider include K/9IP (strikeouts per nine innings), K/BB (strikeouts per walk), HR/9 (Home runs per nine innings), WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched), and OOPS (opponent onbase plus slugging).
However, since 2001, more emphasis has been placed on DefenseIndependent Pitching Statistics, including DefenseIndependent ERA (dERA), in an attempt to evaluate a pitcher's performance regardless of the strength of the defensive players behind him.
All of the above statistics may be used in certain game situations. For example, a certain hitter's ability to hit lefthanded pitchers might incline a manager to increase his opportunities to face lefthanded pitchers. Other hitters may have a history of success against a given pitcher (or vice versa), and the manager may use this information to create a favorable
matchup. Broadcast commentators often refer to this as "playing the percentages".
Commonly used statistics
Most of these terms also apply to softball. Commonly used statistics with their abbreviations are explained here. The explanations below are for quick reference and do not fully or completely define the statistic; for the strict definition, see the linked article for each statistic.
Batting statistics
 1B  Single: hits on which the batter reaches first base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
 2B  Double: hits on which the batter reaches second base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
 3B  Triple: hits on which the batter reaches third base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
 AB  At bat: Plate appearances, not including bases on balls, being hit by pitch, sacrifices, interference, or obstruction.
 AB/HR  At bats per home run: at bats divided by home runs.
 BA  Batting average (also abbreviated AVG): hits divided by at bats (H/AB)
 BB  Base on balls (also called a "walk"): hitter not swinging at four pitches called out of the strike zone and awarded first base.
 BABIP  Batting average on balls in play: frequency at which a batter reaches a base after putting the ball in the field of play. Also a pitching category.
 BB/K  Walktostrikeout ratio: number of bases on balls divided by number of strikeouts
 BsR  Base runs: Another run estimator, like Runs Created; a favorite of writer Tom Tango
 EQA  Equivalent average: a player's batting average absent park and league factors
 FC  Fielder's choice: times reaching base safely because a fielder chose to try for an out on another runner
 GO/AO  Ground ball fly ball ratio: number of ground ball outs divided by number of fly ball outs
 GDP or GIDP  Ground into double play: number of ground balls hit that became double plays
 GPA  Gross Production Average: 1.8 times onbase percentage plus slugging percentage, divided by four
 GS  Grand Slam: a home run with the bases loaded, resulting in four runs scoring, and four RBI credited to the batter.
 H  Hits: times reached base because of a batted, fair ball without error by the defense
 HBP  Hit by pitch: times touched by a pitch and awarded first base as a result
 HR  Home runs: hits on which the batter successfully touched all four bases, without the contribution of a fielding error.
 HR/H  Home runs per hit: home runs divided by total hits.
 ITPHR  Insidethepark home run: hits on which the batter successfully touched all four bases, without the contribution of a fielding error or the ball going outside the ball park.
 IBB  Intentional base on balls: times awarded first base on balls (see BB above) deliberately thrown by the pitcher. Also known as IW (intentional walk).
 ISO  Isolated power: a hitter's ability to hit for extra bases, calculated by subtracting batting average from slugging percentage
 K  Strike out (also abbreviated SO): number of times that a third strike is taken or swung at and missed, or bunted foul. Catcher must catch the third strike or batter may attempt to run to first base.
 LOB  Left on base: number of runners neither out nor scored at the end of an inning.
 OBP  Onbase percentage: times reached base (H + BB + HBP) divided by at bats plus walks plus hit by pitch plus sacrifice flies (AB + BB + HBP + SF).
 OPS  Onbase plus slugging: onbase percentage plus slugging average
 PA  Plate appearance: number of completed batting appearances
 PA/SO  Plate appearances per strikeout: number of times a batter strikes out to their plate appearance
 R  Runs scored: number of times a player crosses home plate
 RC  Runs created: statistic that attempts to measure how many runs a player has contributed to his team
 RP  Runs produced: statistic that attempts to measure how many runs a player has contributed
 RBI  Run batted in: number of runners who score due to a batters' action, except when batter grounded into double play or reached on an error
 RISP  Runner in scoring position: a breakdown of the batter's batting average with runners in scoring position, which include runners at second and third bases.
 SF  Sacrifice fly: Fly balls hit to the outfield which although caught for an out, allow a baserunner to advance
 SH  Sacrifice hit: number of sacrifice bunts which allow runners to advance on the basepaths
 SLG  Slugging average: total bases achieved on hits divided by atbats (TB/AB)
 TA  Total average: total bases, plus walks, plus hit by pitch, plus steals, minus caught stealing divided by at bats, minus hits, plus caught stealing, plus grounded into double plays [(TB + BB + HBP + SB  CS)/(AB  H + CS + GIDP)]
