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Detailed description of basic statistic attributes throughout the site. Note that The Baseball Cube's function within the baseball universe is not in Sabrmetrics or cutting edge analytics.

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Batting Attributes -- Pitching Attributes -- Fielding Attributes -- Pitch Attributes

Batting Statistics Glossary

Abbr Stat Name Description
G Games Played Occurs once a player has appeared on the lineup card, including only as a fielder
AB At Bats Reflects the number of plate appearances where the player could have reached base safely. Walks, Hit by Pitch, Sacrifice Bunts and Sacrifice Flies are removed from the at bats statistic. At bats is primarily used to calculate Batting Average and Slugging Percentage.
R Runs Scored The number of times a player scores a run where he is the player to touch home plate. A pinch runner will get credit for a run scored.
H Hits Number of times a player reached base safely via a hit ball where the opposition did not make an error nor did the hit result in an out elsewhere on the bases. An exception would be a runner trying to take an additional base but being thrown out in which case the batter would still get credit for a hit. A player also gets credit for a hit when he is thrown out trying to stretch his hit to another base.
2B Doubles Reached second base safely on a hit ball without error by fielder. A ball that first lands in play and then exits the field of play is considered a ground-rule double.
3B Triples Reached third base safely on a hit ball without error by fielder.
HR Home Runs Hits a ball over the outfield fence or circles the bases without errors on a ball that remains in play.
RBI Runs Batted In Number of runs that scored as a result of the player's plate appearances. Including hits, batted balls, walks with bases load or sacrifice flies. The exception are when player grounds into a double play.
SB Stolen Bases Successful attempts at taking an extra base during a pitch. A stolen base is when the runner sprints towards the next base while the pitcher is throwing the ball to home plate. It is a base "stolen" during a non-event play.
CS Caught Stealing A runner attempting to steal a base is either thrown out by the pitcher or catcher. A runner who is "picked off" is slightly different. It means the player attempted to get back to his base on a pickoff throw. If pitcher attempts a pickoff throw but the runner breaks towards the next base, it becomes a stolen base attempt.
BB Walks Player reached base on 4 balls, including intentional walks.
SO Strikeouts Batter is out on 3 strikes. The 3rd strike cannot be a fouled ball unless it is tipped and caught by catcher.
HBP Hit by Pitch Batter reaches first base after a pitched ball hits him. The ball is considered dead and runners can't advance more than a forced base. The other caveat is that the umpire has to determine that the player made some attempt to not get hit though this is rarely enforced.
SH Sacrifice Hits Bunts that advanced runner(s) while resulting in the batter being thrown out. Known as a sacrifice bunt, the batter is intentionally giving himself up and is not charged with an official at bat.
SF Sacrifice Flies A flyball out that results in a runner tagging up and scoring. Usually a runner from 3B on a medium to deep fly ball though could occur in other situations and could (rarely) occur with a player scoring from 2b. The batter is awarded by not being credited with an at bat. Though the description implies the batter sacrificed himself, he is more likley being rewarded for a productive out.
IBB Intentional Walks Walks where it was deemed the pitcher walked the batter intentionally. Until 2016, this meant 4 pitches with catcher standing up and receiving the ball high and outside.In 2017, the intentional walks could be denoted with a signal to the umpire. The purpose would be to avoid facing a specific hitter or to fill an empty base to set up a force.
GDP Ground into Double Plays A play where batter hits ball on the ground resulting in 2 outs. Normally these are hard ground balls hit directly at a fielder on a force play. Though generally a player hitting into a double play is considered a negative reflection of the player, the reality is that the double play was likely a result of a hard hit ball which is always the goal of the hitter.
AVG or BAVG Batting Average A simple formula to determine a batter's hitting effectiveness by dividing the number of hits by official at bats. The subsequent percentage is called a batting average. Batting average discards other methods of reaching base such as walks and hit by pitches. It has long been considered the basis for hitter evaluation but has since been replaced by more meaningful and complex statistics that properly weight events. Batting average is still a widely used stat and there is still a batting champion unofficially declared at the end of the season.
Formula: Hits/At Bats (Official)
OBP On Base Percentage Determines the true percentage of time a player reaches base, expressed on paper as less than 1 but said out loud as a whole number. An OBP of .378 would be expressed as "Three-Seventy-Eight". Not "Point three seven eight". The main benefit of the OBP is that it does not exclude walks which is considered to be a batting skill as well as a pitcher's weakness. A batter's ability to draw a walk is discarded with batting average. OBP will also reward players that tend to get hit by a pitch. Sacrifice Flies are also considered to be a plate appearance while sacrifice bunts are not since bunts are generally considered to be intentional outs whereas a sacrifice fly is more of an incindental positive. The major fault of OBP is that it considered all hits to be equal.
