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When OPS Has Two Equal Halves

Posted by Steve Lombardi on January 24, 2010

One of the fun things you can do with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder is to look for a stat in relation to another stat. For example, this query is batters, since 1901 with at least 502 PA in a season, where their On Base Average equals their Slugging Percentage:

Rk OBP SLG PA Year 5 Age Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OPS Pos
1 Bill Dahlen .337 .337 601 1905 35 NYG NL 148 520 67 126 20 4 7 81 62 0 0 12 7 0 0 37 0 .242 .673 *6/7
2 Solly Hofman .351 .351 613 1909 26 CHC NL 153 527 60 150 21 4 2 58 53 0 0 1 32 0 0 20 0 .285 .702 *89
3 Dick Egan .329 .329 549 1909 25 CIN NL 127 480 59 132 14 3 2 53 37 0 0 2 30 0 0 39 0 .275 .659 *46
4 Jim Delahanty .316 .316 528 1909 30 TOT AL 136 452 47 105 23 6 1 41 40 0 0 15 21 0 0 13 0 .232 .632 *4
5 Al Burch .329 .329 661 1909 25 BRO NL 152 601 80 163 20 6 1 30 51 0 0 1 8 0 0 38 0 .271 .659 *87/93
6 Honus Wagner .317 .317 616 1914 40 PIT NL 150 552 60 139 15 9 1 50 51 0 51 2 11 0 0 23 0 .252 .634 *65/3
7 Eddie Collins .452 .452 657 1914 27 PHA AL 152 526 122 181 23 14 2 85 97 0 31 6 28 0 0 58 30 .344 .904 *4
8 Max Flack .320 .320 546 1916 26 CHC NL 141 465 65 120 14 3 3 20 42 0 43 0 39 0 0 24 19 .258 .640 *9
9 Greasy Neale .316 .316 585 1919 27 CIN NL 139 500 57 121 10 12 1 54 47 0 51 7 31 0 0 28 0 .242 .632 *97/8
10 Charlie Hollocher .347 .347 502 1919 23 CHC NL 115 430 51 116 14 5 3 26 44 0 19 7 21 0 0 16 0 .270 .694 *6
11 Earl Sheely .392 .392 585 1929 36 PIT NL 139 485 63 142 22 4 6 88 75 0 24 4 21 0 0 6 0 .293 .784 *3
12 Roy Spencer .327 .327 528 1931 31 WSH AL 145 483 48 133 16 3 1 60 35 0 21 2 8 0 0 0 0 .275 .654 *2
13 Ed Morgan .402 .402 637 1932 28 CLE AL 144 532 96 156 32 7 4 68 94 0 44 3 8 0 0 7 6 .293 .804 *3/5
14 Jackie Hayes .331 .331 603 1933 26 CHW AL 138 535 65 138 23 5 2 47 55 0 36 3 10 0 0 2 3 .258 .661 *4
15 Billy Urbanski .286 .286 566 1935 32 BSN NL 132 514 53 118 17 0 4 30 40 0 32 1 11 0 16 3 0 .230 .572 *6
16 Jack Rothrock .347 .347 579 1935 30 STL NL 129 502 76 137 18 5 3 56 57 0 29 0 20 0 6 7 0 .273 .694 *9/87
17 Lyn Lary .371 .371 562 1935 29 TOT AL 132 474 86 127 29 7 2 42 76 0 53 2 10 0 0 28 4 .268 .743 *6
18 Elbie Fletcher .395 .395 647 1943 27 PIT NL 154 544 91 154 24 5 9 70 95 0 49 6 2 0 12 1 0 .283 .791 *3
19 Lou Boudreau .388 .388 649 1943 25 CLE AL 152 539 69 154 32 7 3 67 90 0 31 0 20 0 12 4 7 .286 .776 *6/2
20 Nellie Fox .304 .304 504 1950 22 CHW AL 130 457 45 113 12 7 0 30 35 0 17 2 10 0 6 4 3 .247 .608 *4
21 Earl Torgeson .396 .396 553 1955 31 TOT ML 136 450 87 125 15 4 10 67 93 3 49 0 2 8 11 11 3 .278 .791 *3
22 Chico Carrasquel .323 .323 544 1956 28 CLE AL 141 474 60 115 15 1 7 48 52 0 61 6 9 3 9 0 4 .243 .646 *6/5
23 Richie Ashburn .384 .384 719 1956 29 PHI NL 154 628 94 190 26 8 3 50 79 3 45 5 6 1 4 10 1 .303 .768 *8
24 Norm Siebern .379 .379 596 1964 30 BAL AL 150 478 92 117 24 2 12 56 106 3 87 2 3 7 5 2 3 .245 .758 *3
25 Wayne Garrett .337 .337 619 1974 26 NYM NL 151 522 55 117 14 3 13 53 89 7 96 2 2 4 6 4 6 .224 .674 *5/6
26 Jerry Remy .311 .311 629 1975 22 CAL AL 147 569 82 147 17 5 1 46 45 1 55 0 12 3 15 34 21 .258 .622 *4
27 Chris Speier .329 .329 570 1978 28 MON NL 150 501 47 126 18 3 5 51 60 10 75 1 2 6 14 1 0 .251 .659 *6
28 Marty Barrett .351 .351 638 1987 29 BOS AL 137 559 72 164 23 0 3 43 51 0 38 1 22 5 11 15 2 .293 .701 *4
29 Jose Oquendo .350 .350 518 1988 24 STL NL 148 451 36 125 10 1 7 46 52 7 40 0 12 3 8 4 6 .277 .700 4563/98721
30 Kenny Lofton .408 .408 657 1993 26 CLE AL 148 569 116 185 28 8 1 42 81 6 83 1 2 4 8 70 14 .325 .815 *8
31 Wade Boggs .389 .389 574 1996 38 NYY AL 132 501 80 156 29 2 2 41 67 7 32 0 1 5 10 1 2 .311 .778 *5/D
32 Chris Gomez .326 .326 586 1997 26 SDP NL 150 522 62 132 19 2 5 54 53 1 114 5 3 3 16 5 8 .253 .652 *6
33 David Eckstein .325 .325 517 2003 28 ANA AL 120 452 59 114 22 1 3 31 36 0 45 15 10 4 9 16 5 .252 .651 *6/D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/24/2010.

