What Is Slugging Percentage In Baseball

Slugging percentage – Wikipedia

In baseball statistics, slugging percentage (SLG) is a measure of a batter’s ability to generate runs with his bat. It is calculated as total bases divided by the number of at bats for a given player using the following formula, where ABis the number of at bats for a given player and 1B, 2B, 3B, and HRare the number of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs, respectively: 1B, 2B, 3B, and HRare the number of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs In contrast to batting average, slugging % provides greater credit to extra-base hits, like as doubles and home runs, as compared to singles in the same game.

This formula does not include plate appearances that result in walks, hit-by-pitches,interference, catcher’s sacrifice bunts, or flies, because such an appearance is not considered to be anat bat in this case (these are not factored into batting average either).

In mathematics, it is a scale of measurement whose calculated value ranges from 0 to 4.

A double is worth twice as much as a single, a triple is worth three times as much as a home run, and a home run is worth four times as much as a single.

In order to avoid confusion, it’s sometimes referred to as “slugging average” or “slugging” instead.

If the slugging percentage is.589, it would be said as “five eighty nine,” and it would be spoken as “eleven twenty seven” if it were 1.127.

Facts about slugging percentage

A hitter’s slugging percentage is used for a variety of purposes other than determining his or her output. It may be used to evaluate pitchers in a variety of situations. It is not as prevalent as slugging-percentage against, but it is a measure of effectiveness. In 2019, the mean average SLG among all clubs in Major League Baseball was.435, according to Baseball Reference. The greatest slugging % has a numerical value of 4.000, which is the highest possible. However, no player in the history of the Major League Baseball has ever retired with a slugging percentage greater than 4.000.

Eric Cammack (2000 Mets), Scott Munninghoff (1980 Phillies), Eduardo Rodrguez (1973 Brewers), and Charlie Lindstrom are among the players on this list (1958 White Sox).

Example calculation

Take, for example, Babe Ruth, who made his major league debut in 1920 with the New York Yankees. After 458 at-bats, Ruth collected 172 hits, which included 73 singles, 36 doubles, 9 triples, and 54 home runs, for a grand total of 388 bases. Ruth had 73 singles, 36 doubles, 9 triples, and 54 home runs, for a grand total of 388 bases. His slugging percentage for the season is calculated by dividing his total number of bases (388) by his total number of at bats (458), which equals.847. This also established a new mark for Ruth, which held until 2001, when Barry Bonds amassed 411 bases in 476 at-bats, increasing his slugging percentage to.863, which has remained unsurpassed ever since.


It wasn’t until decades after it was first used that baseball analysts realized that it could be combined with on-base percentage (OBP) to provide a very accurate measure of the overall offensive production of a player (in fact, the combination of OBP and SLG was originally referred to as “production” by baseball writer and statisticianBill James). Branch Rickey devised a precursor meter in 1954, which is now known as the Branch Rickey metric. For example, Rickey claimed in the Lifemagazine that combining OBP with what he termed “extra base power” (EBP) would provide a more accurate estimate of player success than traditionalTriple Crown statistics.

They were among the first to combine the two modern-day statistics, multiplying them together to generate what is now known as “SLOB” (Slugging On-Base).

The next year (and probably independently), Bill Jamesapplied similar idea to hisruns createdformula, basically multiplying SLOB at bats to develop the following formula: Pete Palmer and John Thorn invented on-base plus slugging (OPS) in 1984, which is a simple combination of the two variables and is likely the most often used method of combining slugging and on-base percentage: on-base plus slugging (OBS).

In recent years, OPS has been increasingly popular as a shorthand method of evaluation for contributions as abatter, owing to its simplicity in calculation.

The theoretical maximum for “on base” is 1.000 points, but the theoretical maximum for “slugging” is 4.000 points.

350 as a nice “on base” number and as well.

Perfect slugging percentage

There is a numerical limit of 4.000 slugging percentages that can be achieved.

A significant number of Big League Baseball players (117 as of the conclusion of the 2016 season) have achieved a 4.000 career slugging percentage in their first major league at bat by homering in their first major league at bat.

See also

  • Slugging % leaders in Major League Baseball throughout their whole careers
  • Moneyball
  • Sabermetrics
  • And more.


  1. “Career LeadersRecords for Slugging Percent,” Baseball Reference, retrieved on 2014-02-27
  2. AbBaseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules, retrieved on 2014-02-27
  3. AcBaseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules, retrieved on 2014-02-27
  4. ‘Slugging Percentage | The ARMory Power Pitching Academy’
  5. ‘Single-Season Leaders and Records for Slugging Percentage’
  6. ‘What is a Slugging Percentage’
  7. ‘Major League Baseball Batting Year-by-Year Averages’
  8. ‘Slugging Percentage | The ARMory Power Pitching Academy Retrieved2016-12-10
  9. s^ Dan Lewis is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (2001-03-31). “Lies, Damn Lies, and RBIs,” according to nationalreview. The original version of this article was published on October 20, 2012. Barra, Allen (2012-07-01)
  10. Retrieved from (2001-06-20). “The finest season ever?” Salon.com. Retrieved 2007-07-15
  11. “The best season ever?” When it comes to OPS, separate but not nearly equal: why it is a “poor” measure, Beyond the Box Score, by Bryan Grosnick, published on September 18, 2015.

External links

Babe Ruth, the all-time leader in slugging percentage during his professional baseball career. In baseball statistics, slugging percentage (SLG) is a measure of a batter’s ability to generate runs with his bat. It is computed as the sum of all bases divided by the number of at bats. In contrast to batting average, slugging percentage provides more weight to extra-base hits, like as doubles, triples, and home runs, as compared to singles in the same situation. Plate appearances that result in walks are deliberately removed from this computation, because an appearance that results in a walk is not considered as an at bat in the traditional sense.

