Fielding percentage is a baseball statistic used to put a fielder’s number of putouts and assists in comparison to the total number of opportunities they’ve had for putouts and assists.
It is intended to be a tool for measuring a fielder’s capability.
Critics of fielding percentage note that the statistic can be misleading – fielders who work harder to get to the ball can have a higher percentage of errors (therefore a lower fielding percentage) while at the same time being more effective for their team as they have a higher total number put outs and assists. A hit that passes by a fielder does not reflect in their fielding percentage score, while one that they try for and get an error on does.
In Baseball, on fielding percentage is calculated as follows:
Fielding Percentage (FPCT) = (put outs + assists) / (put outs + assists + errors).
If a fielder has completed 317 put outs, 541 assists, and 27 errors, then:
317 + 541 is 858
317 + 541 + 27 is 885.
858 / 885 is 0.96949
Therefore, the fielder’s fielding percentage is 0.96949.
What counts as a “Put Out”?
A put out is any time a fielder catches a runner out.
Typically this is done by tagging a runner out, catching a ball and tagging a base, catching the third strike, catching a fly ball, or being the closest player to a runner who is called out for interference.
What counts as an Assist?
An assist counts for each person who touches the ball after it has been hit and before a player is put out when a put out is claimed.
Even if the touch of the ball was unintentional, the assist is still recorded.
Only one assist per player per out recorded can be claimed.
In the event of an error, the assist is awarded if the putout would have occurred.
What counts as an Error?
An error is a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to advance one or more bases, or an at-bat is allowed to continue after the batter should have been put out.
- Wikipedia – Putout
- Wikipedia – Assist (Baseball)
- Wikipedia – Error (Baseball)
- Major League Baseball – Official Rules: 10.01 – The Rules of Scoring
- ESPN – MLB Statistics – Fielding
- Brown Daily Herald – Lewis Pollis – Sabermetrics: Fielding percentage and erros don’t tell the whole story
- Society for American Baseball Research – Measuring Defense: Entering the Zones of Fielding Research
- NCAA – M<en’s Baseball – Fielding Percentage Statistics
- Wall Street Journal Sports – The Count: The Error of Relying on Fielding Percentage
- NCAA – Official Baseball Statistics Rules
- NCAA – Official Softball Statistics Rules
- NCAA – The Official NCAA Baseball and Softball Scorebook
- NFHS – Statistician’s Manual
- International Baseball Federation – Scoring Manual
Baseball Statistics Calculators
- At Bats per Home Run (ABHR)
- Batting Average (BA)
- Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP)
- Walks per 9 Innings (BB/9)
- Walk to Strikeout Ratio (BB/K)
- Batting Park Factor (BFP)
- Component ERA (CERA)
- Defense Independent Component ERA (DICE)
- Earned Run Average (ERA)
- Equivalent Average (EqA)
- Fielding Percentage (FCPT)
- Fielding Percentage (FIP)
- Ground Ball / Fly Ball (GB/FB)
- Ground Outs / Fly Outs (GO/AO)
- Gross Production Average (GPA)
- Hits per 9 Innings (H/9)
- Innings Pitched per Game (IP/GS)
- Isolated Power (ISO)
- Strike to Walk Ratio (K/BB)
- Left on Base Percentage (LOB%)
- On Base Percentage (OBP)
- On Base Plus Slugging (OBPS)
- Opponents Batting Average (OBA)
- Plate Appearances per Strikeout (PA/SO)
- Power Finesse Ratio (PFR)
- Pythagorean Expectation
- Run Average (RA)
- Runs Created (RC)
- Range Factor (RF)
- Runs Produced (RP)
- Stolen Base Percentage (SB%)
- Slugging Percentage (SLG)
- Save Percentage (SV%)
- Total Average (TA)
- Total Bases (TB)
- Total Chances (TC)
- Times on Base (TOB)
- Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP)
- Extrapolated runs (XR / XRR / XRB)