Definition – What is Fielding Percentage?
Fielding percentage puts 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.
Formula – How to calculate FPCT
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 = 858
317 + 541 + 27 = 885
858 ÷ 885 is 0.969
Therefore, the fielder’s fielding percentage is 0.969.
Sources and more resources
- Wikipedia – Putout, Assist (Baseball), and Error (Baseball) – Wikipedia entries
- Fielding statistics from ESPN and the NCAA.
- Discussion on fielding percentage with Lewis Pollis – “Sabermetrics: Fielding percentage and erros don’t tell the whole story,” the Society for American Baseball Research – “Measuring Defense: Entering the Zones of Fielding Research,” and Wall Street Journal Sports – “The Count: The Error of Relying on Fielding Percentage.”
- Rules on baseball and baseball statistics from Major League Baseball, NCAA (Baseball), NCAA (Softball), NCAA (Baseball and Softball), NFHS, and the International Baseball Federation.