Leaderboard Glossary

General Recommendations

Batting Stats Glossary

Pitching Stats Glossary

The player, team and league statlines are now dramatically different than when the site first launched, so a comprehensive list of the stats would take far longer and would likely be much less useful than previously. So we have implemented a tooltip solution that shows you a description of the statistic when you hold your mouse over the header abbreviation for the stat. You can try it below.

We also have implemented a sorting feature. When the header abbreviation is red (and this is true of all red text), you can click the header to sort by that column. In many cases the table contains partial season (for a traded player) and full-season data. When this is the case, we hide the partial seasons in the sorted results, and provide another tooltip to bring the partial seasons back. Occasionally, there is a select box toggle that allows you to hide or show players who may not have met some minimum qualification, such as 502 PA's for the batting title. This only comes into play when sorting on ratio stats like on-base percentage, but not counting stats like home runs.

The CSV and PRE tooltips provide a means to get comma-separated values suitable for loading into excel, and pre-formatted text that might work better in things like message boards and e-mails.

In some cases, a player's career may span seasons for which a stat like strikeouts or sacrifice flies are not available and seasons for which they are. In those cases we attempt to mark the statistic as shown 162. This means that this career total does not include all seasons the player played and therefore we do not know the exact number.

For the most common stats found in our leaderboards, we denote league-leading stats with bold text and major league leading totals are further marked with italics. For career statistics, all-time leaders are marked with **'s and active leaders with italics.

When a stat is unavailable, its season entry should be blank, rather than zero. This may not always be the case, but it is what we've tried to do.

Each entry contains the leaderboard appearances for the player in a Stat or Award. The entries are the year, the value for this stat, and their rank for statistics, and the year and the award for awards. Leaders are in bold. Rankings among career and active leaderboards are listed as well. The years are linked to the expanded top 10 leaderboard for the league that year. Links are also given to the single-season, career, active, progressive and year-by-year leaders for this stat (s c a p y).

Players must be in the top ten of the category to make the list for a counting stat. For rate stats, see the complicated explanation of the calculation below.

The All-Star column is just years the player was an All-Star; and the Awards column is the year, the league and then the award and if it is a Gold Glove the position.

Descriptions of the Black and Gray Ink Test and the HOF Standards and Monitor test are below.

Here is a run down of the stats that may be unclear.

What are the minimum requirements to lead a Rate Stat?

This is a bit of a dicey proposition, because the standards have changed quite a bit throughout time. Here is how we computed them for the website. Thanks to Bill Deane, Gerry Myerson and Total Baseball for clarifying some of these issues.

Batting Average, OBP, Slugging Percentage, OPS

  • Prior to 1920, a player must have appeared in 60% of the team's games to qualify for a title. This number was rounded to the nearest integer.
  • From 1920-1937 (unclear, and previously thought to be until 1944), a player must have appeared in 100 games.
  • From 1938-1944, the AL used 400 at bats and the NL stayed with 100 games, as discovered by Paul Rivard of SABR.
  • From 1945-1956, a player must have 2.6 at bats per team game. Note, however, that from 1951-1954 a player could lead if they still led after the necessary number of hitless at bats were added to their at bat total.
  • From 1957 to the present, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game. Note, however, that from 1967 to the present a player could lead if they still led after the necessary number of hitless plate appearances were added to their at bat total.

In seasons where a player could still qualify for a title without the minimum plate appearances, we have printed out the altered entry with an asterik. For instance, in 1995 Mark McGwire didn't have enough PAs to qualify for the league lead in slugging, but when enough hitless at bats were added, so he qualified, his .636 (down from a real value of .685) still managed to place him fifth in the league. The real number is in his batting line and the altered number is in his leaderboard.

Winning Percentage

  • The minimum number of decisions is the number of team games that season multiplied by 0.098 rounded up to the nearest integer. For seasons with 162 games this will require 16 decisions.

ERA, BB/9, H/9, SO/9, etc., etc.

  • One inning pitched per team game that season, rounded to the nearest integer.

Note that team games are the average or expected number of games played in the league that year. So this could mean 162 even if a team only played 160 due to rainouts.

Hall of Fame Stats

These are metrics designed by Bill James to measure how likely a player is to get into the HOF, and not necessarily how good they were. Used with similarity scores, you can get a good idea of the player's chance of getting into the Hall of Fame.