Among the other players who have a lifetime slugging percentage over.600 are Ted Williams (.6338), Lou Gehrig(.6324), Mule Suttles(.6179), Turkey Stearnes(.6165), Oscar Charleston(6145), Jimmie Foxx(.6093), Barry Bonds(.6069), and Hank Greenberg(.6050).


Rank Rank amongst leaders in career slugging percentage. A blank field indicates a tie.
Player Name of the player.
SLG Total career slugging percentage.
* Denotes elected toNational Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player.


In terms of lifetime slugging percentage, Ted Williams ranks second all-time.

Rank Player SLG
1 Babe Ruth* .6897
2 Ted Williams* .6338
3 Lou Gehrig* .6324
4 Mule Suttles* .6179
5 Turkey Stearnes* .6165
6 Oscar Charleston* .6145
7 Jimmie Foxx* .6093
8 Barry Bonds .6069
9 Hank Greenberg* .6050
10 Mark McGwire .5882
11 Manny Ramirez .5854
12 Mike Trout .5831
13 Joe DiMaggio* .5788
14 Rogers Hornsby* .5765
15 Larry Walker* .5652
16 Albert Belle .5638
17 Johnny Mize* .5620
18 Juan González .5607
19 Stan Musial* .5591
20 Willie Mays* .5575
21 Mickey Mantle* .5568
22 Frank Thomas* .5549
23 Hank Aaron* .5545
24 Jim Thome* .5541
25 Vladimir Guerrero* .5525
26 David Ortiz* .5515
27 Alex Rodriguez .5502
28 Ralph Kiner* .5479
29 Carlos Delgado .5459
30 Mike Piazza* .5452
31 Hack Wilson* .5447
32 Albert Pujols .5436
33 Chuck Klein* .5430
34 Giancarlo Stanton .5429
35 Jeff Bagwell* .5403
36 Duke Snider* .5397
37 Todd Helton .5391
38 Ken Griffey, Jr.* .5378
39 Frank Robinson* .5370
40 Lance Berkman .5369
Willie Wells* .5369
42 Nolan Arenado .5349
Al Simmons* .5349
44 Sammy Sosa .5338
45 Dick Allen .5336
Earl Averill* .5336
47 Mel Ott* .5331
48 Miguel Cabrera .5324
49 Ryan Braun .5323
50 Babe Herman .5319
Rank Player SLG
Lefty O’Doul .5319
52 Ken Williams .5304
53 Chipper Jones* .5293
54 Willie Stargell* .5286
55 J. D. Martinez .5281
56 Mike Schmidt* .5273
57 Jim Edmonds .5271
58 Nelson Cruz .5270
59 Jud Wilson* .5266
60 Chick Hafey* .5261
61 Bryce Harper .5240
62 Mo Vaughn .5231
63 Trevor Story .5230
64 Wally Berger .5216
Hal Trosky .5216
66 Paul Goldschmidt .5212
67 Nomar Garciaparra .5206
68 Harry Heilmann* .5205
69 Joey Votto .5202
70 Dan Brouthers* .5201
71 Kevin Mitchell .5198
72 Mookie Betts .5177
Charlie Keller .5177
74 Shoeless Joe Jackson .5174
75 Jason Giambi .5164
76 Moisés Alou .5157
Josh Hamilton .5157
78 Edgar Martínez* .5155
79 Ryan Howard .5152
80 José Abreu .5148
81 Willie McCovey* .5147
82 José Canseco .5145
Rafael Palmeiro .5145
84 Gary Sheffield .5139
85 Ty Cobb* .5117
86 Ellis Burks .5104
87 Matt Holliday .5102
88 Eddie Mathews* .5094
Mark Teixeira .5094
90 Fred McGriff .5091
91 Freddie Freeman .5088
Jeff Heath .5088
93 Harmon Killebrew* .5085
94 Richie Sexson .5069
95 Bob Johnson .5059
Bill Terry* .5059
97 Prince Fielder .5056
98 Darryl Strawberry .5054
99 Sam Thompson* .5053
100 Ed Delahanty* .5052


  1. Inactive players include those who have declared their retirement or who have not participated in a complete season of competition


  • According to Baseball-Reference.com, “Career LeadersRecords for Slugging Percent” is the highest percentage ever achieved by a player in his career.

What Is Slugging Percentage in Baseball? The Ultimate Guide

In baseball, huge hits are responsible for a large number of the game’s most thrilling plays. When a hitter hits a double into the corner of the infield, a triple into the alley, or a home run over the wall, it is called a double. Slugging % is a famous statistic that stresses the importance of swinging for the fences, and it is indicative of the sorts of plays that get spectators out of their seats and on their feet. So, what is the slugging % in this case? Extra-base hits, such as doubles, triples, and home runs, are calculated using the slugging percentage statistic, which indicates how successful a batter is at hitting these types of hits.

The statistic is determined by taking the total number of bases and dividing it by the number of at bats.

Let’s go a little more into the statistic:

What Is Slugging Percentage in Baseball?

The purpose of slugging % is to attribute a figure to a hitter’s ability to drive the ball and rack up extra-base hits, and this is accomplished via the use of advanced statistics. Despite the fact that the statistic is known as “slugging percentage,” the term is a little misleading because it is really a ratio, or what is known as a “rate stat,” rather than a genuine percentage. A batter’s slugging percentage (often abbreviated as SLUG or SLG, or simply referred to as “slugging”) is calculated by dividing the total number of bases or the total number of bases earned in all of his hits by the total number of official at bats.

