Ben Zobrist believes batting average is an ‘outdated stat’
Chicago Cubs slugger Ben Zobrist won’t allow being in the hunt for the National League batting title alter his apathetic perception of the statistic that would deliver it to him.
After going 2-for-4 and raising his batting average to .314 in the Thursday’s 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves, Zobrist stands a minuscule amount behind Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich (.316) for the NL lead.
“Of course, I’d like to finish higher than I ever have in that category,” Zobrist said ahead of Thursday’s game, via the Chicago Tribune. “But honestly I think the batting average is an outdated stat. I think we need to get rid of it at some point. The other stats we have are more telling about how your offensive season has been.”
Zobrist believes other stats establish a batter’s true worth far and above what average reveals. This includes batting average with runners in scoring position , on-base percentage and slugging percentage, which Zobrist boasts stats of .294, .392 and .464, respectively.
Alternatively, Zobrist also throws out another superior statistic.
“(On-base plus slugging percentage), to me, is a way more telling stat,” Zobrist said. “I like that. (Miller Park) puts that up on the scoreboard because it’s a more telling stat of how you’ve produced overall as an offensive player. But (batting) average is outdated.”
Zobrist reportedly also expressed hope that Major League Baseball will see things his way at some point.
“But as of right now, of course it’s nice to see that number look the way you’ve always wanted that number to look like at some point, but it really doesn’t tell the whole tale, I think,” Zobrist said.
Interestingly, Zobrist’s take on baseball’s traditional statistics stands in contrast to the opinions held by his teammate, Jon Lester.
The advent of sabremetrics and advanced stats obviously have taken hold in baseball. Perhaps Zobrist is on to something and one day Major League Baseball will adapt and someday non-traditional stats will be used to determine batting titles and the like … presumably much to one curmudgeonly old timer’s chagrin.