Which stats tell the real story about a baseball player? As you'll see, each stat has strengths and weaknesses.

Let's look at the following proportional relationship in baseball:

H = AB × B Where:

H = Number of Hits

AB = Number of times At Bat

B = Batting Average

When we look at two players, is it possible for one player to have a higher batting average but fewer hits? Yes. Here is an example. Let's compare stats from two 2013 New York Yankees teammates: Alex Rodriguez and Vernon Wells.

1) Calculate Alex Rodriguez's number of hits H, given his stats this season of AB = 70 and B = 0.271. Round it to the nearest whole number.

Alex Rodriguez's number of hits =

hits

2) Calculate Vernon Wells' number of hits H, given his stats this season of AB = 370 and B = 0.243. Round it the nearest whole number.

Vernon Wells' number of hits =

hits

3) As you can see, even though Alex Rodriguez has a higher batting average, because he has been at bat so few times this season, he has a much smaller number of hits compared to Vernon Wells.

Baseball Stats Lesson: when looking at batting average, pay attention to the number of times at bat as well. I can have a 1.0 batting average if I am at bat once and score a hit, but that doesn't make me an MLB player.

Aligned with Common Core:

7.RP.2 - Proportional relationships

7.EE.3 - Solving algebraic equations in real life settings