Black-Ink Test

All-Time and Active Leaders

Named so because league-leading numbers are traditionally represented with Boldface type. The definition for the test that being used here was written in Bill James's The Politics of Glory, p. 65-67. The essential point is to measure how often a player led the league in a variety of "important" stats. This method penalizes more recent players, because they have 14-16 teams per league, while the older players had just 8. To get a point you must lead the league in that category.

    Batting Statistics
  • Four Points for home runs, runs batted in or batting average
  • Three Points for runs scored, hits or slugging percentage
  • Two Points for doubles, walks or stolen bases
  • One Point for games, at bats or triples
    Pitching Statistics
  • Four Points for wins, earned run average or strikeouts
  • Three Points for innings pitched, win-loss percentage or saves
  • Two Points for complete games, lowest walks per 9 innings or lowest hits per 9 innings
  • One Point for appearances, starts or shutouts

Note that Hall of Famers have a wide variety of values for the Black Ink Test, and the method is unforgiving of positional differences, but it is a neat little metric.

Gray-Ink Test

All-Time and Active Leaders

Essentially the same as the Black-Ink above, but it counts appearances in the top ten of the league. For each appearance the values are below. As with the Black Ink, this method penalizes more recent players because they have 14-16 teams per league, while the older players had just 8. To get a point you must be in the top 10 in the league in that category.

    Batting Statistics
  • Four Points for home runs, runs batted in or batting average
  • Three Points for runs scored, hits or slugging percentage
  • Two Points for doubles, walks or stolen bases
  • One Point for games, at bats or triples
    Pitching Statistics
  • Four Points for wins, earned run average or strikeouts
  • Three Points for innings pitched, win-loss percentage or saves
  • Two Points for complete games, lowest walks per 9 innings or lowest hits per 9 innings
  • One Point for appearances, starts or shutouts

Hall of Fame Career Standards Test

All-Time and Active Leaders

This test gives a score of 50 for an average Hall of Famer, with 100 as the max (note Babe Ruth is over 100 due to my simplistic addition of his pitching and batting values), though mine are lower due to some difference in positional adjustments that I'll explain below. It is used to measure the overall quality of a player's career as opposed to singular brilliance (peak value).

Also, I require a minimum of 20 points in this metric before the value is displayed for a player. Anything below that is meaningless.

This can be found in James's book on p. 174-176. All values are for career marks, and I've required 1000 at bats or 500 IP for the rate stats to kick in.

    Batting Statistics
  • One point for each 150 hits above 1500, limit 10.
  • One point for each .005 of batting average above .275, limit 9
  • One point for batting over .300
  • One point for each 100 runs over 900, limit 8.
  • One point for scoring more than .500 runs per game.
  • One point for scoring more than .644 runs per game.
  • One point for each 100 rbi's over 800, limit 8.
  • One point for driving in more than .500 runs per game.
  • One point for driving in more than .600 runs per game.
  • One point for each .025 of slugging percentage above .300, limit 10
  • One point for each .010 of on-base percentage above .300, limit 10
  • One point for each 200 home runs.
  • One point if home runs are more than 10% of hits.
  • One point if home runs are more than 20% of hits.
  • One point for each 200 extra base hits over 300, limit 5.
  • One point for each 200 walks over 300, limit 5.
  • One point for each 100 stolen bases, limit 5.
  • James's version: Defensive value: 20 points for catcher, 16 - shortstop, 14 - second base, 13 - third base, 12 - center fielder, 6 - right fielder, 3 - left fielder, 1 - first baseman, 0 - designated hitter
  • My version: Defensive value: same as that computed for similarity scores. On a 0-20 range.
    Pitching Statistics
  • One point for each 10 wins over 100, limit 25.
  • One point for each 20 games over .500, limit 10.
  • For each of the following a minimum of 500 innings is required before these points are added.
    • One point for each .013 of winning percentage above .500, limit 15.
    • One point for each .20 of ERA below 4.00, limit 10.
    • One point for each 200 strikeouts over 1000, limit 10.
    • One point for each .30 of BB/9IP below 4.00, limit 10.
    • One point for each .30 of H/9IP below 10.00, limit 10.
  • One point for each 1000 innings above 1000, limit 5.
  • One point for each 100 complete games above 200, limit 5. Changed from James's slightly
  • One point for each 30 shutouts, limit 5. Changed from James's slightly

Note that this system excludes relievers because there are no set standards for them.