Formula: (Hits+walks+hit by pitch) / (At bats+walks+hit by pitch + sac flies)
SLG Slugging Percentage Similar to batting average but weights hits based on total bases. Hits are assigned a value that matches the # of bases. Single=1,Double=2,Triple=3,Homer=4. Where OBP falls short, Slugging attempts to pick up the slack of weighting hits but this stat also falls short by omitting walks and hit by pitch. The result is another useful yet incomplete statistic. The leaders in slugging percentage are considered power hitters and lends validity to the fact that its not the number of hits you generate, its the number of bases. As with most stats listed here, they are not be used as isolated evaluators of talent ... they should be used in conjunction with all of the other adjacent statistics.
Formula: Total Bases / At Bats
OPS On Base Plus Slugging This metric tries to give a better picture of a player's total offensive contribution while at the plate. The formula is simple in that it adds the On Base Percentage and Slugging together in an effort to merge the strengths of each of the metrics. As with most metrics, there are limitations. For one, it double-counts hits. A second limitation is that the denominator for both metrics is different. OBP uses Plate Appearances (Sorta) and SLG uses at bats. Another criticism of the metric is that it seems meaningless on its own. An ops value of .900 has no real context except when compared against the league average. OBP and BAVG are percentages measured against 1000. Other metrics use an index where 100 is league average. At its core though, OPS is considered more definitive than BAVG,OBP and SLG when measuring a player's offensive abilities.
Formula: On Base + Slugging Pct
TB Total Bases The number of bases earned by a hitter on hits where each hit is weighted by the number of bases earned. (1 for Single, 2 for Double, 3 for Triple, 4 for Homers). The total bases value is subsequently used to determine slugging percentage and can also be used as a stand-alone statistic.
Formula: (Singles + (2*Doubles) + (3*Triples) + (4*Home Runs) )
XBH Extra Base Hits The number of hits that are for 2 or more bases. Doubles, Triples and Homers
Formula: (Doubles + Triples + Homers) )
PA Plate Appearances The number of times a batter has a plate presence end in an event. A plate appearance, unlike at bats, is the true number of times a player was at bat. Serves as the denominator for On Base Percentage.
Formula: (At Bats + walks + hit by pitch + Sac hits + sac flies)
BABIP Batting Avg on Balls put in Play Determines the batting average for a player on balls put in play that have the potential to be outs. The purpose of this stat is to measure a player's propensity to hit the ball hard enough or well enough to get on base. A typical BABIP is aorund .300 and from year to year, can vary widely as it depends on the quality of the defense and some elements of luck in addition to the hitter's talent level. The stat is mostly used to determine whether a player has been unlucky or too lucky in a given season and whether we can expect a correction the following season. Better hitters will have better BABIPs as they hit the ball harder.
Formula: (hits-Homers)/(at bats-strikeouts-homers + sac flies)
ISO Isolated Power Tries to compare power hitters by creating a metric that highlights only extra base hits. The formula simply subtracts batting average from slugging percentage, which essentially would remove all singles from the batting average and the result would be number of bases from extra base hits divided into at bats. An excellent power hitter would have an ISO of .250. A singles hitter will have a low ISO, likely less than .100.
Formula: (Slugging Percentage - Batting Average)
SecA Secondary Average Another way of looking at a player's production, Secondary Average evaluates a player's offensive contribution independent of batting average by trying to measure the number of extra bases gained without including hits. This measure includes power, discipline and speed. The stat still skews heavily towards power hitters.
Formula: (BB + (TB-H) + (SB-CS)) / (AB)
BB% Walk Percentage A simple calculation to determine the percentage of at bats where the player walks. Useful for comparing a player's discipline from year to year throughout his career.
Formula: (BB/PA)
SO% Strikeout Percentage A simple calculation to determine the percentage of at bats where the player strikes out.
Formula: (SO/PA)
K-BB Strikeouts to Walk Ratio The number of strikeouts per walk incurred expressed as ratio. A ratio of 2 would indicate that the batter struck out 2x more than walked. Players generally strike out more than they walk.
Formula: (Strikeouts / Walks)
HR% Home Run Percentage A simple calculation to determine the percentage of at bats where the player hits a homer.
Formula: (SO/PA)
AB/HR At Bats per Homer Average number of at bats between homers. A way to measure homer frequency and compare against players.
Formula: (AB/HR)
XBH% Extra Base Hit Pct Percentage of total hits that are for extra bases. Not too useful of a stat other than to determine whether a player is generally a power hitter. Important to distinguish between a power hitter who actually produces and a power hitter with power potential. This stat will not help in that regard since the denominator is hits, not at bats.
Formula: (2B+3B+HR)/(H)

