# Baseball: What is the slugging stat?

I’ve looked on baseballreference.com, but I can’t find an actual explanation of what this stat means. Any help?

I don’t know the exact formula, but it’s a measure not just of how many hits a batter gets, but how many bases. So a player who hits a lot of extra base hits – double, triples or home runs – will have a higher slugging percentage than one who gets mostly singles. And so on.

Think “batting average”, but adjusted for power. If you and I both hit our way on base one time out of every three, then our .333 batting averages say we’re equal – but if you always do it by hitting triples or home runs, and I always do it with mere singles and doubles, you’re clearly a better slugger.

Slugging percentage

It’s total bases* divided by at bats.

• singles + 2x doubles + 3x triples + 4x homers.

Thanks guys. This is why I pay the dues

So, of course, the slugging percentage can never be better than the batting average but it can be higher. That, of course, brings up the question of would you rather have the .250 hitter with a .400 slugging percentage pinch-hit or the .300 hitter with the .300 slugging percentage and other similar baseball arguments.

Sorry, I should say the slugging percentage can never be LOWER than the batting average but it can be higher. .

There’s also the new fad stat that GM’s like to look at: On Base Avg + Slugging Avg(OPS) which is kind of an indication of both power and the ability to get on base. It’s a better guage of a player’s overall hitting contribution than just a batting average or slugging average alone.

Right. Because if you get a walk as often as I get a single, and we both strike out the rest of the time – well, look, your batting average sucks compared to yours, but you’re clearly just as valuable. (I mean, yes, you’re not going to advance the runner on first all the way to third – but you’re not going to hit into a play that gets him out at second, either. You’re just going to take your base and move him ahead.)

Er, “compared to mine”, obviously.

Well if there are two outs, and it’s a tie game or I’m down by one run in the bottom of the ninth, give me the .300 hitter if the bases are loaded because all I need is a single. If no one is on base, I’ll take the guy who might hit a home run or a double and get into scoring position.