It comes down to determining the average number of bases that a batter would gain for every official at bat, which means that both the ability to collect extra-base hits and the ability to do so on a consistent basis are important factors in achieving a high slugging percentage in the game of baseball.

Now we’ll get into how you go about determining what that number is.

How Do You Calculate Slugging Percentage in Baseball?

©bmcent1 via Canva.com Two pieces of information are required in order to calculate an individual’s slugging percentage: the total number of at bats the player has had and the total number of bases he has amassed. The slugging percentage formula is fairly straightforward, and it is calculated by dividing the total number of bases scored by the total number of at bats taken. To calculate total bases, you take a batter’s total number of hits and add one additional base for each double, two for each triple, and three for each homer.

  • One key thing to note when calculating slugging percentage is that it only takes into account official at bats.
  • For the sake of at bats, bases on balls (walks), hit-by-pitch,sacrifice bunts, and sacrifice flies are all deleted from the at bat ledger, with those counts being grouped into the “plate appearances” ledger.
  • Those last four columns (20+5+5+5) will all be omitted, so the number of at bats for the batter is 200.
  • To get total bases, you start with the 60 hits, add 10 for doubles (one base for each), another 10 for triples (two bases each), and 30 for home runs (three bases each) (three bases each).
  • Finally, you divide 110 total bases by 200 at bats and you come up with a slugging percentage of 0.55.
  • The question is, is that a good number or not?

What Is a Good Slugging Percentage in Baseball?

The fact that slugging % is a rate statistic means that it is subject to up-and-down variations in Major League Baseball as the league’s conditions change. It is possible that these changes will take the form of a changed composition of the actual baseball, regulation changes, new ballparks (with different dimensions), altering trends in pitcher use, or even weather that is poorer than typical throughout the season. Despite this, there is a very well-defined threshold for what constitutes a “good” slugging percentage.

  • Similarly, heading towards the extremes, a slugging percentage of.350 is considered bad, while a slugging percentage of.650 is considered excellent.
  • On the opposite end of the scale, 119 hitters have produced a slugging percentage below.350 since 2005, which is the most recent period available.
  • For example, eight players have had a slugging average greater than.650 in a season since 2005.
  • The opposite is true for the 119 guys who batted below.350 in a season; just one of them, Luis Castillo, managed to bat above.300 in 2009, batting.302 as a result of his only 16 extra-base hits for the whole season.
  • Another interesting fact about that ranking is that only 15 of the 119 players hit 10 or more home runs that season, with no one reaching more than sixteen.

The batting average of none of those players exceeded.252, a very terrible mark that demonstrates how hitting for a bit more power at the expense of your overall average may have negative consequences for your overall performance in baseball.

History of Slugging Percentage

Yobro10, courtesy of Canva.com However, even though it is a relatively new statistic when compared to many of the more established metrics, slugging percentage has been in widespread usage for several decades. The term “total bases average,” which is a forerunner to slugging %, was first used in 1867 by Henry Chadwick to describe a player’s total bases per game. The current slugging percentage, which is calculated based on total bases per at bat rather than total bases per game, became an official National League statistic in 1923 and an official American League statistic in 1946.

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Chadwick also pointed out that many hits in those days were exacerbated by errors because fielders did not wear gloves at the time.

Since one of the earliest documented mainstream uses of slugging percentage was on the back of Ralph Kiner’s 1952 Bowman baseball card, which noted that he had been the National League leader in slugging percentage the previous year, popular usage would be decades away.

Due to the fact that slugging % is now a widespread phrase in the baseball language, you’ll be able to tell more accurately when you see it on a player’s stat line whether the player is more of an average batter, or more of an elite slugger.

Career Slugging Percentage Leaders

In terms of career slugging percentage, the following are the top five:

  1. Joe DiMaggio had a career slugging percentage of.5821, while Babe Ruth had one of the best in baseball history at.6897. Ted Williams had a career slugging percentage of.6338, while Lou Gehrig had one of the best at.6324. Jimmie Foxx has one of the best in baseball history at.6093, while Barry Bonds has one of the best at 6069. Hank Greenberg has one of the best in baseball history at

What Is On Base Percentage?

When a hitter makes it to base more than once per plate appearance, this is known as the on base percentage (OBP). It is possible to get on base % by counting walks, hits, and hit-by-pitch, but it does not include errors, fielder’s choice, dropped strike three, fielder’s obstruction, catcher’s interference, and sacrifice bunts, among other things.

Odds and Ends About Slugging Percentage

  • Barry Bonds established the record for the greatest single-season slugging percentage in 2001 with an.863 mark. Bonds amassed 411 total bases in only 476 at-bats that season, including a Major League-leading 73 home runs, which set a new record for the most in a single season. Additionally, Bonds’ batting average for the season was.328, shattering Babe Ruth’s 81-year-old single-season record of.847, which had been held since 1920. Bonds and Ruth are the only men to have achieved the top six slugging percentages in a season, with each of them claiming three of those illustrious campaigns. They are also the only players in Major League Baseball history to have a slugging percentage greater than.800 in a single season, with each of them accomplishing this feat twice
  • The highest single-season slugging percentage for a team in history is.495, achieved by the 2019 Houston Astros, who hit a combined total of 288 home runs. Additionally, the 2019 Minnesota Twins and 2019 New York Yankees both posted.494 and.490 batting averages, which were the second and fourth greatest records in Major League Baseball history, respectively. Because they had the greatest batting average of the three teams, the Astros had the highest batting average, hitting.274
  • While the Red Sox had the lowest batting average, hitting.238.

