# Total Average

### From BR Bullpen

**Total Average (TA)**, created by Thomas Boswell, is a stat to evaluate a player's offensive contribution. A simple calculation: bases / outs. The complexity is in calculating bases and outs while considering hits, walks, HBP, CS, SB and GIDP. The difficulty in calculation is one weakness of the stat, as is the fallacy of adding bases and dividing by outs (see below).

Boswell featured the stat annually in *Inside Sports* magazine, pointing out which players were over-rated and under-rated. Mostly it highlighted the strength of high OPS players and the flaw in singles hitters with high average that rarely walked.

All Time Leaders | |||
---|---|---|---|

Span | Player | Total | Notes |

Career | Babe Ruth | 1.400 | |

Season | Barry Bonds | 2.250 | 2004 |

Total Average is the most well-known of many similar bases per out formulae that all fall prey to the Bases Fallacy. By adding walks and SB to Total Bases, they incorrectly weight the value of each event in terms of run-scoring, and therefore are all less accurate than even the most basic linear weights-based run estimators (i.e., Batting Runs).

## [edit] Further Reading

- Thomas Boswell: "Welcome to the World of Total Average Where a Walk Is as Good as a Hit", in
*How Life Imitates the World Series*, Penguin Books, New York, 1982, pp. 137-144.