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If you play baseball for the love of the game or if you are simply a fan, you know that statistics are very important in this sport.
Pitchers, especially those that start games, are evaluated by such “stats” as Earned Run Average (ERA), innings per start, strikeouts, wins and losses, quality starts (those lasting at least six innings) and more.
Statistics are also used to evaluate position players and none is more important than QAB.
- QAB Lets You Know If A Player Is Really Good
There are, of course, lots of statistics that baseball executives use to evaluate the offensive effectiveness of players. As a fan or player yourself, you probably know most of them. Perhaps you believe that a great player is someone that produces a high batting average or twenty or more home runs in a season.
Players that “put up such numbers” are good, but it may surprise you to learn that the second baseman or shortstop whose batting average is mediocre may be more valuable than the leftfielder or slugging first baseman who seems to get on base two or three times every game.
That’s because the players with modest or even low batting averages may be producing very high QABs. Now, a QAB stands for a Quality at-Bat. And that stat defines a position player better than any other and determines his true value to a team.
Here’s why: a Quality at-Bat (QAB) is, by definition, a plate appearance in which the hitter (or batter) achieves any of a number of different goals, all of which help his team during a game.
- QAB Can Be Defined In All Of The Following Ways
There are several ways that baseball executives define a Quality at-Bat. They are all meaningful because they help to determine the outcome of an individual game. Consider …
- A Quality at-Bat occurs when a batter has two strikes against him and manages to extend the plate appearance for at least three more pitches. When the batter does that, he is forcing the pitcher to expend more energy, a fact that can weaken the pitcher and make him more vulnerable to the batters that follow.
- A Quality at-Bat takes place when it lasts for six or more pitches. As was true in the earlier example, the more pitches thrown by an opposing hurler, the weaker and more vulnerable he is likely to become for other hitters that follow in the lineup.
- A Quality at-Bat is one in which the batter hits a sacrifice fly that produces a run.
- A Quality at-Bat (and one that pleases a team’s manager) happens when a batter gets a clutch two-out hit that enables a runner to score.
There are other Quality at-Bats that please management and help a team to win even though they don’t result in any runs crossing home plate. These include a sacrifice bunt that advances a runner from first base to second base where he can score on a single. A hard hit ball is also deemed to be a Quality at-Bat because it is an indication to the hitter and his teammates that the opposing pitcher is tiring and becoming easier to hit.
Interestingly, there is even a Quality at-Bat formula that some people in baseball use to evaluate player performance. It may look complex at first glance, but it is actually easy to understand and can prove helpful to a team’s manager looking to find and develop a plan for winning consistently.
- The Formula Of Quality At-Bats
There is another way that baseball management types look at Quality at-Bats when evaluating individual players and team performance. Here is what it looks like …
2 strike at-bats with three or more additional pitches thrown + 6 pitch at-bats + a hard hit baseball (or a “hard out’) + a 2 out RBI (run batted in) + a sacrifice bunt that advances a runner into scoring position + a sacrifice fly that advances a runner or produces a run divided by the total number of PAs (plate appearances) = Quality at-Bat % for an individual player.
Stated in plain English, this simple formula tells you or your manager just how effective you are as an offensive baseball player. It can help you become a better player because it highlights your weaknesses so that you know how to improve and contribute more to your team.
Perhaps more importantly, QAB allows the management of a team to seek and find the kinds of players that will assure success.
Baseball is a simple game that is all about pitching and throwing a baseball and hitting it, too. It sounds simple and it is, most of the time. However, finding a winning formula in baseball has always been difficult, primarily because it has always been difficult to effectively evaluate players and find those that can succeed.
QAB offers a solution. You can learn more about this very effective formula with some simple online research. I’ve provided references below that can prove useful to you. Make baseball more fun by winning more often.
You can do that simply – and easily – by learning more about QAB (Quality at-Bats). It can be your key to success on the baseball diamond.