I see a stat on the MLB site called AO (Air Outs). Are Sacrifice Flys included in this stat?
by Floyd S
Photo Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com
Floyd asked: I'm doing a research project to better understand some stats. AOs are not an official stat in the MLB rulebook, so I'm curious why it is on the MLB site and how it is arrived at. Is SAC Fly scored as ONLY a SAC FLY or also an Air Out?
Rick answered:Floyd, thank you for your question!
I am not sure what their criteria is for deciding which stats to publish on the site.
From a baseball performance perspective, I would say a sac fly would become a recorded AO, as they would be tracking a player's performance based upon ground ball vs. fly ball outs. Sac flys are their own seperate stat category as well; but a performance item as well.
At the high school level it is important to know in what capacity hitters are putting the ball in play.
The easiest outs to record, after strike outs, are fly balls/pop flies. It requires only that a defensive player catch a ball, no throw, tag or additional player catch required.
A ground ball requires at least two catches and one throw. Two additional opportunities created for a defensive mistake.
Even at the MLB level, making your opponent play the game results in additional defensive mistakes.
As you watch MLB games and listen to the commentators, you often hear them remark, usually about players with really good speed, that pitchers love to get them to hit the ball in the air. Easier to get them out on a regular basis. It negates their speed.
I don't know what MLB teams consider an acceptable ratio of AO/GO; surely it varies from player to player, depending upon their skill set.
Baseball stats can be fascinating. Have fun with your research. There is a stat out there for virtually anything you can imagine.
Yours in baseball,