Statistics play a large role in sports, especially at the professional level. Modern era front offices for professional sports franchises must analyze page after page of statistical data to make decisions on the value of certain players in the league. While this may be a newer method of thinking in other sports leagues, advanced statistical analysis has been a big part of Major League Baseball for many decades now. Certain statistics stand out more than others and MLB followers often scrutinize offensive statistics more than defensive statistics.
While it is not fair to judge a professional MLB player by offense alone, certain measurements can truly gauge a player’s performance at the plate over the course of a season. One statistical measurement that can be very valuable in determining a player’s impact in scoring is On-base plus slugging (OPS) percentage.
An OPS is calculated as a sum of a player’s on-base percentage and slugging average. On-base percentage is a measurement of how often an MLB batter gets on base by hits or walks. A slugging average is a popular measure to evaluate the power of an MLB batter. This average is measured by the number of bases the player totals divided by the number of at bats the player sees.
As you can see, OPS is a measure that can be used to evaluate the total damage a player can do during their time at the plate. This measurement can be more valuable than the simple batting average measurement, which only takes hits and at bats into account. However, OPS is not a perfect measure of a player’s offensive contributions, as it does not account for base-running or stolen bases. Leadoff batters or contact hitters, on average, perform significantly lower in this category than power hitters.
With OPS being a valuable statistical measurement in the league, this article will bring 15 shortstops to the attention of readers. No, not for their incredible season performances at the plate, but for the disappointments their fans have surely come to know throughout the year. These numbers are constantly changing, but as of the close of the games up to July 13, 2016, these 15 shortstops make up your MLB’s worst at the position in terms of OPS out of the 26 qualified shortstop batters. **Note: these statistics are from July 11, 2016, when the article was written**