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Slugging percentage – BR Bullpen

The slugging percentage (abbreviated as SLG and sometimes known as the slugging average) is the number of total bases divided by the number of at bats in a game. It has the following formula: (+++)/At bats are distinct from plate appearances. (+++)/At Bats is a formula that is equivalent. This method is less straightforward, but it is frequently more handy because assingles are not always provided (although they could easily be deduced). The number of singles may be calculated using the following equation, because they are just hits that do not result in extra bases.

All-Time Leaders
Span Player Total Notes
Career Babe Ruth .690
Season Barry Bonds .864 2004

The SLG+ statistic, which is an adjusted slugging percentage that accounts for the stadium and league that the player played in, is another useful statistic.

Aside from that, the number is “normalized,” such that the median is 100 and the scores that are greater than average are over 100. SLG+ is calculated using the formula SLG+ = 100*(SLG/lgSLG), where lgSLG is the league average for the year in question.

What is Slugging Percentage (SLG) in Baseball?

We rely on the generosity of our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission. In addition, we get commissions from eligible Amazon sales because we are an Amazon affiliate. It is becoming increasingly apparent to baseball fans across the world that the game they have learned to love over the years is changing significantly. A game that was formerly dictated by what transpired on the field is slowly but steadily shifting to become increasingly reliant on statistical analysis and analysis of data.

  1. A hitter’s output was once measured by his batting average and home runs, and pitchers were assessed by their wins and earned run average.
  2. In today’s game, knowing baseball statistics has never been more important, and understanding what those numbers imply is essential to comprehending the game.
  3. The slugging percentage of a batter is a statistic that is used to assess the power output of a hitter.
  4. In a situation when all hits are equal, slugging percentage lends greater weight to extra base hits than batting average.

An Example on How to Caculate Slugging Percentage (SLG)

Here is an example using two fictitious players, designated as Player A and Player B.

Player A 100 32 25 5 1 1 .320
Player B 100 25 10 8 7 .250

For the sake of simplicity, we will assume that both players have precisely 100 at-bats (AB). In this example, Player A has more hits (H) than Player B, resulting in a better batting average (BA) for Player A. If you want to know what their slugging percentage is, you may apply the following formula: SLG is equal to 1B(1) + 2B(2) + 3B(3) + HR(4) / AB. Because the numerator in this formula represents the total number of bases, all singles are multiplied by one in the denominator. Doubles are multiplied by two, triples are multiplied by three, and home runs are multiplied by a factor of four.

Player A 100 32 25 5 1 1 .320 .420
Player B 100 25 10 8 7 .250 .540

Because he has more hits than Player B, Player A has a better batting average than Player B. It’s important to remember that batting average treats all hits equally. Player B, on the other hand, has a better slugging percentage than Player A, owing to the fact that he has more extra base hits, particularly home homers. This does not necessarily imply that Player B is a better hitter than Player A, but it does imply that he has a higher power productivity than the former.

Player A may receive more hits, but Player B has a better chance of doing more damage at the plate. You may watch this video to learn how to calculate slugging % in a more in-depth, yet still simple to understand manner.

The History of Slugging Percentage

The slugging % has been around since the early 1950s, however it took some time for the statistic to achieve prominence in the sport of baseball. The former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Branch Rickey is not only credited with helping to break down the color barrier in Major League Baseball by signing Jackie Robinson, but he is also credited with developing the formula that is now used to calculate a hitter’s slugging percentage. Rickey, on the other hand, cannot be attributed with the discovery of this statistic on his own.

Roth and Rickey came up with the term “Extra Base Power” (EBP) to describe a more accurate manner of evaluating a hitter’s output at the time.

This statistic would subsequently be known as slugging percentage, and it achieved widespread recognition as a result of Bill James’ SABRmetrics, in which he utilized it to build his own calculation known as “Runs Created,” which became popular (explained later).

How Slugging Percentage is Used to Make Decisions

A club’s slugging percentage may be utilized in a variety of ways to assist coaches, scouts, and executives in making decisions — whether they be personnel or in-game decisions — that will help them put together the finest baseball team possible on the field. In the video included in the “Example” section above, the coach discusses how slugging percentage may be utilized to determine how to arrange a batting lineup. The players with the greatest slugging % should be assigned to the positions in the lineup where the coach wants his most potent power threats to be found, and vice versa.

A more sophisticated application of slugging percentage is the calculation of a player’s on-base percentage (OPS) (on-base plus slugging percentage).

Let’s go back to Players A and B and determine their overall point differential.

Player A 115 100 32 10 5 .320 .408 .420 .828
Player B 115 100 25 13 2 .250 .347 .540 .887

Player A’s OBP and SLG (.408 +.420) were simply combined together, whereas Player B’s OBP and SLG (.347 +.540) were added together to obtain their OPS. As you can see, Player B is still somewhat more important than Player A in terms of getting on base and displaying power when comparing their on-base percentages and on-base percentages. (For more information on on-base percentage, see the article “What is a Good On-Base Percentage (OBP) in Baseball” for further information.) It is possible for professional sports recruiters and executives to utilize this statistic to assess a player’s prospective effect on their respective teams.

Another even more complex application of slugging percentage is found in the Bill James’ Runs Created method, which is frequently employed by professional teams when making personnel choices (referenced earlier).

In this case, the formula is as follows: /= New Runs Have Been Created Let’s also compute the Runs Created for Players A and B for the sake of completeness.

