What Does Ops Mean In Baseball? Details Explained

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Alex PT

OPS in baseball stands for “On-Base Plus Slugging.” It’s a statistic that combines a player’s on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). OPS provides a comprehensive measure of a player’s offensive performance, often with an average OPS of around .750 in MLB.

Ops Scale

CategoriesClassificationsOps Range
AGreatHigher than .9000
BVery goodRanging from .8334 to .8999
CAbove average Ranging from .7667 to .8333
DAverage Ranging from .7000 to .7666
EBelow average Ranging from .6334 to .6999
FPoor.5667 to .6333
GVery poorLower than .5666

This table subdivides Ops categories into 7 points ordinal scale. By replacing quality labels like excellent(A), very good(B), above average(C), average(D), below average(E), poor(F), very poor(G). All these categories help to create a subjective reference for Ops values.

What Does Ops Mean In Baseball?

Baseball holds a reputation as a sport wrapped in statistics, where each player’s performance can be quantified in intricate detail. One crucial measurement that has gained significant popularity among baseball analysts is On-base Plus Slugging, or OPS.

1. Definition of OPS

OPS stands for On-base Plus Slugging. It’s a statistic used in baseball that combines two of the game’s most critical offensive parameters: on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG).

2. Significance of OPS

In baseball, OPS serves as a more encompassing measure of a player’s offensive performance than batting average alone. It indicates not only how often a player gets on base but also his effectiveness in advancing bases when he does connect with the ball.

3. Calculation of OPS

OPS is calculated by adding a player’s On-Base Percentage and their Slugging Percentage.

3.1 On-Base Percentage (OBP): This metric is calculated by dividing the sum of Hits, Walks, and Hit by Pitches by the sum of At-Bats, Walks, Hit by Pitches, and Sacrifice Flies.

3.2 Slugging Percentage (SLG): This metric is calculated by dividing Total Bases (singles + 2x doubles + 3x triples + 4x home runs) by At-Bats.

4. Interpreting OPS Scores

Here is a general guide to interpret OPS scores, although it can vary slightly from year to year due to seasonal changes in offensive production in the Major Leagues.

5. Strength and Limitations of OPS

Like most statistics, OPS has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s a powerful tool for capturing both a player’s ability to get on base and to hit for power, combining them into a single number. However, it has limitations such as it does not consider the sequencing of hits or account for the player’s speed, i.e., their ability to steal bases.

6. OPS and Player Valuation

In the world of baseball analytics, where number-crunching often directly translates into large financial decisions, OPS has become an invaluable tool for appraising a player’s value. Higher OPS values typically indicate more productive hitters, and thus, these players often command higher salaries in the open market.


From the name and meaning of Ops, you must have figured out that getting the Ops is from adding two different figures. The two figures being:

Ops= On-base percentage(OBP) + Slugging percentage(SLP).

Of course, these two figures that are being added to get the Ops are derived as follows: 

On-base percentage(OBP)= (hits + walks + hits-by-pitch)/(at-bats + walks + hit-by-pitch + sacrifice flies). 

Slugging Percentage(SLP)= [numSingles + 2*numdoubles + 3*numtriples + 4*numHomeRuns]/AB. 


First, we are going to talk about how OBP came about and then SLP because these two components make up the Ops. 

OBP was created by Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey in the 1940s or 1950s while building them into a National League powerhouse. The second component is known as slugging percentage(SLG). We will talk about it later.  

John Thorn who is a popular major league baseball historian says that before the SLG was established as an official MLB statistic in 1923, it has been in use since the 1800s. Thorn was also part of the early proponents of Ops through the book he authored alongside Pit Palmer in 1984 named ‘the hidden game of baseball.’ The idea of adding two different averages to get a better metric was fair and extreme. As you can see, the formulas to derive the Ops are basic. 

Why Should I Use Ops Stats?

The on-base percentage plus slugging percentage is a typical metric and easy to make use of. Ops is seen to be useful because it calculates based on the two most important duties of a hitter, which are getting on bases and power to hit the ball. Even as good as Ops is, it misses out on some things like league-wide offense which changes all the time. A classic example of this would be when David Ortiz posted the best Ops of last season as 1.021. Normally that would be the third-best in 2001. Also, another area where Ops fails is that it doesn’t look at park factors. The Ops doesn’t consider the park factors. It forgets that when a better is at his home field, he is bound to do better and improve his stats. At the pitcher’s park, he doesn’t play as well as he does in his home field. 

According To Ops Record, Which Pitcher Has The Fastest Throw Of All Time?

Put in mind that a fast fastball is a lot faster than it uses to be. The pitcher with the fastest pitch recorded in major league baseball history is Aroldis Chapman. His throw on September 24 2010 had a speed record of 105.1MPH. This pitch is now recorded as a 105.8MPH fastball. Over time, Chapman’s pitch has increased by almost a mile per hour. A pitch that was once recorded as 105MPH can now be seen as 106MPH. The reason for this is where the pitch was measured. 

What Is The Downside Of Ops?

The one reason why people say that the Ops should not be used is math. We have repeatedly said in this article that Ops is a statistic, we haven’t mentioned that it isn’t mathematically sound. We have also mentioned that Ops is measured by summing up the on-base percentage of a ballplayer and His slugging performance. Yes, we agree that these two statistics are perfect for figuring out just how good a player is. It has been proven that mathematically, they shouldn’t be added together like that. 

Who Invented The Ops system?

Pete Palmer! The man who created the Ops system took out time to tell us how he ended up creating a good system and the reasons why it is still useful after so many years. He gave us some good steps he took and he also said it will take some years to reach perfection with this system. The Ops strategy is clearly for measuring players on the offensive side. All he did was try to relate batting to the team winnings in 1960. 

What Does The Ops System Require To Be Perfect?

When the cub games are being aired on the Marquee sports network, the opening line-ups are being displayed with a statistic ‘Ops’ next to every name. The Ops is a good statistic and tells us a lot more than most statistic does, like the batting average statistic. The thing with the Ops statistics is that the fans need context and it doesn’t have it. The Ops statistics need more context to be perfect. 


Well, we all know the basics, the Ops system is used traditionally for knowing a baseball player’s stats. With this system, a player’s performance is measured in percentage.

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