What Is a Good On-Base Percentage in Baseball? (Explained)


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

what is a good on base percentage in baseball

Playing baseball professionally comes with many challenges. There may be times when winning games seems difficult. As a player, chances are you feel frustrated and even question your performance.

But there’s no need to drop the bat and leave the field yet. Statistical measurements, like on-base percentage (OBP), can be helpful in analyzing your performance so you know how to improve. It’s been used in the MLB for years, and it can help your game too!

But what is a good on base percentage in baseball? Experts say above .360 is considered good! Now, if you want to learn more about what OBP means in baseball and how it can help you improve your hitting, read along!

Understanding OBP Statistics


Before anything else, let’s see, what does OPB mean in baseball?

What is On-base Percentage?

OBP stands for On-base percentage, and is a way to measure how often a batter or hitter gets on base every time they come up to bat.

The OBP baseball stat is very specific when it comes to what’s counted as times on base. This includes:

  • getting hits;
  • walks;
  • hit-by-pitches.

On the other hand, here are some situations that are not included in the OBP formula:

  • when the team makes errors;
  • when the batter gets on base due to a fielder’s choice or a dropped third strike.

What is the Average OBP?

Now, what is the average on-base percentage? Based on historical data in MLB, the average OBP is at .320 percent. However, keep in mind that the average OBP can vary depending on the season, the league, and the player’s position.

To give you a better idea of how an OBP of .320 compares to other ratings, take a look at the table below:

Rank Rating Baseball Statistics OBP
1 Excellent 0.390 or 39 percent
2 Great 0.370 or 37 percent
3 Above Average 0.360 or 36 percent
4 Average 0.320 or 32 percent
5 Below Average 0.310 or 31 percent
6 Poor 0.300 or 30 percent
7 Awful 0.290 or 29 percent

In comparison to the Major League average OBP, the best on-base percentage would be .390 or higher.

Are you curious about where most MLB players fell in this ranking in 2022? To prove how effective this ranking is, we’ve done a bit more research to provide some insights into the average MLB OBP percentage of batters last year.


It’s evident from the chart that the majority of MLB hitters have an OBP percentage ranging from .320 to .340, signifying an average to above-average performance.

The Importance of OBP in Baseball: Impact on Scoring and Winning


Now that we’ve defined the OBP baseball meaning, why does it matter that we know what a good on-base percentage is in baseball?

On-Base Percentage (OBP) plays a crucial role in baseball as it measures a batter’s ability to avoid making outs. Come to think of it; a team can only afford 27 outs per game. That means making too many outs can be detrimental to a team’s chances of losing.

It’s safe to say that the ability to get on base through hits, walks, and hit-by-pitches can significantly impact a team’s scoring and, ultimately, their chances of winning.

If you’re still wondering what on-base percentage is good for, it’s clear that a higher OBP means a batter is more capable of carrying a team closer to success.

It’s not surprising that OBP has been continuing to influence the team’s decision on who’s going to enter the diamond. It can also influence choices made during the offseason, such as bringing in new players or exchanging existing ones.

What is Considered a Good OBP in Baseball?


As mentioned, a percentage of .360 or above is considered a good OBP in baseball, specifically for MLB. But when it comes to other divisions, the values and ranking may be different.

For example, determining a good OBP in college baseball is not as specific as in the professional league. No benchmark is considered a good OBP in the baseball college division.

Coaches or scouts consider OBP a deciding factor regarding headhunting in other divisions. They require really high OBP stats, even for players outside the batter position.

For example, scouts prefer to recruit catchers with an OBP percentage of .350 to .500 based on the specific division.

How to Calculate OBP: Formula and Example


The factors contributing to a player’s OBP are unique compared to other statistics. As such, many baseball enthusiasts ask questions like, “Does hit-by-pitch count for on-base percentage?”

There are many on-base percentage calculators on the web. However, you will find the OBP baseball formula very straightforward and easy to compute.

Here’s how to figure out the on-base percentage:

  • Step 1: Add up the number of walks, hit-by-pitches, and hits that the batter has received.
  • Step 2: Add the total from Step 1 to the number of walks, at-bats, hit-by-pitches, and sacrifice flies the batter has had.
  • Step 3: Divide the total from Step 1 by the total from Step 2.

That’s all the math you need to do! As simple as it looks, the resulting decimal is the player’s OBP.

For example, if a player has:

  • 100 hits
  • 50 walks
  • 5 hit by pitches
  • 400 at-bats
  • 5 sacrifice flies

The OBP would be calculated as (100 + 50 + 5) / (400 + 50 + 5 + 5) = 0.360 or 36%. That’s a good batter right there!

