Originally Posted by Kc61
Please explain how OBP can be important and BA unimportant. It's illogical.
BA reflects hits per official at bats. Hit percentage is a big part of OBP, it directly feeds into OBP. Anyone who disregards BA, but says OBP is very important, IMO is, well, incorrect.
The Reds have a relatively low BA team. They also have a relatively low OBP team. The two are strongly related.
The Reds need to emphasize OBP and BA more, and can afford a modest reduction in power. This doesn't require trashing the whole lineup, but it does mean adding one significant starting player who gets on base and hits well, even if not for power. Or two.
And, IMO, it means a different mix on the bench.
In the regular season, the Reds BA was .251, league average was .254, Reds OBP was .315, league average was .318. Reds hit total was 1377, league average was 1393. Reds had 879 singles, league average was 927. Reds walked 481 times. League average was 488.
IMO these stats need to improve, particularly when you consider Votto's singular role and how poor these numbers are for the rest of the ballclub.
To answer your question: Batting Average does not correlate well with run scoring in real MLB games, OBP does. That is why OBP is important and BA is not important. It is logical.
Batting Average is an antique fossil of a statistic. Famous articles and entire books have been written about why Batting Average is a very poor way to evaluate baseball players.
The easiest way to understand why batting average is so bad is because it does not correlate very strongly with run scoring
. OBP and SLG correlate MUCH better with run scoring. OPS and wOBA are even better.
There are two HUGE holes in Batting Average. First, it counts all hits the same. That is like a cashier thinking all coins have the same value. Obviously, home runs have much more value than singles just like dimes are more valuable than nickels. So why use a stat that ridiculously counts all hits the same? Secondly, Batting Average completely ignores Walks and HBPs even though they have 85% as much value as singles. Batting average totally ignores about 15% of plate appearances. Why? If a fan is still using Batting Average as a component in their player evaluation then most serious students of the game will not respect their opinion at all. Such people are clearly behind the times and still using disproven statistics that were debunked many years ago. A baseball statistician who uses Batting Average is like an Amish computer engineer or a Creationist Bioengineer. Batting Average is an anachronism.
For example, many casual fans believe that Ichiro Suzuki is a great hitter. He has a career .322 Batting Average, which is the 3rd best among all active players.
1. Albert Pujols .3246
2. Joe Mauer .3229
3. Ichiro Suzuki .3223
4. Todd Helton .3199
5. Miguel Cabrera .3182
6. Vlad Guerrero .3176
7. Joey Votto .3163
8. Ryan Braun .3132
9. Derek Jeter .3131
10. Matt Holliday .3126
38. Prince Fielder .2868
61. Jason Giambi .2803
78. Jim Thome .2764
133. Adam Dunn .2404
That list makes Ichiro and Jeter look pretty darn good. They look like uber-elite players that are creating tons of runs for their teams. But wait...
1. Albert Pujols 1.0220
2. Manny Ramirez .9960
3. Joey Votto .9680
4. Todd Helton .9640
5. Jim Thome .9560
6. Miguel Cabrera .9557
7. Lance Berkman .9528
8. Alex Rodriguez .9447
9. Ryan Braun .9426
10. Vlad Guerrero .9312
11. Prince Fielder .9309
14. Jason Giambi .9258
25. Adam Dunn .8696
49. Derek Jeter .8293
83. Ichiro Suzuki .7839
Now Ichiro and Jeter don't look so hot do they? Out of 135 active players with enough ABs to qualify, Ichiro Suzuki is #83 -- deep in the bottom half of the list. Still think he is an elite hitter? No way. Jeter is barely in the top 50. The fact is that both of them are slap hitting singles hitters who don't walk much. Therefore they are not nearly as good as batting average aficianados think they are. Batting Average fools most people into thinking that Ichiro and Jeter are great hitters when they are not.
Similarly but in reverse, Batting Average would indicate hitters like Fielder, Giambi and Thome are not special and would indicate that Adam Dunn downright sucks. Yet all of those guys rank highly in OPS -- much higher than Jeter and Ichiro. Those sluggers don't hit for average, but they walk a lot and hit for power. They create a lot more runs for their teams than the batting average guys do. They are much better hitters than perennial .300+ hitters like Ichiro and Jeter.
Between Ichiro Suzuki (career .322 BA) and Adam Dunn (career .240 BA), which player is more likely to make an out when he comes to the plate? Answer: Ichiro Suzuki (career .365 OBP) is more likely to make an out than Adam Dunn (career .370 OBP) each time he comes to the plate. Not only does Dunn make fewer outs he is also much more likely to get an extra base hit and hence much more likely to create a run for his team (by scoring or
driving in runs).
Batting Average leads people astray. Not only is Batting Average not a good statistic, it is a misleading statistic. It makes people look foolish by arguing for the wrong players.
If you have OBP and SLG you have no need for BA. Batting Average adds nothing to the mix. BA is a stripped down, misleading statistic that adds no value to player evaluation.
wOBA is the best offensive metric because it properly weights all the various hit types (including BBs and HBPs) for how they contribute to run scoring (based on the results of thousands of real MLB games) and it even factors in base stealing. OPS correlates to real run scoring just as well as wOBA. OPS is not a mathematically pure measurement for various reasons -- but it works great. If you have these superior metrics there is no good reason to put any faith in Batting Average whatsoever.