Pitching Statistics Glossary

Abbr Stat Name Description
W Wins Awarded to the pitcher who is pitching at the time that the winning team takes the lead for the final time in a game. If a starting pitcher, he will have had to pitched at least 5 innings to be assured the win. If he pitched less, it is up to the official scorer to determine the pitcher most deserving. The win statistic is controversial. Traditionalists believe winning is the ultimate goal of the pitcher and so a pitcher-win is all that matters for a pitcher. Others believe that the win, though still skewed towards the better pitcher, is not a valid stat to use when comparing pitcher due to the amount of reliance on the pitcher's team, their bullpen and quality of the opponent. it is a better representation of the pitcher's team's ability rather than his own ability.
L Losses The pitcher on the mound at the time the losing team fell behind and regained the lead. Very similar to wins in how it is viewed by statisticians. A pitcher who gives up the lead would be in line for a loss. However, if his team rebounds the next inning and scores enough runs to take the lead for good, this pitcher would be awarded the win instead of the loss.
ERA Earned Run Average The average amount of earned runs allowed by a pitcher per 9 innings. ERA is used to compare pitchers effectiveness. Generally considered a much better evaluator of a pitcher's effectiveness than wins/losses. The flaw in ERA is that it takes a pitcher with his fielders. The quality of the fielders behind the pitcher can have an effect on the ERA. In general, the ERA is considered to be a usable statistics.
Formula: (9/Innings Pitched) * Earned Runs
G Games Pitched Number of appearances as a pitcher.
GS Games Started Number of appearances as the starting pitcher for his team.
GR Games Relieved Games pitched where he was not the first pitcher in the game for his team.
CG Complete Games Number of games as starting pitcher where he pitched all innings for his team.
SHO Shutouts Complete games with no runs allowed as pitcher.
GF Games Finished Games pitched where he was not the starter and he was the last pitcher for his team.
SV Saves Games where as a reliever, he was the last pitcher in a close game won by his team. A save is awarded to a player where 1 of the following criteria is met (1) He enters the game with a lead of 3 or less runs and pitches >=1 inning. (2) He enters the game with the tying run on base, on deck, at bat or on deck. (3) He pitches the last 3 innings of the game.
IP Innings Pitched Total number of full innings pitched measured in thirds. Every 3 outs recorded is considered a full inning pitched regardless of overlap between 2 innings. Remainder outs are expressed as 1/3 or 2/3. For example, if a pitcher records 4 outs, innings pitched will be expressed as 1 1/3 or 1.1 innings. Even though .1 indicates a tenth it is expressed as one and one-third innings. For calculation such as ERA and WHIP, the inning value would be expressed as 1.333 for formulas.
H Hits allowed Total number of hits (Singles,doubles,triples,homers) allowed by the pitcher.
R Runs allowed Total number of runs charged to the pitcher. A run is related to a baserunner belonging to the pitcher who scores. If a pitcher enters the game with the bases loaded and 2 of those runs score and no others, the pitcher will not be charged with any runs. The runs will be charged to the pitcher who put the runners on base. Often a pitcher will come out of a game and the announcer will say his record is not complete because he has baserunners still on the base that belonged to him.
ER Earned runs allowed Similar to runs but goes a step further and counts only runs where the pitcher is deemed to be at fault for his presence on the bases. Players reaching on error or scoring due to error will be considered as runs but not earned runs since they are not necessarily the fault of the pitcher. Earned Runs will end up being based on the judgement of the official scorers.
HR Homers allowed Total number of home runs allowed by pitcher. Homers, along with walks and strikeouts are considered to be the 3 outcomes that can be mostly controlled by the pitcher and are thus used for FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching). Many argue that homers are not a pitcher-controlled outcome and that the park effects have ample effect.
