Originally Posted by Superdude
Debunked is a strong word. I still believe that just because OPS correlates more strongly with runs scored doesn't mean we can ignore batting average. Hits are more valuable than walks and putting the ball in play is more valuable than a strikeout. All else being equal, a .220 hitter is not the same as a .320 hitter.
I respect your opinion. I just disagree. Hits are more valuable than walks in some instances, and that difference is built into wOBA and OPS. Walks do have tons of value though, and batting average totally ignores that value. That is one of the major reasons why batting average is so misleading -- it leaves out critical information.
Regarding the putting the ball in play vs strikeouts issue, I disagree on that one too unfortunately. Strikeouts have been mathematically proven to be only infinitesimally more harmful than contact outs. Yes, you can advance a baserunner with a contact out but you can also hit into double plays (not only groundball DPs, but also line-outs where a runner gets doubled-off and outfield fly balls where a runner tries to tag up and gets thrown out) and fielder's choices that cause an advance runner to be retired. These extremely harmful plays cancel out the benefits gained from advancing the runner with a contact out. These facts can be seen by becoming familiar with the weighted outcomes tables like the one here: http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html
and a different and in some cases better one here: http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/inde...ues_of_events/
You can see in the table that the average linear weight of a strikeout is only .01 runs worse than a contact out, which is an extremely insignificant difference. A regular out is worth -0.30 runs while a strikeout is worth -0.31 runs. For comparison's sake a single is worth +0.47 runs and a home run is worth +1.40 runs and a double play is worth -1.06 runs (3.5x worse than a strikeout). All of those outcomes are worth 5--150x more than the difference between a strikeout and a contact out. You can see in the second chart that there are lots of ways to make an out that are MUCH more harmful than striking out. Strikeouts are just another out. They are no more harmful than another out. What matters is how many outs you make, not how you make them.