Looking at b-ref today, some musings about the ops stat. It's a number that we are so used to seeing now, and all it is is a simple addition of OBP+SLG. So for example, consider these two hitters: Nelson Cruz and Brandon Belt. Cruz: 280 ab, 22 hr, .264/.359/.543/.902 Belt: 281 ab, 13 hr, .302/.394/.505/.900 Virtually identical numbers of at-bats and ops. But how they got to that .900 (or .902) ops is very different. Cruz got there with substantially better power than Belt. Belt got there with substantially better OBP than Cruz. Which is more important? Consider how many bases need to be accumulated to score a single run. The answer seems, of course, to be 4. You need a minimum of 4 bases to score a run, and that's if they all come in the same inning. Naturally, you could have tons of singles hit during a game and never score a run. A home run gets you those 4 bases in one swing. If you are going to do nothing but hit singles, and advance one base for every single, here's how many total bases (when you add in base running) you need to score the one run: Betts singles = 1 total base, 0 outs Benintendi singles, Betts to second = 2 total bases, 0 outs Martinez singles, Betts to third, Benintendi to second = 3 total bases, 0 outs Moreland singles, Betts scores, Benintedi to third, Martinez to second = 4 total bases, 0 outs Next three batters get out So you need a total of 10 individual bases, advancing one base at a time, to score the same run that you'd get if Betts simply led off with a homer, tallying all four of the necessary bases at once. So it's obvious that hitting a bunch of singles is way less efficient than hitting home runs. However, hitting a bunch of singles is much easier than hitting home runs - that's true for even power hitters. Consider Cruz - he has hit 41 singles, 10 doubles, 1 triple, and 22 homers (74 total hits). So he's twice as likely (roughly) to hit a single as he is to hit a home run. Now, the flip side is this. Let's say the two alternatives are: Scenario 1 Betts singles = 1 total base, 0 outs Benintendi singles, Betts to second = 2 total bases, 0 outs Martinez singles, Betts to third, Benintendi to second = 3 total bases, 0 outs Moreland singles, Betts scores, Benintedi to third, Martinez to second = 4 total bases, 0 outs Next three batters get out Team OBP: .571 Team SLG: .571 Team OPS: 1.142 Scenario 2 Betts homers = 4 total bases Benintendi, Martinez, and Moreland all get out Team OBP: .250 Team SLG: 1.000 Team OPS: 1.250 In each scenario, we have 1 run being scored, and eventually 3 outs being made. We highlighted the disadvantage of trying to do this with all singles (and runners advancing only one base). Namely, you need FOUR players to get singles, instead of just one player hitting a home run. But there are other factors. Consider: (1) Pitch count. Scenario 1 should make the pitcher throw many more times than scenario 2. And (2) Outs made. In baseball, outs are currency. You only have 27 of them (regulation 9-inning game). Hitting four singles in a row means that out of those four players, you are accumulating zero outs. Hitting one home run and then getting three outs means that out of those four players, you have accumulated three outs. Since it is much easier to hit singles than home runs, if all you had were either singles, home runs, or outs, you are accumulating outs much faster if you try to hit home runs than if you hit singles. Long story short - which is more important: your on-base percentage or your slugging percentage. - OPS suggests a 1:1 ratio, since the two stats are just added together with no sense of which one is more important. - In the Moneyball era, the conventional wisdom was that there was a 1.5:1 ratio - that is, every point of OBP was worth 1.5 points of slugging. - The Oakland A's view was even more extreme than that - that is, every point of OBP was worth 3 points of slugging. Hence you see in the movie, what does Hatteberg do well? He gets on base. Getting on base and not using up your currency of outs was the driver behind baseball thinking for a long time. But it seems like that's changed considerably. Now it seems that teams would happily trade getting on base for homers. They don't want their players to stop trying to crush homers, even with two strikes (it used to be they'd encourage hitters to choke up, shorten their swing, and put the ball in play). Do you guys know what is the more valuable metric? Slugging or OBP?