Top OBP Leaders in Major League Baseball History: All-Time and Single-Season

Now that you know what a good on-base percentage is in baseball, let’s quickly look at on-base percentage leaders. We ranked the highest OBP in MLB history for you.

Rank Highest On Base Percentage of All Time Highest On Base Percentage in Single Season
Player OBP Player OBP
1 Ted Williams 0.4817 Barry Bonds 0.6094
2 Babe Ruth 0.4739 Barry Bonds 0.5817
3 John McGraw 0.4657 Josh Gibson 0.5596
4 Billy Hamilton 0.4552 Ted Williams 0.5528
5 Oscar Charleston 0.4489 Charlie Smith 0.5515
6 Lou Gehrig 0.4474 John McGraw 0.5475
7 Barry Bonds 0.4443 Babe Ruth 0.5445
8 Bill Joyce 0.4349 Babe Ruth 0.5319
9 Jud Wilson 0.434 Tetelo Vargas 0.5294
10 Rogers Hornsby 0.4337 Barry Bonds 0.5291

Other Important Baseball Stats: Slugging Percentage, OPS, and WAR


Aside from on-base percentage, there are other stats in baseball that measures how good a batter or hitter is at his job.

1. Slugging Percentage

Slugging percentage is a baseball statistic that gauges a player’s hitting power and capability to earn extra-base hits, such as doubles, triples, and home runs. A good slugging percentage in baseball is 0.450.

Furthermore, an average slugging percentage is 0.550, with anything above 0.650 considered elite and a score of 0.350 or lower being fairly poor. We have a dedicated blog about what is the slugging percentage in baseball you can check out after reading this one!

2. OPS (On-base Plus Slugging Percentage)

OPS is a baseball statistic that reflects a player’s ability to get on base and hit for power. It combines two other metrics we discussed, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Like the two former stats, OPS is used to give an overall picture of a player’s offensive performance

3. WAR (Wins Above Replacement)

Measures a baseball player’s value by comparing their performance to that of a replacement-level player at the same position. It takes into account the player’s offensive, defensive, and base running contributions.

On-Base Percentage vs. Batting Average: Why OBP is a Better Measure of Hitting


Batting average is one of the pioneer statistical measurements used to analyze a hitter’s performance. It’s calculated by dividing the number of hits a player gets by their total number of at-bats, resulting in a score between .000 and 1.000. A good batting average for professional baseball players is .300.

Both OBP and batting averages are good at measuring a batter’s success at the diamond. But comparing the two, OBP is better. This is because it takes into account not only the number of times a player gets a hit.

Unlike the batting average, OBP considers other important factors like walks and hit-by-pitches, which are also indications of a player’s ability to get on base.

This means that it can provide a more comprehensive picture of a player’s ability to get on base, whereas the batting average only measures a player’s ability to get hits.

Tips and Strategies to Improve Your OBP


If you’re on a mission to have the best OBP of all time, you need to be consistent in improving your game. To help you play better at the mound, here are some strategies to improve OBP:

#1 Increase your level of discipline and allocate more time for practice

Just like in any sport, being disciplined goes a long way. To have a good OBP, a hitter needs to get on base through hits, being hit-by-pitch, or being walked. These are not just based on luck but also on the player’s level of discipline.

A player who knows how to follow the rules and consistently practices his swing is more likely to have a better OBP.

#2 Boost your swing rate

To become a better hitter, it is crucial to have a fast swing speed. Improving OBP requires not only making contact with the ball but also hitting it to the right places.

While discipline and practice are essential, increasing swing speed is also critical to improving OBP. This can be achieved by building strength through weight training specifically tailored for baseball.

Even smaller players can hit with power if they have a fast swing speed, as it creates a more challenging ball to the field for the defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some common questions about OBP and other baseball stats!

Does a fielder’s choice count toward an on-base percentage?

A fielder’s choice doesn’t count toward the on-base percentage. This is because the batter is not given credit for a hit or a walk but instead is recorded with an at-bat.

What is the average slugging percentage in MLB?

Based on statistical data in 2022, the average slugging percentage in MLB falls between .350 to .450. Yordan Alvarez had the best slugging percentage of .674!


As a baseball player or an enthusiast, it’s important that you know the importance of OBP in baseball as well as how OBP is calculated. We’re happy to shed some light on what is a good on base percentage in baseball.

We’re also glad that you now have a deeper understanding of what a good on-base percentage is in baseball. We hope that the MLB OBP rankings you saw inspired you to follow the strategies we mentioned. Remember that through consistent practice, you’re sure to increase your OBP. Good luck!

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