What is Slugging Percentage? How to Calculate?

Slugging Percentage

In baseball, slugging percentage measures the total amount of bases a batter produces per per-bat. The slugging percentage in baseball is used to know how well an individual hitter is hitting during the game.

During baseball, the slugging percentage is different from the average percentage because it gives different masses to some specific hits. The slugging percentage defines how you are improving or good at home runs, doubles, and triples. Within baseball, the strategy to win gives an important role in slugging percentage.

Why it’s called Slugging Percentage?

The reason why it is known as a slugging percentage is that it refers to a hitter that does power hits during the game. Slugging baseball is also referred to as SLUG or SLG. It shows how the high number of powerful hits a batter hits. The player that hits powerfully is often known as the term ”slug” or ”slugger”.

The Purpose of Slugging Percentage:

Slugging percentage is mainly used for defining how much power a batter’s hit has. If a batter has a high slugging percentage, then that means the player hits very powerfully. The purpose of slugging percentage is to keep a record of which batter hits more powerfully.

How is the Slugging Percentage Calculated?

There is a difference in calculating the average batting and calculating the slugging percentage in baseball. The slugging percentage is not honestly considered an accurate percentage.

There is a general formula for slugging percentage, which is 1B + 2Bx2 + 3Bx3 + HRx4/AB. The reason why this general formula is used is that as mentioned above there is a different marking in slugging percentage for specific hits.

The HR in the formula represents Home Run. A single hit is not weighed in slugging percentage, while double hits and triple hits are weighed by the multiples of 2 and 3 respectively.

And, the Home Run is weighed by the multiples of 4. This is how the formula for slugging percentage works. There is an example to elaborate on the working of this formula more.

An example:

For an example of slugging percentage, we will use Babe Ruth’s legendary and historic slugging percentage so that the usage of the formula is clearer. Babe Ruth had 9 triples, 36 doubles, 73 singles, and finally 54 home runs.

To summarize, Ruth had 172 hits in 1920. So, let’s calculate his slugging percentage:

(1 x 73) + (2 x 36) + (9 x 3) + (54 x 4) = 388.388/458= .847

which is Ruth’s slugging percentage.

The History of Slugging Percentage:

There was an ancestor of slugging percentage known as ”total bases average” which was introduced by Henry Chadwick during 1867.

The only difference between the total bases average and the slugging percentage is that the total bases average lists an individual’s total bases per game and today’s slugging percentage lists an individual’s total bases per bat not per game.

The slugging percentage was added to the American League in 1946 and it legally became a part of the National League in 1923.

What is the good Slugging Percentage in Baseball?

The slugging percentage depends on the type of player the percentage is being calculated about.

The good percentage in baseball is considered .450 and .550 is considered an excellent percentage and .660 is the best percentage any player can have while .350 is considered a very poor percentage.

If the player is considered a power hitter, then the player would likely have a high slugging percentage.

But if the player is not considered a power hitter and is more a contact hitter, then the hits will not be considered for a high percentage since each hit is weighted differently.

Slugging Percentage Career Leaders:

As mentioned above, the different levels of slugging percentages. Here are the top 10 players who have the career-best slugging percentage.

RankPlayer NameSlugging PercentageBats
1Babe Ruth.6897L
2Ted Williams.6338L
3Lou Gehrig.6324L
4Mule Suttles.6199R
5Turkey Sternes.6157L
6Oscar Charleston.6150L
7Jimmie Fox.6093R
8Barry Bonds.6069L
9Hank Greenberg.6050R
10Mark McGwire.5882R
Slugging Percentage Career Leaders Table

Frequently Asked Questions

What are OPS and how is it related to a slugging percentage?

OPS is the combined form of both slugging percentage and the on-base. OPS stands for on-base plus slugging percentage combined. This combination is done simply by adding both on-base and slugging percentages together. OPS tells how good an overall player is.

Who has the highest slugging percentage in a season?

Barry Bonds is the player who in a season has the highest percentage. His slugging percentage is .863 in 2001. This is sometimes considered the best offensive season by an individual player in a season.

Who has the highest slugging percentage of all time?

The legendary Babe Ruth has the highest slugging percentage of .6897 and it is officially considered the best slugging percentage. Ruth is known to be one of the best and greatest hitters of all time in baseball.

What is the difference between average batting and slugging percentage in baseball?

The difference between these two things is that batting average is done by dividing an individual’s hits by the total at-bats for a number between 0 and slugging percentage is the total number of bases of a player per bat.

Who invented slugging percentage?

The slugging percentage was invented by Henry Chadwick in 1867. There is a slight difference between the modern slugging percentage and the one presented by Henry. It was adopted by American League in 1946.


Slugging percentage is a strategy to win in baseball. The slugging percentage in baseball shows how powerful of a hitter a player is. There is a formula for calculating the slugging percentage in baseball for players. There are two types of players who have different slugging percentages, one is a contact hitter who does not have a high slugging percentage whereas the other type is the player who has powerful hits and a high slugging percentage.

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