What Is a Good Slugging Percentage in Baseball? – Explained

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what is a good slugging percentage in baseball

Getting a good slugging percentage is not achievable overnight. Pure effort alone cannot bring up your batting productivity. Thus, at the height of the game, a batter would need a nuanced approach to hit.

But before even thinking about the crucial qualities to develop into a productive batter, it is essential to know ‘what is a good slugging percentage in baseball?’

Slugging percentage is a statistical tool used for measuring and determining the batter’s productivity – additional base hits, home runs, and doubles.


How to Calculate for the Slugging Percentage?


The slugging percentage calculated is obtained from dividing the total hits by the total at-bats. Moreover, its calculation is best represented by the formula below:


Here, AB represents the total number of at-bats; 1B represents singles; 2B represents doubles, and 3B represents triplets.

HR stands for a home run.

Good Slugging Percentage in Baseball: What’s It?

Before we answer the question, let us first learn the answer to “what does slugging mean in baseball”. Slugging translates to the number of bases achieved at every at-bat.

A negotiated standard of “good” slugging percentage is .450. Higher than that, under .550, is considered very good—the .550 percentage borderlines towards the outstanding. Further on, the .650 percentage marks an elite title.

Even with these standards, it is essential to understand that they do not apply in all contexts strictly. Consequently, baseball contexts change from time to time – as determined by offsets in scores, actual play, unique field dimensions, adjustments in a ruling, and other seasonal differences – and so do the slugging percentage calculations.

Many more changes apply to the slugging percentage calculation so that the standards change pretty rapidly.

We look into the given frames above as average and negotiated slugging percentage figures to create an agreement.

Can the Slugging Percentage Apply to Pitching Performance?

Yes. The slugging percentage, although rare, can also be used to determine and assess the pitcher’s performance.

And once it is applied on a pitcher, it is then referred to as slugging percentage against.

Who Had Good Slugging Percentages in Baseball History?


Here is a list of baseball players (batters) who had good to outstanding slugging percentages in history:

  • Babe Ruth: Babe Ruth has pretty much become a household name from the moment he joined the MLB in 1914. Eventually, he went down in history as the greatest baseball player of all time, setting the record with 136 triplets. His slugging percentage throughout his career reached .6897.
  • Ted Williams: Theodore (Ted) Williams is another great professional baseball player and outfielder with the American League Boston Red Sox. In his career, he holds a slugging percentage of .6338.
  • Lou Gehrig: Lou Gehrig is a hall-of-fame baseball icon who put the New Yankees on the historical map by helping them earn a total of six world series titles. He also ranks as the no. 1 player with the most number of consecutive games played. Finally, he holds a slugging percentage (career) of .6324.
  • Jimmie Foxx: Jimmie Foxx has earned a great sluggish percentage of .6093 in his career. A certified baseball hall-of-fame player, he leaves a legacy for being the youngest major league player who maintained 500 home runs for the next 67 years.

There are very few players in history who have made 500 home runs. In this respect, he is only a tad second to Babe Ruth.

Other famous major league baseball players who have high slugging percentages include Barry Bonds (.6069-career), Hank Greenberg (.6050-career), Mark McGwire (.5882-career) Manny Ramirez (.5854-career), Mike Trout (.5821-career), and Joe Dimaggio (.5788-career).

Why Does the Slugging Percentage Matter?

The slugging percentage or slugging stat eventually earns the batter an entry card to a higher player valuation. Meaning, besides increasing the team’s chances for winning (based on correlations to scored runs), the slugging percentage achievement of a batter increases his money worth.

Although it appears simplified and polished for tagging, the categories of a slugging percentage: good, outstanding, and elite- had to go through subjective means of deliberation. In the end, the logic of the statistics still relies on a purely intuitive lens for evaluating batting performance.

This fact, among many others, enriches the dynamics in baseball. Winning is not the only point in baseball, but the opportunities for developing team sustainability strategies. Fortunately, the slugging percentage reveals a solid fraction of these learn-worthy strategies.

Thus, slugging percentage truly matters in baseball.

How Much Is the Influence of Slugging Percentage on Winning?

To answer this question, we will have to look into correlations. According to this study, correlation scores can tell a lot about how much a slugging percentage baseball, and even other statistics, affects winning.

Scored runs, as presented here, serve as the subject from whence the statistics are tied off.

The correlation between scored runs and on-base percentage (based on the data collected from every team from 1995 onwards) reveals a very good score of 0.88.

Between the batting average and scored runs, a good score of 0.80 correlation or scoring influence settles in.

Finally, between the slugging percentage and scored runs, an outstanding correlation score of 0.90 pulls in the draw.

Given these calculations on correlations, it would be safe to conclude that the influence of slugging percentage on winning spans around an 81% certainty.

Lastly, based on the results presented, both the slugging percentage and on-base percentage statistics prove to be the most effective for telling if a team will score or win in a game. However, this does not mean that the batting average cannot work, especially when involving immediate calculations/referrals along the slash line.

The facts presented above only confirm the claims that slugging percentage reveals the batter’s productivity and the team’s chances for scoring/winning and lays on the table strategies necessary for the team to sustain throughout the game.

Is Slugging Percentage Really a Percentage?

No. The name slugging percentage comes out as incongruent to its actual meaning. This statistic determines the average of the total number of bases attained by a player at each at-bat, not the percentage.

In addition, this measuring tool calculates within the range of a computed sum that begins with 0 and ends with 4. Its starting calculations treat doubles with twice the value of a single, triple with thrice the worth of a single, and home run with four times the worth of a single.

The sluggish percentage does not end with the business of percentage. It must be divided by 4 to actually become an average of the total no. of bases achieved per at-bat vs. the total no. of possible bases.

Therefore, using these realities, a slugging percentage is better referred to as average slugging percentage or just slugging.

How Effective Is Combining OBP And SLG?

The act of combining the on-base percentage and sluggish percentage resulted in the one-base plus slugging or OPS. And as far as statisticians and analysts are concerned, the combined tools make calculations easier and simpler to interpret.


The very dynamics surrounding the question of ‘what is a good slugging percentage in baseball?’ tells so much about the possibilities a batter can achieve in the game. Thus, some batters mainly refer to the most slugging percentage results.

In addition, a good slugging percentage powerfully illustrates potential strategies, forever highlighting points for improvements. The player can choose to look into these as individuals or with a team.

As stated in the article, the sluggish percentage truly matters in baseball.

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