Friday, January 13, 2006

OPS On Top

Our friends at the Hardball Times have an interesting article discussing the merits of OPS. OPS, if you're not aware, stands for on-base + slugging percentages. It's a rough shorthand of the offensive contributions of a baseball player.

Personally, I prefer to look at the component stats, which is why you always seem me write things out as .300/ .430/ .550 (Batting Average/ On-Base %/ Slugging Ave).

Some contend (and statistical analysis backs it up) that on-base percentage is more important than slugging. So if two players have equal OPS, the player with the higher on-base percentage typically does more offensively to help his team win.

It's certainly not a perfect measure, but OBP and SLG are readily available, and adding them in your head is a helluva lot easier than worrying about coefficients, a run matrix, or any of the other methods statheads use.

Dan Fox' article gets a little chart and math heavey about 2/3 through, but if you plod through it, he explains why OPS works so well, despite being a blunt tool.