MLB  > General MLB  > Stats ??? What do they mean and how important are they?
June 14, 2010, 10:41 PM
Part I ??? Hitting Stats

by Rich Stowe

On several sports sites, I continually see so-called sports fans (and some paid analysts!) using stats to justify player comparisons or evaluations without actually knowing what the stats actually mean and how important each stat is in the big picture. This is a big problem when talking about baseball players. So, in this article and next week in part two, I will do a breakdown of all the relevant stats for hitters and pitchers, what they mean and how they should be used when comparing players, evaluating a player???s career etc. The stats I will use will be those listed on any player???s main player page on Baseball-Reference (not the stats you will find under the ???more stats??? section) because these encompass the main stats people use when talking baseball.

This week I???m going to start with hitting stats ??? what???s more important RBIs or OBP? Hopefully, by the time you get done reading this article you will know the answer and be able to explain why and the next time you are talking about baseball, you will sound like an informed sports fan and not just a typical talking-head. So, here???s what stats are listed on Baseball-Reference and what they actually mean, how important they actually are and how they should be used. Then, at the end, I will rank the stats in order of importance ??? but keep in mind, no single stat can or should be used to say whether a player was good or not; you have to use all the stats to get a complete picture a player.

First, let me breakdown how I categorize a stat. I have three categories of stats ??? production stat, result stat or throwaway stat. Here???s the definition of each:


http://www.informativesports.com/MLB/0610/Stats_I.htm
 
October 17, 2010  11:23 AM ET

I'm so happy that you allow us poor ignorant slobs to savor the benefit of your wisdom.

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