The problem with these new baseball metrics is the fact that the underlying calculations are only measuring the most important thing that a player does. For example, Baseball WHIP is designed to calculate the quality of a pitcher’s performance but not the actual number of runs he helps his team score.
While advanced metrics for baseball players are becoming increasingly popular, one metric often falls by the wayside. That metric is QAB, or Quality Adjusted Average Base. This metric can be found on the Baseball Reference page for a player, as well as on Baseball Savant. Find out more about this stat below.
What Does QAB Mean in Baseball?
QAB in hockey is a quality time on the ice or in a game: goals, assists, fights, penalties, etc. A quality QAB puts a team in the positive in the standings and keeps fans or players entertained.
What are Examples of a QAB in Baseball?
How Important are Quality at-Bats?
The St. Louis Cardinals are in a tight game. The clock is ticking down. The Cardinals’ opponents are running out of time to throw a pitch, and they know it. St. Louis’ relief pitcher is walking into the batter’s box. The batter is a switch-hitter, and the Cardinals are looking for a certain swing. With the count 2-2, the batter swings and gets a swing-and-a-miss. The batter is happy to see one of his favorite pitches.
The situation is like a baseball game. The two teams are tied 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the runner is at third base. However, the players on the infield have already changed, so a ground ball hit by the hitter will automatically score the runner. However, instead of making contact with the ball, the hitter swings and records a strikeout.
A good example of this was seen yesterday when the Reds were one out away from knocking off the undefeated Cubs. The Cubs’ closer blew the game, and the Reds only had two runners in scoring position the whole game. When a team is getting it’s butt kicked, they might become a little gun shy, and in this game, the Reds only had three hits in the whole game.
What is the Formula for QAB?
(Bats per plate appearance (BPA) / Plate Appearances (PA)
* 100) = Batting Percentage = Batting at Quality %
This is just good simple division. You can see it’s not hard to understand.
This shows that a player’s QAB score over the course of a season will be pretty strong if he had a high number of QABs against every possible type of batted ball. Let’s compare that to a hitter who had 40 plate appearances against all of the aforementioned batted ball types and had a 20% QAB score. This hitter had a weaker QAB score.
This data becomes useful in making decisions about substitutions. For example, a baseball manager might have two baseball players on the bench who can pinch-hit for the pitcher. He might evaluate whether using one of those players to pinch-hit against the pitcher is worth the risk of giving up a base hit.
Is QAB an Important Stat?
Moneyball is a book about using statistical analysis to win at baseball. While the book was a bestseller, it wasn’t used by teams in real life as they were already relying upon “traditional” scouting, player evaluation, and analysis of film to help them decide whether to draft or acquire players.
But some teams did use some of the concepts discussed in the book.
Conclusion: What Does QAB Mean in Baseball?
In short, the value of a successful sacrifice bunt depends on the type of players and the situation. Some teams value a successful sacrifice at the expense of a walk and others value a successful sacrifice to move the runner into scoring position. Some teams will prioritize a sacrifice to pull the winning run across the plate while others will prioritize that run to score and the winning run will need to be sacrificed to do so. What a team values most will determine what is most important to emphasize. But no one can deny that a successful sacrifice to advance the runner is valuable and is a part of the strategy on how a team decides to play.