Having an OBP lower than Avg.

So, I was at the AAA All-Star game this past week, and I noticed that a player in the game (I wish I remember who now, but it was a bit hazy and their stats are no longer the same) had an OBP lower than their batting average at the time.

Now, looking at the formula for batting average:


As well as OBP:


We can see that it is possible for a player to have an OBP lower than their batting average by having few to no walks/times hit by pitch with a higher number of sac. flies.

For example, a player with 1 hit, 0 walks, and 1 sf would have a batting average of 1.000 with an OBP of 0.500

With that information in mind, let's take a look at some of the times this has happened over the course of an entire year.

SELECT concat(m.nameFirst, " ", m.nameLast) AS Name, b.yearID AS Year, b.G,
     H, 2B, 3B, HR,
     BB, HBP, SF, SH,
    H/AB as AVG,
    (H+BB+HBP)/(AB+BB+HBP+SF) as OBP,
    (H+2B+2*3B+3*HR)/AB as SLG,
    ((H+BB+HBP)/(AB+BB+HBP+SF)) + ((H+2B+2*3B+3*HR)/AB) as OPS
FROM Batting b
INNER JOIN Master m ON m.playerID = b.playerID
WHERE b.yearID >= 1955
HAVING PA >= 100 and OBP < AVG
ORDER BY yearID desc


So, it looks like in the 11 times this has occurred since 1955 (with a minimum of 100 plate appearances), Mario Duncan in '95 did it with the best OPS (0.6881), as well as the most plate appearances (201).

Additionally, the largest difference between the two was Steve Carlton's 1974 season, with a 0.0070 difference between the two.

Mariano Duncan19955219620156121301310.28570.28500.40310.6881
Fernando Valenzuela1986391091162440000160.22020.21820.25690.4751
Fernando Valenzuela198535971032120100150.21650.21430.26800.4823
Rob Picciolo1984871191282460100180.20170.20000.27730.4773
Steve Carlton1974391021122530000370.24510.23810.27450.5126
Catfish Hunter1972391051162300000290.21900.21500.21900.4340
Mike Cuellar1969391031131212000280.11650.11430.16500.2793
Sam McDowell1969399210416300001110.17390.17200.20650.3786
Tony Cloninger1965411051141732100270.16190.15890.25710.4160
Jim Bunning196441991091220000190.12120.12000.14140.2614
Ernie Bowman1963811251312330000240.18400.18110.20800.3891

Other than that, of these 11 seasons, 8 of them were performed by pitchers. This is probably due to the combination of pitchers being used to move runners along in conjunction with not taking as many walks as regular batters.

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Ray Doyle is an avid pentester/security enthusiast/beer connoisseur who has worked in IT for almost 16 years now. From building machines and the software on them, to breaking into them and tearing it all down; he's done it all. To show for it, he has obtained an OSCE, OSCP, eCPPT, GXPN, eWPT, eWPTX, SLAE, eMAPT, Security+, ICAgile CP, ITIL v3 Foundation, and even a sabermetrics certification!

He currently serves as a Senior Staff Adversarial Engineer for Avalara, and his previous position was a Principal Penetration Testing Consultant for Secureworks.

When he's not figuring out what cert to get next or side project to work on, he enjoys playing video games, traveling, and watching sports.

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Common passed on this blog, I made it to a jam.

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