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So, this weird thing has happened 33 times in modern baseball history.

I'm not shocked to see it happen 10 times before 1920. After all, that was the Dead Ball Era. But, it's fun to see 6 Hall of Famers on this list: Honus Wagner, Nellie Fox, Eddie Collins, Lou Boudreau, Wade Boggs and Richie Ashburn.

And, it's interesting to see 17 RH-batters on the list, with 14 LH-batters, and just two switch-hitters (Jack Rothrock and Jose Oquendo).

Lastly, Jerry Remy and Nellie Fox were the youngest to do this (at age 22) and Honus Wagner was the oldest (at age 40).

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 24th, 2010 at 8:54 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

11 Responses to “When OPS Has Two Equal Halves”

  1. Such a random thing to qualify for, but I also found it interesting to sort by the stats themselves (or OPS, obviously) -- Kenny Lofton had the second highest, in a not-too-shabby season (which also included 70 stolen bases).

  2. I'd guess that Hofman's .351 or maybe Norm Siebern's .379 in context is more impressive than Lofton's .408

  3. But the real interesting one is the lowest one: Billy Urbanski's 286/286 in the still offensive-minded environment of 1935. That's a pretty bad season, although I haven't checked the OPS+ yet.

  4. Mike Felber Says:

    Nice. Butr where can I find a weighted" OPS +? Since I hear that nearly all experts consider the OBP significantly more important for a correlation with runs created, should we not all have that stat available routinely?

  5. Boy, Bill Urbanski's .286 OBP and SLG season in 1935 was one to write home about!

  6. #4. Actually OPS+ does weight OBP more than SLG. OPS+ is not 100*OPS/lgOPS, but 100*(OBP/lgOBP + SLG/lgSLG - 1). So, it weights OBP more than SLG by a factor of lgSLG/lgOBP. Last year, that weight was about 1.27 or so. Not as large a weight as most of the experts propose, but better than nothing.

  7. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    Fangraphs has recently added an indexed stat based on linear weights which does weight things "correctly." It is called wRC+. Billy Urbanski's 1935 was a 65 (60 by OPS+). 2009 leaders are here: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2009&month=0

  8. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    But their glossary looks about as bad as the one here.

  9. Actually, seven Hall Of Famers, counting Earl Greasy Neale (Pro Football Hall of Fame). I know that's not what was meant, but that fact has about as much interest and relevance as people having the same Slugging and OBP

  10. Of course, these values are only "approximately equal" - equal when rounded to three decimal places. Unless their numerators and denominators were equal or integer multiples of a common factor (highly unlikely with 502+ PA), they are not truely equal. If we take the OBP and SLG to only two (or even one) significant digit, we can make the lists a lot longer.

  11. Note that someone with a .38451 OBP and a .38449 SLG would not make the list, while someone with a .38451 OBP and a .38549 SLG would - even though the former's numbers are 49 times closer than the latter's (.00002 difference vs. .00098 difference).

    What might be more "interesting" in a mathy sort of way is to list players with 502+ PA with the smallest differential between their true OBP and SLG. Of course, you'd have to do that in an exported spreadsheet which calcultes the true values, as the PI only uses the rounded-off approximations. (You could narrow the list by starting with players whose |OBP-SLG| <= .001; this will catch guys like the former player in the example above.)