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Thigpen "57"
08-18-2008, 06:01 PM
So I was casually browsing through the mlb.com site, and came across their Stats 101 section, where they break down how to compute different baseball stats (duh).

Anyways, when I was looking over the OBP percentage it shows the following formula:

Hits + BB's + HBP
divided by
AB's + BB's + HBP + Sacrafice flies

Example, Carlos Quentin as of August 18, 2008:
127+56+20 / 435+56+20+3 = 203/524= .3949= .395 OBP%


So my questions is why are sacrifice flies counted into the equation? Maybe more importantly, why are SF's counted, but not Sacrifice Hits?
To me it almost seems like punishment to the batter for making a "good basbeall play".

The only reasoning I could come up with is that while a SF maybe a sacrifice of an at bat, it is not always intentional. Such as swinging for the fence but coming up short to the track, still scoring the run from third. Where as a sacrifice hit is usually intentional, i.e. sacrifice bunt.

Please discuss....

turners56
08-18-2008, 06:08 PM
So I was casually browsing through the mlb.com site, and came across their Stats 101 section, where they break down how to compute different baseball stats (duh).

Anyways, when I was looking over the OBP percentage it shows the following formula:

Hits + BB's + HBP
divided by
AB's + BB's + HBP + Sacrafice flies

Example, Carlos Quentin as of August 18, 2008:
127+56+20 / 435+56+20+3 = 203/524= .3949= .395 OBP%


So my questions is why are sacrifice flies counted into the equation? Maybe more importantly, why are SF's counted, but not Sacrifice Hits?
To me it almost seems like punishment to the batter for making a "good basbeall play".

The only reasoning I could come up with is that while a SF maybe a sacrifice of an at bat, it is not always intentional. Such as swinging for the fence but coming up short to the track, still scoring the run from third. Where as a sacrifice hit is usually intentional, i.e. sacrifice bunt.

Please discuss....

I thought sac bunts did count against you.

Thigpen "57"
08-18-2008, 06:15 PM
Apparently not. Take AJ for another example. His OBP as of today is at .317 according to all official baseball sites.

If you add his 3 sacrifice hits into the equation, his OBP would be at .315% instead.

turners56
08-18-2008, 06:25 PM
Apparently not. Take AJ for another example. His OBP as of today is at .317 according to all official baseball sites.

If you add his 3 sacrifice hits into the equation, his OBP would be at .315% instead.

Interesting. I remember counting against sac bunts back when I did stats back in 05.

TDog
08-18-2008, 06:40 PM
Apparently not. Take AJ for another example. His OBP as of today is at .317 according to all official baseball sites.

If you add his 3 sacrifice hits into the equation, his OBP would be at .315% instead.

Sacrifice flies count against you in your on-base percentage because a hitter who hits a sacrifice fly is not intentionally giving himself up to drive in a run. He is swinging away, often swinging for the fences. Most often, sacrifice flies are consolation prizes. There are occasions when a sacrifice fly actually takes a team out of an inning or a game, where the consolation is less conciliatory than other times -- when a team is down by two runs in the ninth with one out and a deep drive scoring the run means nothing. Players get credit for sacrifice flies in situations where scorers would not allow them credit for sacrifice bunts because the score would indicate they were bunting for hits.

Sacrifice bunts, on the other hand, are presumed ordered from the bench. A player (maybe a National League pitcher) isn't going to get credit for a sacrifice bunt if his team is down by six runs because it is obvious the player was bunting for a hit. When a player is bunting to give himself up to advance a runner, you don't penalize him. You do, however, penalize a player if he advances a runner from second to third by grounding out to the right side because he was ostensibly trying to get a hit by swinging away.