 TB  Total bases: one for each single, two for each double, three for each triple, and four for each home run [H + 2B + (2 × 3B) + (3 × HR)] or [1B + (2 × 2B) + (3 × 3B) + (4 × HR)]
 TOB  Times on base: times reaching base as a result of hits, walks, and hitbypitches (H + BB + HBP)
 XBH  Extra base hits: total hits greater than singles (2B + 3B + HR)
Baserunning statistics
 SB  Stolen base: number of bases advanced by the runner while the ball is in the possession of the defense
 CS  Caught stealing: times tagged out while attempting to steal a base
 SBA or ATT  Stolen base attempts: total number of times the player has attempted to steal a base (SB+CS)
 SB%  Stolen base percentage: the percentage of bases stolen successfully. (SB) divided by (SBA) (stolen bases attempted).
 DI  Defensive Indifference: if the catcher does not attempt to throw out a runner (usually because the base would be insignificant), the runner is not awarded a steal. Scored as a fielder's choice.
 R  Runs scored: times reached home plate legally and safely
 UBR  Ultimate base running: a metric that assigns linear weights to every individual baserunning event in order to measure the impact of a player's baserunning skill
Pitching statistics
 BB  Base on balls (also called a "walk"): times pitching four balls, allowing the batter to take first base
 BB/9  Bases on balls per 9 innings pitched: base on balls multiplied by nine, divided by innings pitched
 BF  Total batters faced: opponent team's total plate appearances
 BK  Balk: number of times pitcher commits an illegal pitching action while in contact with the pitching rubber as judged by umpire, resulting in baserunners advancing one base
 BS  Blown save: number of times entering the game in a save situation, and being charged the run (earned or not) which eliminates his team's lead
 CERA  Component ERA: an estimate of a pitcher's ERA based upon the individual components of his statistical line (K, H, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, HBP)
 CG  Complete game: number of games where player was the only pitcher for his team
 DICE  DefenseIndependent Component ERA: an estimate of a pitcher's ERA based upon the defenseindependent components of his statistical line (K, HR, BB, HBP) but which also uses number of outs (IP), which is not defense independent.
 ER  Earned run: number of runs that did not occur as a result of errors or passed balls
 ERA  Earned run average: total number of earned runs (see "ER" above), multiplied by 9, divided by innings pitched
 ERA+  Adjusted ERA+: earned run average adjusted for the ballpark and the league average
 FIP  Fielding independent pitching: a metric, scaled to resemble an ERA, that focuses on events within the pitcher's control  home runs, walks, and strikeouts  but also uses in its denominator the number of outs the team gets (see IP), which is not entirely within the pitcher's control.
 xFIP: This variant substitutes a pitcher's own home run percentage with the league average
 G  Games (AKA "appearances"): number of times a pitcher pitches in a season
 GF  Games finished: number of games pitched where player was the final pitcher for his team as a relief pitcher
 GIDP  Double plays induced: number of double play groundouts induced
 GIDPO  Double play opportunities: number of groundout induced double play opportunities
 GIR  Games in relief: games as a non starting pitcher
 GO/AO or G/F  Ground Out to Air Out ratio, aka Ground ball fly ball ratio: ground balls allowed divided by fly balls allowed
 GS  Starts: number of games pitched where player was the first pitcher for his team
 H (or HA)  Hits allowed: total hits allowed
 H/9 (or HA/9)  Hits allowed per 9 innings pitched: hits allowed times nine divided by innings pitched (also known as H/9IP)
 HB  Hit batsman: times hit a batter with pitch, allowing runner to advance to first base
 HLD (or H)  Hold: number of games entered in a save situation, recorded at least one out, did not surrender the lead, and did not complete the game
 HR (or HRA)  Home runs allowed: total home runs allowed
 HR/9 (or HRA/9)  Home runs per nine innings: home runs allowed times nine divided by innings pitched (also known as HR/9IP)
 IBB  Intentional base on balls allowed
 IP  Innings pitched: the number of outs a team gets while a pitcher is pitching divided by 3
 IP/GS  Average number of innings pitched per game started
 IR  Inherited runners: number of runners on base when the pitcher enters the game
 IRA  Inherited runs allowed: number of inherited runners allowed to score
 K (or SO)  Strikeout: number of batters who received strike three
 K/9 (or SO/9)  Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched: strikeouts times nine divided by innings pitched
 K/BB (or SO/BB)  Strikeouttowalk ratio: number of strikeouts divided by number of base on balls
 L  Loss: number of games where pitcher was pitching while the opposing team took the lead, never lost the lead, and went on to win
 LOB%  Leftonbase percentage: LOB% represents the percentage of baserunners a pitcher does not allow to score. LOB% tends to regress toward 7072% over time, so unusually high or low percentages could indicate that pitcher's ERA could be expected to rise or lower in the future. An occasional exception to this logic is a pitcher with a very high strikeout rate.^{[3]}
 OBA (or just AVG)  Opponents batting average: hits allowed divided by atbats faced
 PCST  An individual pitcher's total game pitches [Pitch Count] and [ST] his no. of strikes thrown within that PC.
 PIT (or NP)  Pitches thrown (Pitch count)
