Batting average, abbreviated BA, is the number of hits gotten by a player divided by his number of at bats. Batting average has long been viewed as the primary measure of a batter's skill, so that the batting title is awarded to the batter with the highest average, rather than to one who scores or drives in the most runs. Advocates of sabermetrics have challenged the primacy of batting average, but it remains the key batting statistic in the eyes of most fans and players.
When the concept of the batting average was invented, in the middle of the 19th century, pitchers threw slowly enough that there were few walks given, and so batting average was close to on-base percentage. In addition, there were fewer extra-base hits, so batting average and slugging percentage were much closer than today. As a result, batting average was a much more meaningful statistic in the days of Henry Chadwick than it is today.
|All Time Leaders|
|MLB Career||Ty Cobb||.367|
|Season (since 1901)||Nap Lajoie||.426||1901|
|Pro Career||Ox Eckhardt||.366|
|Minor League Career||Ike Boone||.370|
|Minor League Season||Willie Aikens||.454||1986; full-season record|
|Minor League Season||Gary Redus||.462||1978; short-season record|
|NPB Career||Leron Lee||.320||4,000 AB min.|
|NPB Career||Ichiro Suzuki||.353||2,000 AB min.|
|NPB Season||Randy Bass||.389||1986|
|Cuban National League Career||Osmani Urrutia||.370||through 2006-2007|
|Cuban National League Season||Osmani Urrutia||.469||2003-2004|
|KBO Season||Jinten Haku||.412||1982|
|Italian Career||Giorgio Castelli||.421|
|Italian Season||Giorgio Castelli||.510||1978|
|AAGPBL Career||Joanne Weaver||.359||1,000 AB min.|
|AAGPBL Season||Joanne Weaver||.429||1954|
- Douglas Jordan and David Macias: "Team batting Average: A Comprehensive Analysis", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 48, Nr. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 64-69.