Sports commentators are often oblivious to the fact that not all baseball spectators obsess themselves with game statistics. For instance, you’ll hear one introduce a player with a 350 batting average, 89 home runs under his belt, and a career XBH of 220.
If you watch baseball to enjoy it for what it is, maybe you’ve learned what batting average and home runs are over the years of watching MLB. However, what does XBH mean in baseball?
What Does XBH Stand for?
XBH is short for Extra Base Hit and refers to any ball batted that results in the batter advancing beyond just the first base. Also known as a long hit, and XBH is also referred to as EBH or EB by sports writers and commentators.
For a hit to be considered an XBH, it must be made solely on the merit of batting ability and not arising from any fielding error or fielder’s choice.
A fielding error is any mistake committed by defense, which enables the batter or a base runner to reach or advance one or more bases safely rather than being put out.
A fielder’s choice, on the other hand, is a play wherein defense chooses to put out another advancing base runner, allowing the batter to reach first base safely.
What Are Specific Examples of an Extra Base Hit?
Now that we have given you a clear definition of XBH in baseball let’s look at particular instances of extra base hits.
A single is the most common base hit resulting in the batter reaching first base safely and unassisted by an error or fielder’s choice. However, any hit that is not a single hit can be called an extra base hit.
In effect, a double, a triple, and a home run are all deemed as extra base hits. A batter reaches second base on a double, third base on a triple, and the home plate on a home run.
If you look at baseball score sheets, you can easily spot any extra base hit. A double is marked with a 2B while a triple is represented by a 3B. An HR on the score sheet indicates a home run.
What Is the Value of XBH as a Statistic in Baseball?
Extra base hits are a reliable statistic used to determine a player’s hitting prowess. In particular, XBH can demonstrate power and speed in offensive play.
An extra base hit will usually have the ball going far into the outfield and, in some cases, over the fence. This is clearly indicative of a power hitter. Speed hitters also tend to achieve more extra base hits than the average batter.
While XBH totals aren’t often reflected in baseball stat sheets, you can easily get a player’s XBH metrics by adding all their doubles, triples, and home runs. The higher their EBH, the better their odds are at scoring runs for the team.
Which Player Has the Most XBH in a Season?
The legendary Babe Ruth holds the record for the highest number of extra base hits in a single season. During his second year with the New York Yankees, the legend hit a record 44 doubles, 16 triples, and 59 home runs for a total of 119 extra base hits in the 1921 MLB season.
Interestingly, Babe Ruth only ranks fifth among professional players having the highest number of XBHs ever. When it comes to the most MLB extra bases of all time, the honors belong to Henry “Hank” Aaron.
From 1954 to 1976, Aaron played for the Milwaukee Braves, the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. Over his 23-year career in baseball, Aaron garnered a total of 1477 extra base hits, a record no other MLB player has broken to date.
Surely, it will be a lot easier for you to understand what sports commentators are saying now that you have a clear answer to the question, “What does XBH mean in baseball?” Again, an extra base hit can be a double, triple, or home run batted without the benefit of an error or a fielder’s choice.
We hope this article has helped you become more familiar with yet another important baseball statistic. Have fun watching your next baseball game as you share your thoughts and views with your fellow baseball fans!
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.