The Ole Ball Game

I see a stat on the MLB site called AO (Air Outs). Are Sacrifice Flys included in this stat?

by Floyd S
(Atlanta, GA)

Photo Bill Stanton:  Checkswing.com

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,

Rick

Comments for I see a stat on the MLB site called AO (Air Outs). Are Sacrifice Flys included in this stat?

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Nov 10, 2014
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GO/AO, groundout/airout, are sac flys included
by: Eric Lutz

Floyd:
Sac Flys ARE included in air outs. I did my own baseball research using a combination of ESPN and MLB.com web site stats and discovered the following:
At-bats (ABs) = (Hits + Strikeouts + Groundouts + Air Outs) MINUS (sacrifice bunts + sacrifice flys + GIDP, ground into double plays + (triple plays MULTIPLIED by 2))
Air outs are line drives or fly balls.
One other item to note about this at-bat calculation, the groundout/air out stat is ALL INCLUSIVE. It includes sac bunts and sac flies. This is the reason why you have to subtract them out, back them out of the AB calculation.
Furthermore, the groundout/air out calculation within this At Bat calculation includes FOUL OUTS, groundball outs and fly outs that are ERRORS and NOT really "outs", AND it also contains DUPLICATION in terms of – sometimes it only takes one groundball or fly ball to turn a double or triple play.
Let me repeat: That would be one groundball or fly ball for possibly two or three outs in those instances. The problem comes in with your preference. Do you truly want to track groundballs and fly balls uniquely or is it the outs based off of those types of batted balls that you want to track uniquely? If it’s the type of contact out rather than the total outs, the double and triple plays need to be backed out of the at bat equation and/or the groundball out/air out raw total or ratio PRECISELY BECAUSE the GO/AO ratio uniquely tracks OUTS rather than the unique type of HIT.
Therefore the subtraction in this instance would be backing out all double plays only ONCE, since each groundball or fly ball was counted twice in that situation. Obviously, in a triple play each groundball or fly/air ball was counted three times, so you need to subtract TWO of them out of the AB or GO/AO equation.
Now you know the true components of an official AB! Bet you never thought it contained so much detail.
Plate appearances (PA) = At-bats (AB) + BB + HBP + SAC bunts + SAC flys + catcher or defensive interference
IBB or intentional base on balls are part of and included in BB, base on balls.
I have a spreadsheet for you with my research proving this to be true if you like, using 2014 MLB data.
imtigerwords@yahoo.com

Nov 10, 2014
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
GO/AO, groundout/airout, are sac flys included
by: Eric Lutz

Floyd:

Sac Flys ARE included in air outs. I did my own baseball research using a combination of ESPN and MLB.com web site stats and discovered the following:

At-bats (ABs) = (Hits + Strikeouts + Groundouts + Air Outs) MINUS (sacrifice bunts + sacrifice flys + GIDP, ground into double plays + (triple plays MULTIPLIED by 2))

Air outs are line drives or fly balls.

One other item to note about the at bat calculation, the groundout/air out stat is ALL INCLUSIVE. It includes sac bunts and sac flys, that is why you have to subtract them out, back them out of the AB calculation. Furthermore, this AB calc includes foul outs. Even further, it includes Fly ball and Ground ball ERRORS, even though these are NOT technically "outs." The ridiculousness of this At bat calculation is that groundouts and air outs can be turned into double and triple plays, based off of ONLY ONE GROUNDBALL OR FLY BALL HIT, so you also need to subtract out all double plays ONCE and all triple plays TWICE in order to get it down to ONE UNIQUE OUT for EACH groundball or fly ball hit.

Now you know the true components of an official AB! Bet you never thought it contained so much detail.

Plate appearances (PA) = BB + HBP + SAC bunts + SAC flys + catcher or defensive interference

IBB or intentional base on balls are part of and included in BB, base on balls.

I have a spreadsheets for you with my research proving this if you like.

imtigerwords@Yahoo.com

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