I want to know what the avg MLB player’s stats are over the course of history. Anyone know the right link?
What do you mean by average? Do you want the batting average, on base percentage, home runs, RBIs, et al, averaged together for every player going all the way back to 1876.
I doubt you can find this on the web. You can buy a copy of Total Baseball and then take the league totals for every year and get yourself a calculator.
There will be a lot of noise in that data. Statistics aren’t comparable over eras and standards have changed. I’m not sure some numbers would be relevant.
Since there are far more players in the last 30 years than the first 100 (approximating here), you might have to work on weighting the figures. Pitchers threw 500 innings a year in the 19th century and the best only get over 200 now. However, for decades you could lead the league with 10-15 home runs. Now, you need 40-50.
Or, you could pick up a copy of the Baseball Prospectus.
They have a method for ‘equalizing’ player performances, and their own stat, Equivalent Average (EqA). The calculation is based on normalized statistics, so as to remove league context and park effects, and so forth…
So, a perfectly average player, by definition, has an EqA of .260
The stat lines also show a perfectly average hitter to have a .270 batting average, .340 on-base percentage, and .440 slugging percentage. I’m not sure if this is normalized for era, though.
Actually, you can. There is a gentleman named Sean Lahman who has available on the web (do a Yahoo! search on his name) a DB in Access format of every player’s stats since 1871 (the founding of the NA). Best of all, it’s free!
But still will doing something like adding up all the hits back to 1871 and dividing by the number of ABs in a similar provide a number that means anything?
I suppose it would be an interesting math problem.
Yes it is. Those figures are typical of today’s player; in most years over the course of baseball history, they’d be above average.
The Baseball Prospectus only normalizes statistics for current players, as a rule.
Despite which, it’s a great book. (I have a copy of each year’s edition since they started. I actually play in a fantasy baseball league with one of the co-founders. Great guy!)
RickJay is quite correct in stating that the statistics are normalized for today’s era.
Well, I’d assume that they had to do it for every player at -some- point, as they have EqA’s calculated for all of them on the website, http://www.baseballprospectus.com
But, I love the book, if only for the new and exciting ways they come up with to rip on Tom Goodwin every year…