BB Walks allowed Total number of walks allowed. Though intentional walks are often also included separately, they are also included in the walks total.
SO Strikeouts Total number of strikeouts credited to the pitcher.
WP Wild Pitches Occurs when a runner is allowed to advance when a pitch thrown by the pitcher eludes the catcher and is deemed the fault of the pitcher. If the catcher was at fault, the ruling would be a passed ball. If no runners on base then no harm is done and no wild pitch is charged to pitcher. The scoring decision is made by the official scorer. If a pitch is swung and missed on a 3rd strike and the batter is able to make it to first base, the play will be scored as a strikeout and wild pitch but an out will not be recorded.
BK Balks Illegal motions by the pitcher resulting in the advancement of a baserunner. There are any number of definitions of actions that can be considered balks. In short, a pitcher must adhere to certain rules when pitching to the batter that do not result in deceit or pretending to pitch. The moment a pitcher makes a decision to throw home, he must follow through. More information on balks here. Balks are rare and are statistically irrelevant unless a player has an actual propensity to balk which is generally unlikely. Outside of 1988 when balks suddenly jumped in frequency as MLB enforced a complete stop in the stretch before pitching, there has been no real notice of the stats by anyone. And of course this brings in the question as to why TBC tracks them. I guess the answer is 1988.
HP or HB or HBP Hit Batsmen Possibly expressed inconsistently from a pitcher's perspective on the site. They all mean the same. A pitched ball hits the batter and the batter is awarded first base.
WHIP Walks/Hits per Innings Pitched Measures a pitcher's effectiveness via his ability to keep runners off base. Expressed as a simple value of # of baserunners per inning pitched. Though it excludes hit by pitch, the WHIP can give you an idea of how hard it is to get on base versus a specific pitcher.
Formula: (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched)
H9 Hits per 9 innings Measures average number of hits allowed per 9 innings pitched by this pitcher. Calculation similar to ERA. Ideally, a pitcher is below 9.
Formula: ((9/Innings Pitched) * Hits)
HR9 Homers per 9 innings Measures average number of homers allowed per 9 innings pitched by this pitcher. Calculation similar to ERA.
Formula: ((9/Innings Pitched) * Homers)
BB9 Walks per 9 innings Measures average number of walks allowed per 9 innings pitched by this pitcher. Calculation similar to ERA.
Formula: ((9/Innings Pitched) * Walks)
SO9 Strikeouts per 9 innings Measures average number of Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched by this pitcher. Calculation similar to ERA.
Formula: ((9/Innings Pitched) * Strikeouts)
K-BB Strikeouts to Walk Ratio The number of strikeouts per walk allowed expressed as ratio. A ratio of 2 would indicate that the pitcher 2x more strikeouts than walks. A MLB pitcher will almost always have a ratio higher than 1 and in most cases, between 2 and 3. The 2 stats are compared because they are the 2 statistics that are in full control of the pitcher and does not rely on chance from the fielders behind him.
Formula: (Strikeouts / Walks)
RA9 Runs Average per 9 Innings Similar to ERA but for Runs Allowed per 9 innings as opposed to Earned Runs Allowed
Formula: ((9/Innings Pitched) * runs Allowed)
Wpct Winning Percentage Percentage of decisions that are wins.
Formula: (Wins / (Wins + Losses))
FIP Fielding Independent Pitching A metric that takes into consideration only true outcomes for a pitcher. That is, outcomes that the pitcher can control. The 3 outcome are Walks, Strikeouts and Home Runs. The stat is scaled to ERA and attempts to create an ERA that strips out the luck aspect of results, which is essentially balls put in play that stay in the park. There is debate on whether home runs can fully be considered a true outcome since the park has a large impact on deep fly balls.
That limitation aside, FIP is a good indicator as to whether a pitcher is effective and/or whether he has incurred good or bad luck.
The "FIP Constant" of the formula is different per MLB season and helps to scale the result to a year-relevant ERA.
Formula: fip = (( (13*hr) + (3*(bb+hp)) - (2*so) ) /ip2) + fip_constant)

