What Is OPS In Baseball?

OPS, or On Base Plus Slugging, is a fundamental metric in baseball, serving as an effective measure to quantify a player’s quality. This comprehensive statistic is built from a variety of sub-statistics, including hits, walks, and slugging percentages. It’s a useful tool in evaluating how a player may fare in different MLB stadiums, particularly in…

OPS, or On Base Plus Slugging, is a fundamental metric in baseball, serving as an effective measure to quantify a player’s quality. This comprehensive statistic is built from a variety of sub-statistics, including hits, walks, and slugging percentages.

It’s a useful tool in evaluating how a player may fare in different MLB stadiums, particularly in hitter-friendly venues. The essence of OPS is to determine how frequently a player reaches base, whether it be through walks or a base hit, and the kind of hits, like singles or doubles, the batter manages throughout the season.

What Is OPS In Baseball?

Known in the world of baseball as “On-base Plus Slugging,” OPS is a statistic that calculates a player’s performance based on the type of hits and walks they’ve accumulated throughout the game. This valuable formula is a blend of a player’s batting average and the factor of how many pitches have resulted in a hit, whether it be a single, double, or even a home run. The statistic takes into account every time a player steps up to the plate, including plate appearances, walks, hits by pitches (HBP), and at-bats. Coaches, scouts, and teams all use OPS as an essential measure for batting performance to assess talent and form a roster.
What Is OPS In Baseball

What is on-base plus slugging (OPS)?

Delving deeper, On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic employed to evaluate a player’s offensive performance. OPS combines two critical aspects of a hitter’s productivity: on-base percentage (how often the player gets on base) and slugging percentage (the average number of bases achieved per at-bat).

OPS gives a comprehensive picture of a player’s performance, accounting for aspects like batting average, home runs, plate appearances, walks, and even strikeouts. Notably, OPS also incorporates the concept of slash lines and is a vital element of baseball offensive play.

Example OPS Formula:

To give an example of how OPS is calculated, consider a baseball player in a game. OPS is the sum of a player’s On-Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG). For calculating OBP, you would use the following formula:

(Hits + Walks + Hit by Pitches) / (At Bats + Walks + Hit by Pitches + Sacrifice Flies).

Similarly, SLG is calculated as: (singles + 2 double + 3 triple + 4*homerun) / Total At Bats (AB).

Adding these two results gives the player’s OPS for that game.

How do I calculate OPS in baseball?

In major league baseball (MLB), the statistic OPS is used to gauge a player’s offensive performance. To compute this batting metric, you combine the player’s on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). These individual statistics reflect different facets of the player’s hitting abilities. An OPS score of .800 is considered excellent, while a score between .700-.800 is deemed above average. Anything below .700 might suggest the player needs to improve their offensive performance.

How OPS Combines Both Metrics (SLG + OBP)

OPS seamlessly integrates two critical baseball metrics: on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). By combining these two components, OPS can provide a well-rounded snapshot of a player’s performance in a season. It reflects not only how often a player gets on base but also their power—how far they can hit the ball. Consequently, it has become an invaluable statistic in identifying potential All-Star or MVP candidates.

What is a Good OPS in Baseball?

In any MLB season, a good average OPS for a baseball player is usually around .750. A player with an OPS north of this average is considered excellent, often landing a starting position in the All-Star game or being a key contributor to their team’s success.

Examples of such players include Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, and Mike Trout, who have all demonstrated considerable skill at the plate, hitting home runs and earning walks with authority, solidifying their high OPS scores.

What is a good OPS for an MLB player?

In Major League Baseball (MLB), a good OPS (on-base plus slugging) figure is often seen as .750 or more. For example, in 2017, renowned player Aaron Judge achieved an impressive OPS of 1.049, well above the league average. Another perspective is offered by historical greats like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, both Hall of Fame members known for their impressive OPS numbers.

How Does OPS Work for Pitchers?

OPS isn’t solely a measure for batters. It’s also used as a key metric for evaluating pitchers. Specifically, a pitcher’s performance can be gauged by looking at the OPS against him. The formula uses at-bats by opposing hitters and the base hits they have made. In this way, it’s one of the essential metrics in baseball used to assess pitchers.

Who has the highest OPS in baseball?

When it comes to exceptional offensive performance in baseball, a player’s OPS (especially extra-base hits) plays a significant role. Power hitters like Alex Rodriguez, Bryce Harper, David Ortiz, and David Davis have some of the highest OPS in baseball history. For example, Ross Barnes marked an

All-Star season in 1876 with a .879 OPS. David McWater, in his MVP season of 1895, managed a 1.082 OPS. These batting stats demonstrate offensive production prowess, showing who can perform in big games and clutch situations. Baseball history has seen some impressive career OPS numbers from players like Josh Gibson, Job Gibson, and Barry Bonds.

Do Sacrifice Flies Count in OPS?

A sacrifice fly can impact a player’s batting average and on-base percentage, two components of the OPS metric. However, in the calculation of OPS, a sacrifice fly is not counted as an at-bat, and hence does not directly factor into the on-base percentage (OBP). This nuance of baseball rules adds complexity to the calculation of OPS.

Do walks count for OPS?

Walks are a fundamental part of OPS, factoring into a player’s on-base percentage. Walk rates can indicate a player’s command over the strike zone, and players with high walk rates often also have high-slugging percentages, earning extra bases and boosting their OPS.

Is OPS the same as the batting average?

While both OPS and batting average offer insights into a hitter’s ability, they are not the same. OPS combines on-base percentage and slugging average, taking into account walks, hits, doubles, triples, and home runs, while batting average focuses primarily on hits. The OPS formula provides a more comprehensive view of a player’s ability to get on base and hit quality shots.

Are there better stats than OPS?

OPS, or on-base plus slugging, has been a popular metric since 1984 for assessing offensive performance. However, there are other stats such as Wins Above Replacement (WAR) that give a more holistic view of a player’s value. Taking into account things like position, park factors, and home-field advantage, WAR provides a different perspective than OPS.

What are the Flaws of Using OPS in Baseball?

While OPS is a valued statistic, it has its flaws. For instance, it doesn’t adequately value singles or a player’s speed and ability to steal a base. Power hitters often benefit more from the OPS equation, while speedsters and singles hitters are undervalued. Additionally, OPS doesn’t account for the context of the game, such as the difference in value between a home run in a blowout game versus a grand slam in the ninth inning.

Is a 700 OPS good?

Within the world of baseball, an OPS of 700 is generally considered decent, placing a hitter in the top third of Major League Baseball. A player with such an OPS would be viewed as an above-average hitter, which in the world of fantasy baseball, could earn some serious points.

For comparison, Mark McGwire’s career OPS was .982, significantly above the average. However, OPS isn’t the only metric to consider; defensive statistics and position also play a part in evaluating a player’s overall contribution.


In conclusion, OPS in baseball is a vital metric that combines on-base average and slugging percentage to evaluate a player’s offensive performance. As part of the larger world of sabermetrics, OPS is a powerful tool for analyzing a baseball player’s performance. The formula gives credit to the hitter not just for their ability to get on base, but also for advancing to scoring positions through quality hits. It is a crucial statistic in the division of pitching and hitting, offering a comprehensive picture of a player’s performance at the plate.

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