Player A 115 100 32 10 5 42 .320 .408 .420 .828
Player B 115 100 25 13 2 54 .250 .347 .540 .887

Player A:/= RC/= RC/= 17.16 Player B:/= RC/= RC/= 17.16 Player B:/= RC/= RC/= 14.61; Player A:/= RC/= RC/= 14.61; Player C:/= RC/= 14.61; This demonstrates how much more complicated analytics may be, as well as how organizations who are led by SABRmetrics are more inclined to prioritize Player A above Player B. The slugging % has established itself as a metric that is more useful than the batting average for those in charge of making in-game and personnel decisions, regardless of how it is calculated.

Slugging Percentage Records

Dennis Sylvester Hurd captured this image. The following are the top five lifetime slugging percentage leaders in the history of Major League Baseball:

  1. Babe Ruth had a.689 batting average
  2. Ted Williams had a.633 batting average
  3. Lou Gehrig had a.632 batting average
  4. Mule Suttles had a.617 batting average
  5. Turkey Stearnes had a.616 batting average.
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Baseball players Babe Ruth (689), Ted Williams (633), Lou Gehrig (632), Mule Suttles (617), Turkey Stearnes (616), Babe Ruth (689), Ted Williams (633), Babe Ruth (632), Ted Williams (633), Babe Ruth (632), Ted Williams (633), Babe Ruth (632), Ted Williams (632), Babe Ruth (632), Ted Williams (632), Lou Gehrig (632), Babe Ruth (632)

  1. The following players had a.974 batting average: Josh Gibson (1937), Mule Suttles (1926), Charlie Smith ( 1929), Josh Gibson (1943), Barry Bonds (2001), and Mule Suttles (2001).

As can be seen from this list, several of these players achieved these achievements during years when slugging percentage was not even taken into consideration. Fortunately, baseball historians have gone back in time and given them the recognition they rightfully deserve. In the Major League Baseball (MLB), there have only been four seasons in the previous thirty years in which the league’s slugging percentage as a whole fell below.400. The slugging percentage for this season is currently.402, which is a decrease from the slugging percentage for the last complete Major League season, which was.435, which was in 2019.

This might be owing to the fact that pitchers have been more dominating in recent years.

Frequently Asked Questions

In baseball, the slugging percentage is intended to measure a hitter’s ability to generate power when the ball enters the field of play. Walking and hitting by pitches are important statistics to track, but they do not reveal a player’s power potential. This was the impetus for the creation of OPS.

Do professional scouts use slugging percentage in drafting players?

College players’ slugging percentage will very certainly be taken into consideration when determining whether or not they are worthy of being selected by the major leagues in the draft. It is possible that high school statistics will not be taken into consideration as much when picking high school athletes since they are less dependable.

Is it possible for a slugging percentage to be over 1.000?

Yes, it is feasible for a player to slug more than 1.000 in a single game. The majority of a player’s hits would have to be extra-base hits in order for this to be possible.

What is a perfect slugging percentage?

A perfect slugging percentage is equal to 4.000 percent. In order to achieve this, a player must never be struck out and must only hit home runs on the season. This is practically difficult to achieve during the course of a season’s worth of games.

Also see: How to Clean a Baseball Cap with Cardboard Bills for more information. The 5 Most Effective Pocket Radar Guns A high school baseball season lasts for around six weeks. What is a Walk-Off Home Run, and how does it work? (Explained)

Slugging percentage

Barry Bonds now owns the Major League Baseball record for the greatest slugging percentage in a season (.863). In baseball statistics, slugging percentage (sometimes known as slugging percentage or SLG) is a measure of a batter’s power. It is computed as the sum of all bases divided by the number of at bats. SLG = (s + 2d + 3t + 4hr) / (s + 2d + 3t + 4hr) SLG is calculated as (h + d + 2t + 3hr) / AB, where AB is the number of at-bats for a specific player and s, h, d, t, hr are the number of singles, hits, doubles, triples, and home runs for that player, respectively.

The phrase “slugging percentage” is a misnomer since it refers to a weighted average rather than a percentage.

It took 458 at-bats for him to get 172 hits, which consisted of 73 hits (one for each at-bat), 36 doubles, nine triples, and 54 home runs, for a total of 388 bases (73 for one, 36 for two, nine for three, and 54 for four).

Babe Ruth led the league in slugging average the following year, and those marks stood for 80 years until 2001, when Barry Bonds hit 411 total bases in 476 at-bats, raising his average to.863, a mark that has stood unbroken since.

Slugging average’s significance

Although it was initially used in baseball many years ago, the slugging percentage received new relevance when baseball analysts found that when paired with on-base percentage (OBP), it provided a highly accurate representation of a player’s total performance. Branch Rickey devised a precursor meter in 1954, which is now known as the Branch Rickey metric. Rickey proposed in Life Magazine that combining on-base percentage (OBP) with what he dubbed “extra base power” would provide a more accurate estimate of player performance than traditional Triple Crown data.

According to Allen Barra and George Ignatin, they were among the first to combine the two modern-day statistics, multiplying them together to generate what is now known as “SLOB” (Slugging On-Base), which stands for Slugging On-Base.

In 1984, Pete Palmer and John Thorn devised what is perhaps the most widely used method of combining slugging and on-base average: the on-base percentage system (OPS).

Despite being less precise than SLOB and Runs Created, OPS is relatively simple to compute and has emerged as the unofficial shorthand for player assessment in recent years, despite its lower accuracy.


