Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
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.
I disagree. In fact, the anti-BA argument is founded on a mistaken premise IMO.
The faulty assumption is that for a stat to be useful, it has to provide a complete view of offensive performance. This is wrong IMO. Sometimes, looking at a specific aspect of offensive performance is more useful.
wOBA and OPS are composite stats. They try (reasonably effectively) to combine aspects of offensive performance, weight them, and come up with a number reflecting total offensive (or in the OPS case total hitting) performance.
These stats may be imperfect, but very useful. But sometimes it is equally useful to look at the component parts.
BA tells you a batter's ability to get base hits, of any description, per official at bats. Some hitters have that knack. It becomes important, for example, on a team that may otherwise lack that skill. I think the Reds would be aided by a few high BA hitters, for example.
All of these statistics, if understood and taken in context, are helpful and important. I know it's very trendy to trash traditional statistics like BA and RBIs, but in their place they are quite useful.
The fact that Joey Votto hit .337 BA this year is useful and helpful information. It's certainly not the only statistic worth reading, but most of us have the capacity to look at more than one thing.