Fielding Statistics Glossary

Abbr Stat Name Description
G Games Played at Position Number of games with an appearance at the given position. A player's fielding games will often add up to more than his batting games since he can have played multiple positions during many games. A "Utility" player is considered a player who moves around between positions a lot and thus will display multiple positions and a games total much higher than his batting games.
GS Games Started at Pos Number of times players was in starting lineup for this position. Available only for Major League fielding stats.
INN Innings Played at Pos Number of innings played at a position. Available only for Major League fielding stats.
PO Putouts A defensive player is credited with a putout when he is the player directly responsible for the out. Example are catching a ball hit in the air, receiving a ball at a base that results in the out or tagging a runner out. Catchers are credited with a putout on strikeouts since the act of catching the ball completes the out.
A Assists A defensive player is credited with an assist when he is involved with a throw (or deflection off his body) that subsequently results in an out. An exception is that a pitcher is not credited with an assist on a strikeout. He is instead creadited with the strikeout. Involvement in the series of throws leading up to an out where he did not make the actual putout does result in an assist.
E Errors A defensive player is charged with an error when the official scorer deems the player should have been able to get an out. In other words, his miscue allowed a player to reach base when otherwise he would be out or a player can advance when otherwise he would have stayed at his base. Long considered extreme negatives on players, more recent statistical advances have rendered the error less effective as a defensive indicator. In absence of better metrics, certainly errors and fielding percentage can provide meaning in the resulting vaccuum. Outside of the yips or an extreme prone-ness to makign errors, errors can mostly be dismissed as true evaluators of a defensive players value. What is always more important is the player's ability to make plays (range/IQ) that others do not.
DP Double Plays A defensive player gets credit for a double play when he participates in the double play. This includes the initial fielder, the player with the initial assist, the player with the first putout and the player with the final putout.
TC Total Chances Used as a denominator for fielding percentage. Essentially is just a sum of plays involving the player where he had a chance to make an error. It needs to be clear that Total Chances indicates only the chance for an error to be made on plays where the ball passed through the player. It does not include batted balls that were out of the fielder's reach that he may or may not have had a chance to touch. Some players are able to get to more batted balls than others. A player who comes up 1 inch short from touching the ball will not have that play considered as a "chance" statistically.
Formula: (Putouts + Assists + Errors)
TSC Total Successful Chances Total chances made successfully including Putouts and assists but excluding errors.
Formula: (Total Chances-Errors)
FPct Fielding Percentage Measure of the percentage of total chances where the fielder did not make an error at a given position. The statistic, like almost all fielding stats are only comparable to players at the same position. First basemen typically have a high fielding percentage because they handle a lower difficulty of play. Shortstops and third basemen will make a higher% of errors and thus have a lower fielding percentage because they have both tougher fielding plays and longer throw to make. The stat is mostly discardable since its based on the decisions of official scorers and only really has meaning for outliers. (Extremely low Fielding%)
Formula: (Putouts + Assists) / (Total Chances)
RFg Range Factor per Game Average number of Putouts+Assists per game played. Does not normalize to a 9 inning game or adjust per position. The formula is basic and attempts to simplify comparison between players at the same position without quantity of games playing a factor. In the end, this statistics will indicated players with the most chances which could be either a function of the environment. The pitchers, the park effects or the quality of opposition. Or it could be a function of his skill ... He makes more plays because he has a batter defensive range. The most glaring limitation of this stat is that the number of innings played per game is ignored.
Formula: (Putouts + Assists) / (Games)
RFi Range Factor per Inning Average number of Putouts+Assists per inning played. This measure attempts to provide a player's range ability with more precision. The limitation that RFg has is corrected here. But of course, the same environmental factors are still at play here. on TBC, innings played per position are only available for Major Leaguers.
Formula: (PO + A) / (Innings)
SB Stolen Bases Against For pitchers and catchers, number of stolen bases while they were pitching or catching.
CS Caught Stealing Against For pitchers and catchers, number of caught stealing while they were pitching or catching.
Pos-Share Positional Share Percentage of player's games played for a selected position. The % share can be greater than 100% since players can play multiple positions in a game and the denominator is batting games played.
Formula: (Games at Position/Batting Games)
Tm-Share Team Share Percentage of team's games played for a selected position. The % share can be greater than 100% since a team can have multiple players play a position during a game and the denominator is team games.
Formula: (Games at Position/Team Games)

Pitch Data Glossary

Abbr Stat Name Description
Pit Pitches Sum of pitches thrown by pitcher or seen by batter for the given time context. Pitch data is available since the late 1980s in terms of pitch result. The actual pitch type and velocity is available since 2010. In all cases, pitch data is available for MLB.
Str STrikes Sum of all types of strikes including but not limited to called strike, swinging strikes, foul balls, foul tips, balls bunted foul.
Bal Balls Sum of all pitches deemed balls by umpire including intentional balls and pitchouts. A ball is a pitch outside the strike zone.
Fou Foul Balls A subset of strikes, pitches that are batted into foul territory.
Sw Strikes Swinging Strikes incurred by a swing and miss, including foul tips and check swings deemed to be swings.
Ca Called Swinging Strikes incurred via umpire decision. These are pitched judged to be in the strike zone where the batter did not swing in full..
InPl Balls in Play These are pitches hit into fair territory whether by full swing or bunt. Statistically, they are considered strikes whether the pitch was in the strike zone or not.