Using real-life Cardinal players’ figures, this is the first piece in a series I’m starting that will cover baseball statistics, both traditional and new, and will use real-life Cardinal players as examples. The goal is to both explain the statistic and provide an example of how it might be used in real life. I hope it will be used as a learning tool as well as a spark for conversation among people. Firstly, I would want to make it clear that I am not presenting myself as an expert in any field; far from it.

  1. However, if you do decide to notify me, please do it in a kind manner (ideally with a source) rather than by telling me that I am too stupid to survive.
  2. Also, be certain that you are not making a mistake before you launch into me.
  3. Fangraphs.com will be used for the majority of my stats.
  4. When I do utilize BR, I will make it clear; if I do not, presume that the stat comes from Fangraphs or another source.
  5. Carlos Beltran (3) of the St.
  6. Brad Mills of USA TODAY Sports is required for this image.
  7. At-bats are divided by the number of hits a player receives, and the result is determined as Batting Average (BA) for that player.

The most significant flaw with BA is that it simply evaluates the amount of hits, not the quality of those hits.

When it comes to baseball, scoring runs and, towards the end of nine innings, scoring more runs than your opponent are both vital objectives to achieve.

Over the course of a season, a player who hits home runs will create more runs than a guy who strikes out more often.

The slugging percentage is derived by dividing the total number of bases by the total number of at bats during the season.

It is written as (1B) +(2 x 2B) + (3 x 3B) + (4 x HR) divided by AB.

When analyzing a player’s offensive performance in terms of hits, it is never wise to depend just on his or her BA; doing so would result in a severely biased and erroneous judgment of the player’s or player’s offensive abilities.

Carlos Beltran graduated with a BA of.269 and an SLG of.495 in 2012, while Skip Schumaker graduated with a BA of.276 and an SLG of.368.

Schumaker has a BA that is comparable to Beltran’s, but his SLG is far lower than Beltran.

The disparity between these two numbers in this case highlights why BA alone does not provide a comprehensive picture of a hitter’s offensive abilities.

In terms of the number of runs a player can create, which is the difference between winning and losing, that difference is substantial.

Those numbers will be covered in another post.

Those who wish to comprehend the complicated nature of major league baseball hitting will need to go below the surface and delve much farther into the subject.

There’s one more thing.

Statistic, what those numbers imply, and how they might be used are all topics covered in this series.

It makes no difference if one player is rougher, friendlier, or has better facial hair than the other. We can have a discussion about it someplace else. I hope you enjoy this series, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

How to Calculate Slugging Percentage

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation While a home run counts the same as a single in terms of batting average, slugging percentage takes into consideration the actual number of bases that are scored. However, despite its name, this statistic is really an average rather than a percentage. A player who has a high slugging percentage is one who scores a high number of bases per opportunity at the plate.

Formula Cheatsheet

  • Slugging Percentage (SLG) is calculated as follows: Total Bases x At Bats
  • In baseball, total bases are equal to the sum of all singles plus two doubles plus three triples plus four home runs. In the alternative approach, total bases are calculated as follows: Hits + Doubles + (2 x Triples) + (3 x Home Runs)
  1. 1 Recognize the importance of slugging percentage. This statistic, which is also known as slugging average, SA, or SLG, represents a player’s average number of bases per bat. It is reasonable to assume that the typical outcome for a player with a (unrealistic) slugging percentage of 1 was a single.
  • This only counts the amount of bases gained by hits, not the number of bases gained through walks or being hit by a pitch. It is more accurate to estimate offensive power if the bases are not taken into consideration because they are beyond the control of the hitter.
  • 2 Determine the total number of singles. Singles are not included in the majority of player statistics, however it is possible to determine this from other statistics. First, combine all of the hits that aren’t singles together, such as home runs, triples, and doubles. To find the number of Singles, subtract your answer from the total number of Hits.
  • For example, Willie McCovey’s career statistics include 521 home runs, 46 triples, and 353 doubles, for a total of 920 points. Calculate the number of singles by subtracting 920 from his total career hits (2211), which is 1291.
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  • s3 Determine the total number of bases. In order to get the total number of bases, add together (Singles) + (2 x Doubles) + (3 x Triples) + (4 x Home Runs) to obtain the total number of bases.
  • William McCovey collected a total of 4219 bases, which is equivalent to (1291) + (2 x 353) + (3 x 46) + (4 x 521) = 1291 + 706+ 138+ 2084 = 4219 bases total.
  • 4 Divide your answer by the number of at bats. The slugging percentage is calculated by dividing the total number of bases by the total number of at bats.
  • Considering Willie McCovey had 8197 at bats during his career, his career slugging percentage is 4219 divided by 8197 = 0.5147. (rounded to 0.515). With a bit more than one base on every two at bats, he was able to put together an impressive stat line
  1. 1 Use a quicker approach to determine the total number of bases. The approach described above is the simplest to comprehend, but it necessitates the use of additional arithmetic to determine the number of singles. Here’s a method to bypass that step and instead determine the total number of bases by utilizing Hits: Total bases are calculated as follows: hits + doubles + (2 x triples) + (3 x home runs).
  • All of the singles are taken care of by one base every hit, which is why it works. Due to the fact that this also gives one base for each double, you simply need to add one additional base for each double to get at the final result. Similarly, for triples and home runs, add two additional bases and three further bases respectively.
  1. 2Divide by the number of at bats. As previously stated, the slugging percentage is equal to the total bases divided by the total number of at bats. Advertisement
  1. Adding Slugging Percentage to On Base Percentage is a good way to start. The resulting statistic, On Base Plus Slugging (OPS), takes into consideration the most essential offensive statistics. Baseball statistics do not believe this to be an accurate measure of offensive power, but it is a fast and simple method to compare offensive power.
  • OPS+ is a less widely used statistic that takes into account the league and the park where the player plays. The formula for calculating OPS+ changes every year, with 100 being the league average.
  • 2 Adjust the slugging percentage to the appropriate league. This statistic was created just for the baseball encyclopediaTotal Baseball and is rarely seen anywhere else in baseball. If you want to compare players from various years, this is a more accurate method to use, although it may be difficult to find the information you need to compute it:
  • Adjusted production (APRO) is calculated as follows: (On Base Percentage / League OBP) + (Slugging Average / League SA) – 1
  • (On Base Percentage / League OBP) = (On Base Percentage / League OBP) + (Slugging Average / League SA) = (On Base Percentage / League OBP) + (Slugging Average / League SA) = (On Base Percentage / League SA) + It is the average of all players’ stats for the whole season that is used to calculate the League statistics. The statistics are occasionally adjusted to account for variances across parks, as well as other factors.
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Create a new question

