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What is OPS in baseball? Career leaders, highest ever, 2023 leaderboard

The best baseball players of all time are among the career leaders in OPS. While many MLB fans are familiar with home runs, batting average and RBI, some aren’t as familiar with other stats. So, what is OPS?

In 1985, Pete Palmer and John Thorn introduced many baseball fans to OPS in their book The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics. The term became increasingly popular, helping determine MVP awards, MLB All-Star selections and providing stats for arguments about the best players in baseball.

Related: What is a balk?

Here’s everything you need to know about OPS.

What is OPS?

OPS is the combined value of on-base percentage (OBP plus slugging percentage (SLG) by a player. The statistic measures both how often a player gets on base, how much power they hit for and how much of a batting average they have.

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It also serves as a stat to measure pitchers. Similar to the statistic BAA, batting average allowed, evaluators and fans can use “OPS against” to determine how pitchers fare on the mound.

What is the average OPS in MLB?

The average OPS in MLB this season is .729. The highest league average OPS in a season was .814, accomplished in 1894 when there were only 12 teams. The highest league average OPS in the Modern Era of baseball is .782, which happened in 2000.

How to calculate OPS?

It’s quite simple for fans to calculate OPS. Simply add a player’s on-base percentage along with their slugging percentage to determine their OPS. For example, Shohei Ohtani had a .356 OBP and .519 SLG last season, resulting in a .875 OPS.

  • OPS = At Bats x (Hits + Walks HBPs) + Total Bases x (ABs + BBs + SF + HBP)
    • Divided by: At Bats x (ABs + BBs + SF + HBPs)

What is a good OPS in MLB?

A .800 OPS is considered very good in baseball. In 2022, only 41 players had an OPS over .800 during the regular season. Anyone with an OPS over .900 is considered an All-Star caliber player.

Related: MLB scores

What does OPS stand for?

OPS stands for On Base plus Slugging, a combination of how often a player gets on base (OBP) and their slugging percentage (SLG).

Do walks contribute to OPS?

Yes, walks contribute to OPS because walks contribute to on-base percentage which is part of On-Base plus Slugging.

Who has the highest OPS in MLB right now?

Shohei Ohtani finished with the highest OPS in MLB this season, posting a career-best 1.066 in 135 games played. He is one of three players with a 1.000 OPS or better this season.

Ten MLB players have a .900 OPS or higher this season.

Related: MLB standings

OPS leaders 2023

  1. Shohei Ohtani – 1.066
  2. Corey Seager – 1.013
  3. Ronald Acuña Jr – 1.012
  4. Matt Olson – .993
  5. Mookie Betts – .987
  6. Freddie Freeman – .976
  7. Yandy Diaz – .932
  8. Juan Soto – .930
  9. Marcell Ozuna – .905
  10. Bryce Harper – .900

What is the highest OPS in a single season?

Josh Gibson has the highest OPS in a single season, posting a 1.4744 mark across 183 plate appearances in 1937. He also posted the second-highest ever, with a 1.4271 OPS across 302 plate appearances in 1943.

Single-season OPS leaders

  1. Josh Gibson (1937) – 1.4744 – 183 plate appearances
  2. Josh Gibson (1943) – 1.4271 – 302 plate appearances
  3. Barry Bonds (2004) – 1.4217 – 617 plate appearances
  4. Charlie Smith (1929) – 1.4214 – 301 plate appearances
  5. Barry Bonds (2002) – 1.3808 – 612 plate appearances

What is the difference between OBP and OPS?

On-Base Percentage simply calculates how often a player reaches base, with all hits (single, double, triple, home run) and walks created equal. OPS, a combination of OBP plus SLG, weighs how often a player reaches base and what type of hits they record.

Is OPS better than batting average?

OPS is better than batting average because it weighs the value of each hit and factors in walks. With batting average, a single or a home run are weighted the same and have the same influence on batting average. Whereas this stat values home runs more and credits hitters who draw walks and record extra-base hits.

Who has the highest OPS in baseball history?

