Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Calculating Mauer's Batting Average

Joe Mauer is an excellent hitter - - everyone knows that. But how would you know that he's an excellent hitter without watching every game he plays? The answer is simple: the use of statistics. Statistics are a very important part of baseball, and the use of numbers can really help understand the game. The tricky part is calculating those stats and using them correctly. What does a batting average of .400 even mean? Is this a good batting average?

Batting average can be calculated by using a simple mathematical formula. I know what you're thinking, "Professor Haas, I've heard others say "simple" while taking about math, and it's never simple!"

Grab a sheet of loose leaf paper and I'll illustrate just how simple it is.

According to my calculations, Joe Mauer would be the first player to hit 2remainder2 since Royce Clayton in 1995. There's still more than three months of the season left, and his body will surely feel those aches and pains in November, but he's sure set himself up to have an historic year.


A colleague of mine has passed along a note correcting my previous calculations. It seems that I failed to follow my own equation and divided At-Bats by Hits rather than Hits by At-Bats. Revision:

Something doesn't seem to be correct here either. I've done the long division by hand, and after three hours, my answer had eleven decimal points, a money symbol ($) and featured variables. I've plugged the numbers into a calculator, but here it says the answer is less than one.

While I'm working this out on a large, green chalkboard, check out this headline I made up


Daymonster said...

There is no way Joe can keep up the tear of a 2 remainder 2 batting average. He plays the toughest position in baseball.

Anonymous said...

Stats are so geeky.

Joe plays with grit and passion and heart and he's scrappy and old school and is like a manager on the field and a leader in the clubhouse and a home town boy. Those are the important intangibles. Right, Gardy?


bizmarkie507 said...

we should dedicate a week to ripping on Sammy Sosa here at AH! Perhaps every day we could choose a theme or an instance as to why we think he's a terrible person.

TwinsWin83 said...

Joe Mauer is like Christmas Day, Baby Jesus and marshmallow gum-drop rainbow hugs all rolled up into one.

Its June 17th. If people are already yabbering in the media about Joe hitting .400 its going to be a long summer. Get back to me when its August.

Doug Mientkiewicz was hitting .400 after a month and a half of playing in 2001, and I didnt hear any Ted Williams references then.

Daymonster said...

Accuscore didn't give dougie baseball a 32% chance of hitting over 400 in 2001 though. That's because Accuscore didn't exist.

soup said...

I think we can all agree that it is mathematically impossible to calculate Mauer's B.A. It's like asking "How blue is the sky?" or "How warm is Jason Kubel's smile?"

Mauer's B.A. is something that is going to be debated by philosophers rather than mathameticians like Professor Haas.