  • Question The first year of high school for my kid has seen him bat 78 times, with only two strikeouts in that time. Is there any significance to this? That’s a really high strikeout %, so he’s doing an excellent job right now. Nevertheless, when it comes to batting or slugging percentage, strikeouts are treated exactly the same as any other type of out. Question Why not simply divide the number of times a hitter reaches base by the number of at-bats? That will work provided you know the player’s total plate appearances, rather than just his “official” at-bats
  • Otherwise, it will not work at all. Question What is the best way to determine out base percentages? The following formula should be used: the total of the player’s hits plus the number of times he walked plus the number of times he was hit by a pitch divided by the sum of the player’s official at-bats plus his walks plus the number of times he was hit by a pitch plus his sacrifices (bunts and flies)

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  • This statistic, like many others in baseball, is frequently shown without a decimal point. An SLG of 300 indicates that the team is averaging 0.300 bases per at bat, not three hundred. At bats do not include all plate appearances
  • Rather, they include just those in which the hitter attempts to advance to the next base. It makes no difference whether or not an individual gets a walk or makes a sacrifice play
  • A player’s slugging percentage remains same.

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About This Article

Summary of the articleXThe following formula can be used to compute slugging percentage: SP is calculated as total bases minus at bats, where total bases is the number of bases the player moved as a result of hits and at bats is the number of times the player was up to bat. To get the total number of bases, apply the following formula: total bases = hits + doubles + (2x triples) + home runs (3x home runs). Then, using the value you obtained, enter it into the original formula and solve for the player’s slugging % to determine his or her performance.

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“Today, they have outrageous batting averages, are unable to bunt or steal, are unable to hit-and-run, are unable to hit a sacrifice fly to the opposite field, and are therefore unable to be considered ballplayers. Where has our moral compass gone? Where’sbaseball?” – Al Stump, Ty Cobb’s official biographer, has attributed this quote to him. Baseball has not always been a contest of strength. In the past, the most talented ball players were those who excelled at a variety of other activities.

  • When Ty Cobb was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he never hit more than twelve home runs in a season.
  • At the end of his baseball career, a young man known as George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr.
  • Baseball has evolved over the years.
  • What exactly is a slugger these days, and how does one define one?
  • Is that even what it is referring to?
  • In this article, I will attempt to simplify the concept of slugging and apply it to the 2012 Astros.

Disclaimer: I do not pretend to be a statistician. The fact that I have purposely overlooked or skimmed over a million minor nuances in the goal of providing a clear picture is not by chance. It’s a matter of perspective.

Slugging Percentage

The “slash stats” have become familiar to the majority of baseball fans at this point. In baseball, slash stats are often represented as.260/.360/.460, where the first number represents Batting Average, the second represents On-Base Percentage, and the third represents Slugging Percentage. In baseball, slash numbers are typically expressed as.260/.360/.460. The meaning of the first two sentences is self-evident to me. Third, I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with it, and I’ve just lately started thinking about it really.

  1. To which a perceptive listener would respond, “Wonderful, but what does it mean toslug?” Fortunately, slugging percentage (also known as SLG percent, in the sake of protecting my typing fingers) is a rather straightforward concept to grasp and understand.
  2. As a representation in middle school mathematics, the following is correct: The total bases earned by a hitter are the total amount of bases earned by the batter for all hits.
  3. Double: A total of two bases are earned.
  4. Home Run: Four extra bases are earned.
  5. You can compare one player’s SLG percent to the other players’ SLG percent since the circles in the graphic are to scale (though I won’t tell you what scale I’m using to maintain some surprise).
  6. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carlos Lee and J.D.
  7. Slugging Percentage is just that straightforward!
  8. The typical player will earn 42.7 percent of a base by hitting for every at bat, which translates to 42.7 percent of a base for every at bat.
  9. Every 2.4 At Bats, a league-average hitter (.427 SLG percent) will gain one base on a hit, for a total of two bases every game.
  10. The lower the numbers on this chart, the better.
  11. Once again, we observe that Lee and Martinez require the fewest amount of at-bats to reach first base, but Schafer and Quintero require the most number of at-bats.

A long time ago, slugging percentage (SLG percent) was the statistic of choice for evaluating a player’s slugging power. However, as more geeky individuals put their collective brain to the sport, it became apparent that other measures assessed slugging ability a bit better.

Isolated Power

SLG percent has a flaw in its design. It is possible to “beat the system,” to put it another way. The SLG percent can be high despite not exhibiting the usual counting numbers (especially in Home Runs) that are associated with a real Power Hitter (for example, a high Home Run percentage). Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is an excellent example of this type of athlete. In 7,500 at bats, Ichiro manages just 95 home runs and 74 triples, which is around league average for a player of his caliber and experience.

