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Batting average is a common statistic to determine how often a player hits the ball and gets on base. It is calculated as the number of "Hits" out of the number of "At Bats." Let's discuss Hits and At Bats Below.

A hit is not always a hit. It's important to understand the difference between a "Hit" and a "Reach on Error." If your player hits the ball to third, and third throws the ball over the first baseman (allowing your batter to safely get to first base), this is an Error. Your runner will not get "credit" for that hit. The scorekeeper will score it as an Error, and officially your batter has 1 "At Bat" and 0 "hits.". This means the batting average is 0.

Plate appearances count the number of times a batter appears at the plate. However, for stats, there is another statistic called "At Bats." If a batter is walked, then the batter has 0 hits. It would not make sense to say the batter has a batting average of 0. A walk should not bring down a batter's batting average. Because of this, the batting average is calculated off "At Bats" not "Plate Appearances". The number of "At Bats" will be lower than "Plate Appearances" because certain items are removed. These items are: Walks, Intentional Walks, Sacrifice Fly, Sacrifice Bunt, Catcher Interference, and hit by pitch.

How can we best compare 2 batters who each have the same batting average? If 2 batters have 2 hits and 4 at bats, then they both have a batting average of .500. However, if Batter A has 2 singles and Batter B has 2 doubles, we need another statistic. This is why we have Slugging Percentage. Batting Average is "hits / at bats" but Slugging percentage is "bases / at bats." Batter A (with 2 singles and 4 at bats) has a slugging percentage of .500. Batter B with 2 doubles (4 bases) and 4 at bats has a slugging percentage of 1.000 (or 1 thousand).

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