 PFR  Power finesse ratio: The sum of strikeouts and walks divided by innings pitched.
 pNERD  Pitcher's NERD: expected aesthetic pleasure of watching an individual pitcher
 QOP  Quality of pitch: comprehensive pitch evaluation statistic which combines speed, location and movement (rise, total break, vertical break and horizontal break) into a single numeric value
 QS  Quality start: a game in which a starting pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs
 RA  Run average: number of runs allowed times nine divided by innings pitched
 SHO  Shutout: number of complete games pitched with no runs allowed
 SIERA  SkillInteractive Earned Run Average: another advanced stat that measures pitching. SIERA builds on FIP and xFIP by taking a deeper look at what makes pitchers better.
 SV  Save: number of games where the pitcher enters a game led by the pitcher's team, finishes the game without surrendering the lead, is not the winning pitcher, and either (a) the lead was three runs or fewer when the pitcher entered the game; (b) the potential tying run was on base, at bat, or on deck; or (c) the pitcher pitched three or more innings
 SVO  Save opportunity: When a pitcher 1) enters the game with a lead of three or fewer runs and pitches at least one inning, 2) enters the game with the potential tying run on base, at bat, or on deck, or 3) pitches three or more innings with a lead and is credited with a save by the official scorer
 W  Win: number of games where pitcher was pitching while his team took the lead and went on to win, also the starter needs to pitch at least 5 innings of work (also related: winning percentage)
 W + S  Wins in relief + saves.
 whiff rate: a term, usually used in reference to pitchers, that divides the number of pitches swung at and missed by the total number of swings in a given sample. If a pitcher throws 100 pitches at which batters swing, and the batters fail to make contact on 26 of them, the pitcher's whiff rate is 26%.
 WHIP  Walks and hits per inning pitched: average number of walks and hits allowed by the pitcher per inning
 WP  Wild pitches: charged when a pitch is too high, low, or wide of home plate for the catcher to field, thereby allowing one or more runners to advance or score
Fielding statistics
 A  Assists: number of outs recorded on a play where a fielder touched the ball, except if such touching is the putout
 CI  Catcher's Interference (e.g., catcher makes contact with bat)
 DP  Double plays: one for each double play during which the fielder recorded a putout or an assist.
 E  Errors: number of times a fielder fails to make a play he should have made with common effort, and the offense benefits as a result
 FP  Fielding percentage: total plays (chances minus errors) divided by the number of total chances
 INN  Innings: number of innings that a player is at one certain position
 PB  Passed ball: charged to the catcher when the ball is dropped and one or more runners advance
 PO  Putout: number of times the fielder tags, forces, or appeals a runner and he is called out as a result
 RF  Range factor: 9*(putouts + assists)/innings played. Used to determine the amount of field that the player can cover
 TC  Total chances: assists plus putouts plus errors
 TP  Triple play: one for each triple play during which the fielder recorded a putout or an assist
 UZR  Ultimate zone rating: the ability of a player to defend an assigned "zone" of the field compared to an average defensive player at his position
Overall player value
 VORP  Value over replacement player: a statistic that calculates a player's overall value in comparison to a "replacementlevel" player. There are separate formulas for players and pitchers
 Win shares: a complex metric that gauges a player's overall contribution to his team's wins
 WAR  Wins above replacement: a nonstandard formula to calculate the number of wins a player contributes to his team over a "replacementlevel player"
 PWA  Player Win Average: performance of players is shown by how much they increase or decrease their team's chances of winning a specific game^{[4]}
 PGP  Player Game Percentage: defined as, "the sum of changes in the probability of winning the game for each play in which the player has participated"^{[4]}
General statistics
 G  Games played: number of games where the player played, in whole or in part
 GS  Games started: number of games a player starts
 GB  Games behind: number of games a team is behind the division leader
 Pythagorean expectation: estimates a team's expected winning percentage based on runs scored and runs allowed
MLB statistical standards
It is difficult to determine quantitatively what is considered to be a "good" value in a certain statistical category, and qualitative assessments may lead to arguments. Using fullseason statistics available at the Official Site of Major League Baseball^{[5]} for the 2004 through 2015 seasons, the following tables show top ranges in various statistics, in alphabetical order. For each statistic, two values are given:
 Top5: the top five players bettered this value in all of the reported seasons
 Best: this is the best of all of the players for all of the reported seasons
Batting Statistics
Statistic 
Top5 
Best


BA

.322 
.372


HR

41 
58


RBI

116 
156


SLG

.568 
.812


SB

42 
78


OPS

.974 
1.422



Pitching Statistics
Statistic 
Top5 
Best


CG

4 
11


ERA

2.38 
1.66


G

89 
94


GS

34 
35


IP

227.2 
255


K

245 
301


SHO

2 
6


SV

44 
62


W

19 
24


WHIP

0.98 
0.84



See also
References
Bibliography
External links