Posted Under: Stat of the Week
Josh Hamilton’s tear continues on and now his historical beginning to the 2012 season will be forever enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY as Hamilton’s bat, which already had a sticker on the knob authenticating it for the Hall of Fame after his historic game on Tuesday, broke last night in Texas’ 13-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hamilton in this past week alone recorded 9 Home Runs, 8 of which came from this now seemingly magical bat.
We have covered On-Base Percentage (OBP), Slugging Percentage (SLG) and On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS), and now to complete all you need to know about these statistics this week OPS+ will be covered. While it might seem daunting with the extra plus sign attached at the end, OPS+ isn’t too difficult or convoluted to understand as it measures a player’s On-Base Plus Slugging against the league average. What is often confusing when looking at a batter’s OPS+ is that OBP, SLG and OPS are measured as a percentage that extends out to the thousandths decimal (1.000), while OPS+ is graded on a scale of 100, with an OPS+ of 100 being the established league average, under 100 being worse than the league average and over 100 being better than the league average OPS. On this scale an OPS+ of 101 is 1% better than the league average, and 110 is 10% better than league average, while an OPS of 99 is 1% worse than the league average, and 90 is 10% worse than league average, and so on and so on.
OPS+ is an adjusting statistic and should be viewed on a year to year basis. It adjusts for variables that could strengthen or hinder a player’s OPS, such as ballpark effects, and places all players on an equal playing field to see which batter truly had the most outstanding season in terms of OPS. When viewing a player’s OPS+, to get an understanding of what is a good or a bad OPS+, according to Wikipedia, “An OPS+ of 150 or more is excellent and 125 very good, while an OPS+ of 75 or below is poor.”
To put this in perspective, the two most valuable players in the National League last year were Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp according to the Baseball Writers Association of America. Braun had an OPS+ of 166 meaning his adjusted OPS was 66% better than the league average, while Matt Kemp had an OPS+ of 172, an adjusted OPS 72% better than league average. OPS+ helps show how much better or worse a player is than the league average in terms of OPS, and in the case of Braun and Kemp, OPS+ helped show that what people were watching in both these players was better than excellent.
Don’t forget to check back next Thursday for more player analysis through OPS+ and feel free to ask any questions and talk about this week’s statistic on LoveMyTeam’s Facebook page found at www.facebook.com/LoveMyTeamTalk!