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Babe Ruth has the highest OPS (1.1636) in baseball history. Ruth has a considerable lead over Ted Williams (1.1155) and they are the only two players with a 1.100-plus career OPS.

OPS career leaders

  1. Babe Ruth – 1.1636
  2. Ted Williams – 1.1155
  3. Lou Gehrig – 1.0798
  4. Oscar Charleston – 1.0639
  5. Barry Bonds – 1.0512
  6. Jimmie Fozz – 1.0376
  7. Turkey Stearnes – 1.0325
  8. Mule Suttles – 1.0299
  9. Hank Greenberg – 1.0169
  10. Rogers Hornsby – 1.010

Is 700 OPS good?

A .700 OPS is considered fairly good in baseball. During the 2022 MLB season, 105 players had a .700-plus OPS.

Is a 750 OPS good in baseball?

A 750 OPS in baseball is considered above-average. For context, the league-wide OPS average in 2023 is .729. So anyone performing above that is considered above-average.

Is a .600 OPS bad?

A .600 OPS is considered below-average in baseball. The league-average in MLB this season is .729, So, a .600 OPS would be considered well below-average.

What is Barry Bonds career OPS?

Barry Bonds has a career 1.051 OPS, which is the fifth-highest in baseball history. Bonds’ career-high came in 2004 when he posted a 1.422 OPS.

What is OPS plus?

OPS+ is an advanced statistic that measures a player’s on-base and slugging percentage with the context of how the entire league is performing and includes external things like park factors. It creates a league average OPS+ of 100, with any player who posts a 100-plus OPS+ considered an above-average player and anyone below it is performing at a below-average level.

What is OBP in baseball?

OBP is known as on-base percentage. It refers to how frequently a player reaches base across their plate appearances. Base hits, walks and hit-by-pitches also count towards a player’s OBP, but reaching base on an error, fielder’s choice or dropped third strike does not count.

Related: MLB power rankings

  • How to calculate OBP: (HIts + Walks + Hit by Pitch) / (At Bats + Walks + Hit By Pitch + Sacrifice Flies)

OBP career leaders

  1. Ted Williams – .4817
  2. Babe Ruth – .4739
  3. John McGraw – .4657
  4. Billy Hamilton – .4552
  5. Oscar Charleston – .4489
  6. Lou Gehrig – .4474
  7. Barry Bonds – .4443
  8. Bill Joyce – .4349
  9. Jud Wilson – .4340
  10. Rogers Hornsby – .4337

What is slugging percentage (SLG) in baseball?

Slugging percentage, abbreviated as SLG, calculates the total number of bases a player records per at bat. Unlike OBP, slugging percentage only measures hits and it is influenced by the specific kind of hit (single, double, triple and home run).

All hits are not equal, with extra-base hits providing more value than a single. That’s why SLG exists, to account for the added importance of extra-base hits.

  • How to calculate SLG: (1B + 2Bx2 + 3Bx3 + HRx4) / At Bats

Related: Longest hitting streak ever

Career SLG leaders

  1. Babe Ruth – .6897
  2. Ted Williams – .6338
  3. Lou Gehrig – .6324
  4. Mule Suttles – .6199
  5. Turkey Stearnes – .6157
  6. Oscar Charleston – .6150
  7. Jimmie Foxx – .6093
  8. Barry Bonds – .6069
  9. Hank Greenberg – .6050
  10. Aaron Judge – .5883

Related: Highest batting average ever

Is OBP more valuable than slugging?

OBP is much more valuable than slugging. Data has historically found that on-base percentage contributed significantly more to run scoring than slugging percentage. As a result, it gives OBP a more weighted value than SLG.

What is the highest OBP ever?

Barry Bonds has the highest OBP ever in a single season at .6094, accomplished during the 2004 season. Remarkably, Bonds holds the MLB record for highest OBP in a season and he has the second-highest OBP in a season.

Highest OBP in a season

  1. Barry Bonds (2004) – .6094
  2. Barry Bonds (2002) – .5817
  3. Josh Gibson (1943) – .5596
  4. Ted Williams (1941) – .5528
  5. Charlie Smith (1929) – .5515

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