How To Read A Baseball Slashline


Are you still confused by a player’s ‘slashline’, left wondering what the heck it stands for, or how to read one? If so, have no fear!

Below is a simple breakdown of how to digest the numbers, what those numbers mean and why it’s become inevitable when discussing a player’s offensive contributions.

Simply put, the days of merely judging a player’s offensive performance via batting average, home runs and RBI are over.

The development of the slashline gives a better indication of a player’s overall performance at the plate.

Batting average, however, remains one indicator and is the first number listed. Common baseball knowledge has players hitting at, or above .300, as a solid batter.

For example, Starlin Castro fits the mold hitting .307 last season.


The following number is the player’s on-base percentage. Basically, how often the batter reaches first base safely. This includes hits, walks, hit by pitch and sacrifice flies.

A good OBP is around .345 or higher. Carlos Pena, for example, posted a .357 OBP in 2011.


The third and final number is the player’s slugging percentage, which in general terms measures a player’s hitting power.

It’s calculated by the hitter’s total bases divided by at bats. For example, 1 for a single, 2 for a double and so forth. (Walks, however, are excluded).

Thus, a player who gathers more extra base hits and home runs will have a higher slugging percentage vs. singles hitters.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s say a good SLG percentage is .450 or higher. Aramis Ramirez led the Cubs last season at .510 thanks in part to his 26 HR & 35 doubles.


So there you have it, albeit a slashline of three players combined, but easy enough to read, nonetheless!

As a general rule of thumb, use .300/.350/.450 as general indicators to read a player’s slashline.

Then as you become more comfortable you’ll gain the ability to decipher the numbers more quickly and in greater detail.

Similar to judging a hitter on batting average alone, the days of a slashline appearing a foreign language are history.

Welcome back to the conversation.

*Try your hand with the examples below…

Player Average On-Base % Slugging %
Starlin Castro .307 .341 .432
Alfonso Soriano .244 .289 .469
Reed Johnson .309 .348 .467

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