Originally Posted by Kc61
The best argument against BA is that base hits are influenced strongly by luck and other factors beyond the batter's control.
A base hit (notably singles and doubles) could easily be an out if the ball were hit slightly differently, or the fielder was positioned slightly differently, or the fielder was better, etc. This is a good argument.
The argument fails IMO when a hitter consistently gets lots of base hits per times at bat over a number of years. Some hitters have the ability to get hits for a variety of reasons.
On the other hand, when a batter has a high BA once or twice in a long career, then the stat may not mean as much.
Those are all valid points for certain.
I would add that the biggest argument against batting average is this: Simply getting a base hit is not the goal of a batter.
The goal of a batter is to put runs on the scoreboard for his team.
Base hits are not a good indicator of who the best run producers are. Going to the plate with the goal of getting a base hit is not a good approach. The batter needs to go to the plate with the goal of reaching base safely without making an out anywhere on the field (ie. don't cause a runner to be retired either) and once you reach base try to reach as far around the bases as you can.
Batting average does a very poor job of measuring a hitter's rate
of success of achieving his goal -- OBP is much more accurate because it includes Walks and HBPs.
Batting average also does a poor job of measuring the hitter's degree
of success at achieving his goal -- SLG is much more accurate because it factors how far the hitter got beyond first base on his hit.
OBP and SLG (and especially OPS and wOBA) much more accurately measure how effective a hitter was at achieving his goal: putting runs on the scoreboard for his team.