Hall of Fame Monitor

All-Time and Active Leaders

This is another Jamesian creation. It attempts to assess how likely (not how deserving) an active player is to make the Hall of Fame. Using its rough scale, 100 means a good possibility and 130 is a virtual cinch. It isn't hard and fast, but it does a pretty good job. Here are the batting rules.

Also, we require a minimum of 30 points in this metric before the value is displayed for a player.

  • For Batting Average, 2.5 points for each season over .300, 5.0 for over .350, 15 for over .400. Seasons are not double-counted. I require 100 games in a season to qualify for this bonus.
  • For hits, 5 points for each season of 200 or more hits.
  • 3 points for each season of 100 RBI's and 3 points for each season of 100 runs.
  • 10 points for 50 home runs, 4 points for 40 HR, and 2 points for 30 HR.
  • 2 points for 45 doubles and 1 point for 35 doubles.
  • 8 points for each MVP award and 3 for each AllStar Game, and 1 point for a Rookie of the Year award.
  • 2 points for a gold glove at C, SS, or 2B, and 1 point for any other gold glove.
  • 6 points if they were the regular SS or C on a WS winning team, 5 points for 2B or CF, 3 for 3B, 2 for LF or RF, and 1 for 1B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 3 points for OF (requires at least 82 games as the position).
  • 5 points if they were the regular SS or C on a Pennant-winning (but not WS winning) team, 3 points for 2B or CF, 1 for 3B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 1 points for OF (requires at least 82 games as the position).
  • 2 points if they were the regular SS or C on a Division winning team (but not WS or LCS winning), 1 points for 2B, CF, or 3B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 1 points for OF (requires at least 82 games as the position).
  • 6 points for leading the league in BA, 4 for HR or RBI, 3 for runs scored, 2 for hits or SB, and 1 for doubles and triples.
  • 50 points for 3,500 career hits, 40 for 3,000, 15 for 2,500, and 4 for 2,000.
  • 30 points for 600 career home runs, 20 for 500, 10 for 400, and 3 for 300.
  • 24 points for a lifetime BA over .330, 16 if over .315, and 8 if over .300.
  • For tough defensive positions, 60 for 1800 games as a catcher, 45 for 1,600 games, 30 for 1,400, and 15 for 1,200 games caught.
  • 30 points for 2100 games at 2B or SS, or 15 for 1,800 games.
  • 15 points for 2,000 games at 3B.
  • An additional 15 points if the player has more than 2,500 games played at 2B, SS, or 3B.
  • Award 15 points if the player's batting average is over .275 and they have 1,500 or more games as a 2B, SS or C.

Pitching Rules

  • 15 points for each season of 30 or more wins, 10 for 25 wins, 8 for 23 wins, 6 for 20 wins, 4 for 18 wins, and 2 for 15 wins.
  • 6 points for 300 strikeouts, 3 points for 250 SO, or 2 points for 200 or more strikeouts.
  • 2 points for each season with 14 or more wins and a .700 winning percentage.
  • 4 points for a sub-2.00 ERA, 1 point if under 3.00, in seasons in which surpassed 150 innings pitched.
  • 7 points for 40 or more saves, 4 points for 30 or more, and 1 point for 20 or more.
  • 8 points for each MVP award, 5 for a Cy Young award, 3 for each AllStar Game, and 1 point for a Rookie of the Year award.
  • 1 point for a gold glove.
  • 1 point for each no-hitter. This is not currently included.
  • 2 points for leading the league in ERA, 1 for leading in games, wins, innings, W-L%, SO, SV or SHO. Half point for leading in CG.
  • 35 points for 300 or more wins, 25 for 275, 20 for 250, 15 for 225, 10 for 200, 8 for 174 and 5 for 150 wins.
  • 8 points for a career W-L% over .625, 5 points for over .600, 3 points for over .575, and 1 point for over .550, min. 190 decisions.
  • 10 points for a career ERA under 3.00, min 190 decisions.
  • 20 points for 300 career saves and 10 points for 200 career saves.
  • 30 points for 1000 career games, 20 for 850 games and 10 for 700 games.
  • 20 points for more than 4,000 strikeouts, and 10 for 3,000 SO.
  • 2 points for each WS start, 1 point for each relief appearance, and 2 for a win.
  • 1 point for each LCS or LDS win.

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