The MLB Network had a conversation about players and naturally, stats were used to compare them. In this conversation, Harold Reynolds broke out his best Stephen A. Smith impersonation.
Reynolds doesn’t seem to understand how slugging percentage is calculated. He started by stating that home runs are not factored into slugging percentage.
Once that was explained to him, Reynolds noted that he thought home runs and doubles were counted the same way.
Slugging percentage is rather easily calculated. We can use Mike Trout’s 2018 stats as an example.
He had 39 home runs. That multiplied by four is 156. He hit four triples. Multiplied by three, that’s 12. Trout added 24 doubles. Multiplied by two, that’s 48. Finally, he had 80 singles. When we add 156, 12, 48, and 80 is 292, which is his total bases. That, divided by his at-bats (471) gets us to .628, his slugging percentage.
What’s more baffling is that slugging percentage is not a “Moneyball” era stat. This was certainly around during Reynolds’ career and players used it to negotiate. Even more confusing is that while Smith’s gaffe was bad, we can understand it. He works for ESPN and has to maintain knowledge about many different teams from many different sports. Reynolds works for the MLB Network. Baseball is all that he has to be up on.
He obviously needs to study a little harder.