This paper will provide information on internet sites along with published articles that provide statistical data for Major League Baseball players and offer a broad view on specific stats that are used to analyze a player’s performance and prospective worth. Websites, such as Baseball Prospectus, Baseball References, USA Today, and Baseball Prospectus, provide an extensive overview of recorded statistical data for Major and Minor League baseball players for numerous years. News sites such as Sporting News and CBS Sports are provided accurate statistics and opinions pertaining to an MLB player to determine the player’s worth. These resources valuable opinions from the analyst’s point of view leads to a player’s value by the owner and team. Additional statistical information was obtained to ensure accurate variables were gathered.
As we begin to determine the salary of a player, several variables need to be evaluated based on five key variables. A determining factor to review is On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS+), which is an independent variable but carries a higher volume because it carries a variable of 100. Three additional independent variables that carry an overall value in this evaluation Runs Scored (RS), Batting Average (AVG), and Years in League (YIL). The compensation of an MLB player is based on overall value and performance, which is Average Annual Salary (AAS), also known as the dependent variable. In the regression equation, all variables will be calculated to determine the player’s annual salary. This equation will give you a better understanding of how an MLB’s salary is calculated, as every player’s salary is averaged based on their stats.
Definition of Variables
In the introduction, we have referenced how the dependent variable is a player’s annual salary and the correlation between a player’s performance and salary. We have also determined that a player’s compensation based on AAS and participating member.
A primary focus in recent years has been on statistics provided by an analyst for On-Base Percentage Plus Slugging (OPS+), which is on the rise and looked an extensively on the value of a player. Given that information, a close look at the independent variable OPS+ is a focus on the regression equation. As Baseball-References glossary describes that, OPS+ has one more added value, such as base percentage, slugging percentage, and adjustments for park and league conditions (Baseball-Reference 2019). Presenting a player’s data as a whole will give them a higher rating above the team for overall performance. While searching internet sites, Sports News offers valuable information on why there is a primary focus on OPS+ rising and not only focusing on Batting Average (AVG) as the determining performance source. Research has shown that there is a similarity between OPS+ to OPS; however, OPS+ adds value because it uses league and park conditions. OPS+ “these factors are normalizing a player’s production based on league park factors, which looks as how a player performs compared to other league players and compares to everyone who batted in the park (Sporting News, 2019).” Analysts and research have proven that it has identified OPS+, RS, AVG, etc., take significant roles in determining a player’s salary.
As we determined which numbers are used as the independent variables, and how they are measured in determining an MLB player’s salary. However, we will look closely at OPTS+, but the other variables are AVT, since a player’s average by the number of hits when they are up to bat. For example, if a player is at the plate t5 times and gets on the base safe (Safe Hits) four times, the player’s average would be measured by the four hits divided by ten attempts (7/15=.4667). With knowing this variable, players batting average would be higher with more safe hits and will also increase a player’s potential for additional compensation on the determining AAS.
An additional independent variable to be considered is Runs Scored (RS), which is used to measure performance. The RS determines how many times the player crossed home plate. However, to score a run, a player must be able to touch home base (OBS). The chances of winning a game are for a player not just get a hit but also score a run for the team. The more RS by a player will add value and performance to determine the player’s average annual salary.
The last independent variable that will be used to determine the overall value of a player is Years in League (YIL). The independent variable defines how long a play has been in Major League, and the longer you have been in the league reflects that the player’s pay is increased. As an MLB player, the longer you have been in the league, the more experience you gain, but has advantages for collective bargaining for an increase in a contract agreement. An example is when an MLB signs a Rookie that player will make the minimum allowed by the league. However, depending on how they perform awards are given, such as (MVP, Golden Glove, CY Young), but the pay will remain the same. As the player remains in the MLB and adds value to the team, the contract is renewed for an increase in salary. For this research purpose, we have come to expect that, based on the number of years will have an impact on the player’s overall salary.
The gathered MLB data used for this research is from these two references Baseball-Reference and USA Today Sports. However, there are other sites reviewed to reinforce the data set. The selectees Selected are the top 15 active players in batting average from the overall of the 2019 season to create the baseline to perform the calculations and to validate if, in fact, performance has an impact on the average annual salary. The statistical data extracted are specific to the 15 top batters of 2019:
- Player Name
- Average (AVG)
- Runs Scored (RS)
- On Base Percentage Plus Slugging (OPS+)
- Years in the League (YIL)
- Average Annual Salary (AAS)
The paper is to use a regression equation to relate to an MLB’s position player’s position and salary. The goal is to identify if a player’s performance has weight towards Average Annual Salary (AAS), because the mode used was to predict the AAS by using OPS+, AVG, RS, YL. We do understand that the more runs a player scores the player is then more valuable to the team. Additionally, these MLB players have a signed contract, and they are able to negotiate compensation and years.
- Baseball Reference. (n.d.). 2019 Major League Baseball Standard Batting. Retrieved November 26, 2019 from https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2018-standard-batting.shtml
- Baseball Prospectus. (n.d.). Baseball Prospectus | Statistics | Custom Statistics Reports: Batter Season. Retrieved November 26, 2019,, from https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1918875
- Edwards, J. (2017, August 17). Stat to the Future: Why it’s time to stop relying on batting average. Retrieved November 26, 2019, from http://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/explaining-sabermetrics-batting-average-criticism-ops-wrc-fangraphs-statcast/1d6p94zlvv3a01kqajw7vzrm3f
- Eye on Baseball staff Nov 16. (2019). What is the best offensive stat? Retrieved November 26, 2019, from https: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/stats/
- MLB Advanced Media. (2018,). Standard Stats | Glossary. Retrieved November 26, 2019, from http://m.mlb.com/glossary/standard-stats
- Spotrac. (n.d.). MLB Rankings. Retrieved November 26, 2019, from https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/rankings/batters/
- USA Today. (2019). MLB Salaries – MLB Baseball. Retrieved November 26, 2019, from https://www.usatoday.com/sports/mlb/salaries/2018/player/all/