What is slugging in Baseball ? Can someone explain the slugging percentage?

What is slugging in baseball ? Slugging percentage represents the total number of bases a player records per at-bat. Unlike on-base percentage, slugging percentage deals only with hits and does not include walks and hit-by-pitches in its equation.

Slugging percentage differs from batting average in that all hits are not valued equally. While batting average is calculated by dividing the total number of hits by the total number of at-bats, the formula for slugging percentage is: (1B + 2Bx2 + 3Bx3 + HRx4)/AB.

Although a double is not worth exactly twice as much as a single in the context of scoring runs, slugging percentage is still one of the best evaluators of power, because it accounts for more than just home runs.

Slugging percentage can also be applied as an evaluative tool for pitchers, although this is done less frequently. In such cases, it is referred to as slugging-percentage against.

what is slugging in baseball

What Does Slugging Mean? Slugging Percentage in Baseball

Whether you’re a new baseball fan or a veteran, learning a new baseball jargon can be overwhelming at first. Read on

1. Definition of slugging percentage

We determine the slugging percentage by dividing the number of bases a player records by their number of at-bats. Here’s a simpler definition to help you relate it to baseball:

This statistic describes how well a player hits for power and measures their ability to get extra-base hits like doubles, triples, and home runs.
But why does it matter in baseball?

Well, the slugging definition in baseball is strongly linked to a batter’s value to a team by increasing their chances of advancing to the next round and their financial worth.
The slugging percentage is categorized as good, outstanding, or elite. Because baseball is not just about winning but also about developing sustainable team strategies, the slugging percentage is useful in revealing these tactics.

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2. History of slugging percentage

The slugging percentage used in baseball in the 1860s was different from what we use today. Before, statisticians would use the number of games as the denominator instead of at-bats.

But Henry Chadwick believed that a player’s true skill couldn’t be accurately measured by their hitting statistics alone. He wanted to give credit only for the bases earned without any mistakes.

1867: Introduction

So in 1867, Chadwick came up with a new way to measure a baseball player’s effectiveness. The modern slugging percentage was invented, measuring the number of bases a player gets per at-bat, not per game.

1923: Official statistic

This became an official statistic for the National League in 1923. It was in 1946 when the American League adopted the same.

However, the masses were not immediately interested to know what is the slugging percentage in baseball.

1952: Appearing on the baseball card

It wasn’t until 1952 that it was first featured on the back of a baseball card. And it was only in 1981 that slugging percentage became a regular feature on these cards.

But the fact that you’re reading this blog about the slugging baseball stat today proves that Chadwick’s early efforts to measure a player’s true effectiveness have paid off in a big way!

3. How to calculate for slugging percentage

There are many slugging percentage calculators online that you can try. However, if you don’t want to rely on technology or simply want to understand how it’s calculated, we’ll teach you how to manually calculate the slugging percentage.

The slugging percentage formula is simple:

(1(B) + 2(Bx2) + 3(Bx3) + H(Rx4))/AB.

To get the baseball SLG’s total base, you need to count the number of bases they earned from their hits. You add one extra base for each double, two for each triple, and three for each home run.

After that, simply divide it by the at-bat value.

4. What is a good slugging percentage?

Now that you know the average slugging formula let’s put it into context by discussing what a good slugging percentage is.

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There’s no definite benchmark when talking about good slugging percentage. This is because there are different types of hitters, and what’s good for one may be excellent for another.

A good figure for slugging percentage: 0.450

An average of 0.550 would be considered outstanding

Anything 0.650 and above is considered elite.

A 0.350 slugging percentage is fairly poor.

Career Leaders in Slugging Percentage

Slugging Percentage Vs. Batting Average: What’s the Difference?

Regarding the slugging percentage in baseball, we focus on understanding how these metrics are calculated and what they reveal about a player’s performance, focusing on the hits he makes.

On the other hand, the batting average also represents the number of hits a player gets in relation to their total at-bats, but walks and hit-by-pitches are included in the equation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is OBP in baseball?

On-Base Percentage (OBP) measures how often a batter gets on base per plate appearance.

This includes any time the batter gets a hit, walks, or is hit by a pitch. However, it does not include when a batter reaches base due to errors, the fielder’s choice, or dropped third strikes.

How effective is combining OBP and SLG?

In baseball, OPS percentage (On-Base Plus Slugging) is the combination of On-Base Percentage (OBP) and Slugging Percentage (SLG).

It’s effective as it is easier for statisticians and analysts to measure a player’s overall offensive performance. Adding these two metrics together gives OPS a more comprehensive view of a player’s skill based on his performance.

What is OPS in baseball?

OPS stands for on-base percentage plus slugging percentage. A hitter’s OPS is his on-base percentage and slugging percentage added together. That means the number includes the value of a player reaching base often, while also quantifying what kind of hits a player is producing.

Batting average doesn’t weight a player’s hits the same way OPS does. For example, a player with 27 singles in 100 at-bats would have a .270 average. A player with 27 home runs in 100 at-bats would also have a .270 average. The player with 27 home runs has decisively added more value than the player with 27 singles, and he would have a dramatically higher OPS as a result.

What is slugging percentage?

Slugging percentage is certainly the more complicated of the two stats that go into OPS. Ultimately, a player’s slugging percentage takes into account his total bases. Walks and hit-by-pitches are not factored in; only hits.

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When calculating slugging percentage, singles count as one, doubles are multiplied by two, triples are multiplied by three, and home runs are multiplied by four. The resulting numbers are added together a divided by a player’s total number of at-bats.

Unlike on-base percentage or batting average, slugging percentage recognizes that not all hits are the same and is a good tool for evaluating a player’s power. A player who hits 45 home runs will come away with a pretty strong slugging percentage regardless of whether he hits .200 or strikes out often (looking at you, Kyle Schwarber).

What is on-base percentage?

On-base percentage measures how often a hitter reaches base, per plate appearance. Hits, walks and hit-by-pitches are included in a hitter’s on-base percentage, but a hitter does not credit for reaching base on an error, dropped third strike, or fielder’s choice.

If a player reaches base by either hit, walk or hit-by-pitch 34 times out of 100 plate appearances, his OBP will be .340. To get a player’s OPS, that number is added to his slugging percentage.

what is slugging in baseball

What is a good OPS in baseball?

OPS isn’t weighted, unlike OPS+ and wRC+, so the average OPS varies by year. This season, the league average OPS was .734 OPS. In 2022, however, the average OPS was only .706. In almost all cases, though, any OPS above .800 indicates a player is a good-to-very-good hitter.

A 1.000 OPS is essentially the holy grail of the stat. While the value of a 1.000 OPS varies by season, only a small handful of qualified hitters tend to reach the mark or even come very close each year. This season, Shohei Ohtani, Corey Seager and Ronald Acuna Jr. posted an OPS north of 1.000, while Matt Olson and Mookie Betts were both above .980.


From now on, you don’t have to ask, “What is a slugging percentage in baseball?” With our easy-to-understand definition, plus the SLG baseball formula, it’s easy for you to master this metric!

We hope that by mentioning the players with the highest SLG, you become more interested in baseball’s history and how to find out about its fascinating statistics. If you want to learn more about baseball jargon and statistics, we have more articles you can read.

Above is information what is slugging in baseball.   Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of what is slugging in baseball .Thank you for reading our post.

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