Players used to be charged with times at bat for run-scoring fly balls. Ted Williams would have hit .411 in 1941 if the current sacrifice fly rule was in place. The theory behind not charging a time at bat came because there was a time when players were giving themselves up to score runs by driving the ball with exaggerated undercuts. Until the 1970s, a player couldn't get credit for a sacrifice fly on a line drive that scored a run or a fly ball caught by an infielder. Baseball has opted to inflate batting averages by changing the rules so that every time a runner scores after tagging up on a ball caught by an infielder or an outfielder (I'm not sure if there is an approved casebook ruling on a catcher tumbling into the stands while making a catch with less than two out and a runner on third), the hitter is not charged with a time at bat.

However, a sacrifice fly will end a consecutive-game hitting streak if a player gets no official at bats in a game. Sacrifice bunts (called sacrifice hits in the rule book) do not. Sacrifice flies also will end a consecutive hit streak, whereas walks, hit batsmen, catcher's interference and sacrifice bunts do not.

A hitter who drives in a run on a groundout is charged with a time at bat. I believe a hitter who drives in a run with a flyout should be as well.

The least it can do is lower a player's on-base percentage. I have seen players in April who have had higher batting averages than on-base percentages because of sacrifice flies.

Thigpen "57"
08-18-2008, 06:45 PM
Sacrifice flies count against you in your on-base percentage because a hitter who hits a sacrifice fly is not intentionally giving himself up to drive in a run. He is swinging away, often swinging for the fences. Most often, sacrifice flies are consolation prizes....


Cool, good to know that my guess in the first post was right!!

Thanks for the detailed response TDog!

Brian26
08-18-2008, 10:31 PM
Sacrifice flies count against you in your on-base percentage because a hitter who hits a sacrifice fly is not intentionally giving himself up to drive in a run. He is swinging away, often swinging for the fences. Most often, sacrifice flies are consolation prizes. There are occasions when a sacrifice fly actually takes a team out of an inning or a game, where the consolation is less conciliatory than other times -- when a team is down by two runs in the ninth with one out and a deep drive scoring the run means nothing. Players get credit for sacrifice flies in situations where scorers would not allow them credit for sacrifice bunts because the score would indicate they were bunting for hits.

Sacrifice bunts, on the other hand, are presumed ordered from the bench. A player (maybe a National League pitcher) isn't going to get credit for a sacrifice bunt if his team is down by six runs because it is obvious the player was bunting for a hit. When a player is bunting to give himself up to advance a runner, you don't penalize him. You do, however, penalize a player if he advances a runner from second to third by grounding out to the right side because he was ostensibly trying to get a hit by swinging away.

Players used to be charged with times at bat for run-scoring fly balls. Ted Williams would have hit .411 in 1941 if the current sacrifice fly rule was in place. The theory behind not charging a time at bat came because there was a time when players were giving themselves up to score runs by driving the ball with exaggerated undercuts. Until the 1970s, a player couldn't get credit for a sacrifice fly on a line drive that scored a run or a fly ball caught by an infielder. Baseball has opted to inflate batting averages by changing the rules so that every time a runner scores after tagging up on a ball caught by an infielder or an outfielder (I'm not sure if there is an approved casebook ruling on a catcher tumbling into the stands while making a catch with less than two out and a runner on third), the hitter is not charged with a time at bat.

However, a sacrifice fly will end a consecutive-game hitting streak if a player gets no official at bats in a game. Sacrifice bunts (called sacrifice hits in the rule book) do not. Sacrifice flies also will end a consecutive hit streak, whereas walks, hit batsmen, catcher's interference and sacrifice bunts do not.

A hitter who drives in a run on a groundout is charged with a time at bat. I believe a hitter who drives in a run with a flyout should be as well.

The least it can do is lower a player's on-base percentage. I have seen players in April who have had higher batting averages than on-base percentages because of sacrifice flies.

Excellent read. Thank you for taking the time to post that. Since I began scoring games, I've always found it odd that sac flies aren't considered official at-bats. The most obvious contradiction to the rule is that a batter doesn't get a sacrifice if a runner tags up from 2nd to go to 3rd, so why should he get one for a runner scoring from 3rd on a fly?