  1. Ichiro’s career hits total over 2,500, with 2,000 of them being singles, which distorts his SLG percent.
  2. ISO, or Isolated Power, is a solution that has been developed by people who are far more intelligent than me.
  3. This only gives the player credit for the bases he accumulates after the first on a single hit, not for any more bases.
  4. Earned a double:one base 2 bases were earned in a triple.

For individuals who are interested in learning more about ISO’s arithmetic, the following formula is provided: SLG percent and ISO provide various perspectives on who exactly qualifies as a “Power Hitter,” and this distinction is important in terms of categorizing such batters in the first place.

  • Please read the following disclaimer: I have de-rated the SLG percent and ISO by 10% for players whose figures were mostly derived from minor league statistics.
  • The ten percent figure is entirely arbitrary, as I have stated, because I am not a statistician and do not wish to be one.
  • Again, only Martinez and Lee are well above the national average in either statistic.
  • Consider the case of Lowrie and Altuve, for example.
  • Nevertheless, when first base is eliminated from the equation, it becomes clear that Altuve’s perceived power is inflated by a big amount of singles, whereas Lowrie actually possesses more genuine power.
  • However, ISO data reveals that when they do get a hit (which is not often, regrettably), they hit the ball a considerable distance.
  • This demonstrates that Schafer and Quintero have nearly non-existent power, with only Martinez and Lee being above-average in this regard.
  • Mathematical rigor to follow: This is seen in the chart below.

Another point to emphasize is that the Astros currently have no hitters on their big league roster that are significantly better than “slightly above-average” when it comes to slugging percentage. This is something that they will have to fix before they can once again be considered contenders.

Combining the Data

One of the weaknesses of SLG percent is that You may “beat the system,” as they say, by following a few simple steps. The SLG percent might be high despite not exhibiting the usual counting numbers (especially in Home Runs) that are associated with a real Power Hitter (for example, a low batting average). Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is an excellent example of such a player. Ichiro has a slugging percentage that is approximately league average, but he has just 95 home runs and 74 triples in 7,500 at-bats.

  1. Ichiro’s career total of almost 2,500 hits includes 2,000 singles, which distorts his SLG percentage.
  2. ISO, or Isolated Power, is a solution that has been developed by people far more intelligent than me.
  3. 0 bases were gained on a single throw.
  4. Earned a triple: two bases 3 bases are earned on a home run In case you’re interested, the ISO math is presented below for people who appreciate this kind of stuff.
  5. The Astros’ 2012 season statistics are shown in the table below for the previous three years.

Everybody understands that a player will not hit as well in the majors as he did in the minors (with very rare exceptions, and I don’t see anyone on the list below who should qualify as an exception), so comparing their minor league numbers to major leaguers like Lee would be a ridiculous comparison to make.

  1. However, for horseshoes and hand grenades, the figures shown below should be near enough to be useful.
  2. The fascinating thing about this figure is that it displays the difference between power represented as a percentage of SLG and power expressed as a percentage of ISO.
  3. Both players are around league average in terms of SLG percent, and they are approximately similar in terms of SLG percent.
  4. Cust and Snyder, on the other hand, have below-average SLG percent, which leads one to conclude they are not power hitters.
  5. In the image below, another baseball field depicting the 2012 Astros’ ISO is shown to scale with the previous one in order to compare the two.
  6. Similarly to SLG percent, we can use ISO in reverse to determine how many At Bats a player needs to gain an additional base.
  7. A visual representation of this is provided in the chart below: You can see how ISO more clearly distinguishes between those who are power hitters and those who are not if you compare it to the graphic above for SLG percent.

Another point to emphasize is that the Astros currently have no hitters on their big league roster that are significantly better than “slightly above-average” when it comes to slugging ability. In order to regain their status as contenders, they will have to solve this issue first.

  1. Michael Jordan Schafer
  2. Chris Snyder
  3. Jed Lowrie(tie)
  4. Matt Downs(tie)
  5. Jack Cust
  6. Carlos Lee
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. J.D Martinez
  9. Brett Wallace
  10. Jose Altuve
  11. Brian Bogusevic
  12. Jimmy Paredes
  13. Jason Castro
  14. And Humberto Quintero

Just for Fun

I put together one last chart to have a look at some more heavy hitters. This list contains two Hall of Famers, a player who most likely should be in the Hall of Fame, three players who most likely will be in the Hall of Fame, as well as two former Astros who are intriguing cases. By today’s standards, Ty Cobb, although having a slugging percentage that would have been regarded good in any period, was not a particularly powerful hitter. Just like Ichiro, he hit a ton of singles during his career, and he has the greatest lifetime batting average of all time.

Babe Ruth is included solely for the purpose of comparison, as no other player, not even Barry Bonds, comes close to his SLG percent and ISO.

Bagwell and Biggio are included because, if I hadn’t, someone would very certainly have inquired as to their inclusion.

As we all know,Angel Sanchez is a really bad hitter, and we all seen him hit nothing but singles last season.

Sanchez has the least amount of power out of all the guys I looked at for this post.

Even though Keppinger walks a little less, comparing the two players’ power figures reveals just how baseball’s attitude towards batters has evolved over the years.


Since Ty Cobb played, baseball has evolved, and slugging has risen to become the most important ability a batter can possess. Considering what has been shown so far, the Astros will need to make moves in order to acquire players that possess this ability if they are to catch up with the rest of baseball’s offensive.

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