To qualify for the batting championship, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances (PA) each team game (for a total of 502 for the current 162-game season). The batting title is awarded to the player who has the highest average over those games.
A batter receives three strikes on him or her before he or she is out. A batter can also be removed from the game during an inning for any reason other than hitting into a double play. If a batter is removed from the game after reaching base, then he or she will not be credited with another opportunity to bat until after the conclusion of the first half of the season. As long as the player remains in the league, he or she will be eligible to come back and bat again.
In addition to batting titles, other batting awards exist to recognize outstanding performance by individual batters. These include the American League Batting Champion, which is awarded to the player who leads the league in average; the National League Batting Champion, which is awarded to the player who leads the league in runs scored; and the Most Valuable Player (MVP), which is awarded to the best hitter in baseball.
The most successful batter in MLB history is Babe Ruth, who led the league in average four times.
To be rated in any of these categories at the end of the season, a player must have amassed 502 plate appearances. Assume Player A has 510 plate appearances and 400 at bats and gets 100 hits over the season, finishing with a.250 batting average. While Player B only has 500 plate appearances but averages 150 hits per year; they are considered equal because both players have similar rates of hitting for power and batting average.
The main difference between them is how many times they reach base. Player A has more walks (70) than player B (50), so they are called "batting leadoff." They also have different numbers of extra bases hit: four for player A and three for player B. Therefore, Player A is worth more points than player B. A player can have as few as half their PA's (255) and still finish up with a rating; this occurs when a player has a low BA but gets enough hits to qualify by other measures such as total bases or batting average. For example, a player who scores 100 runs while hitting.400 is equally valuable to a player who scores 0 and hits.500.
There are several ways to measure a player's value. One method is to calculate an annual rate of hitting by dividing the hitter's career average by his number of seasons played.
In Major League Baseball, the batter with the most base hits per number of at bats (some minimum number of at bats to qualify) in either the NL or the AL wins the batting title.
To qualify for a Major League Baseball batting title, a player must have 3.1 at-bats, or plate appearances, in each game of the season. With a typical season of 162 games, each player vying for the MLB championship must make 502 plate appearances. Players who walk but do not swing the bat are still given a plate opportunity.
In theory, you could win the batting title with just one at bat and one hit. You could only have a batting average with one at bat if the rest of your plate appearances were made up of sacrifices and walks.
With at least 502 at-bats, a player is eligible to win the batting title (also known as leading the league in batting average). The current National League leader is Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets with a batting average of.462. The current American League leader is Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox with a batting average of.522.
To be sure you have enough AB to win the batting title, we will need to look at how many AB were played in a season during the time period when it was possible to win the batting title. From 1901 to 1954, an average of about 750 at-bats were played in the Major Leagues each year. This is more than enough AB to win the batting title today.
From 1955 to 2004, an average of 1,000 AB were played in the Major Leagues each year. After 1955, there were two seasons where fewer than 1,000 AB were played - 2006 and 2007 - but they were split seasons where each team played six games against each other. In other words, each team got 100 AB so it wasn't necessary to play every game of a series.
In theory, you could win the batting title with just one at bat and one hit. You could only have a batting average with one at bat if the rest of your plate appearances were made up of sacrifices and walks. A walk is like an at bat except that it doesn't count against your batting average.
In practice, this would be very difficult because most batters get at least two strikes before they swing. If you did manage to do this, however, you would still only have a batting average of.500 since you'd have four times as many chances to hit for negative value as for positive value.
The most recent batter to do this was Pete Rose in 1986. He got a base on balls plus a strike out to finish with a batting average of exactly.500. This was done by Tony Perez who played first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perez had a big game against Rose who was serving a ban from baseball due to allegations that he had used baseball cards to fund his gambling habit. The final score of the game was 1-0 with Perez getting three hits including a home run. It should be noted that this game took place while Rose was batting.400 or better.
There have been other players who have finished with a batting average of.500 or higher but none of them managed to do it more than once.
Every batter's trip to the plate counts as an appearance. AB: AB = Plate Appearances (PA)-BB-HB-SF-SH/B at Bats Each batter's turn at the plate is referred to as a "at bat." At-Bats (BB), Hits By Pitch (HBP), and Sacrifices (SF & SH/B) are not considered legitimate at-bats. A batter who enters the game with two outs and none on base, but then fails to touch home plate before being removed from the game because of injury or foul play will be denied her full complement of at bats in that inning.
The number of plates faced by a batter determines how many times she receives an opportunity to hit home run. The more plates faced, the higher the probability of success. However, there are some batters who face many opportunities but fail to hit home runs because they make out too many bad pitches. These are called "putouts" because the pitcher takes away their chance to hit by throwing them out at any time during an at-bat.
In addition, there are batters who have great speed on the base paths. They beat out bad pitches because they take extra bases. This is known as "running the ball." Although this makes them look like they are getting on base faster, it also increases the risk of being thrown out while attempting to advance to second or third.
Finally, there are batters who draw walks. When this happens, the batter gets another chance to hit after the pitcher finishes his current delivery.