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March 13, 2010

Between The Numbers

The Rounded Slash Line

by Eric Seidman

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Chris Coghlan of the Florida Marlins burst onto the scene last year and put together a fantastic rookie season with the bat, compiling a .321/.390/.460 slash line in 504 PA en route to the NL Rookie of the Year award. Take a closer look at that slash-line, as Coghlan came within one-thousandth of a batting average point of finishing the year with a perfectly rounded slash line. There are no awards to commemorate such an achievement, but, c'mon, you know it would have been fun if he ended the season hitting .320/.390/.460. His numbers got me thinking -- how often does a rounded slash line occur? And, of the players in this hypothetical sample, have any achieved their "feat" in a significant number of trips to the dish?

Querying from 1974-2009, I found 1,227 batter-seasons with a rounded slash line, a sample accounting for approximately four percent of all seasons in the span. Not all 1,227 lines were created equally, however, as a pretty penny of the seasons belonged to players who hit, say, 1.000/1.000/2.000 in one plate appearance. Paring the list down to those who actually, you know, played the game, only 21 players rounded their lines while amassing 100 or more plate appearances. Of this group:

  • Only 15 had 250+ PA
  • Only 11 had 400+ PA
  • Only 8 had 500+ PA
  • Only 4 had 600+ PA
  • Only 1 had 700+ PA

That one? Well, that would be none other than the Centaur himself, Alex Rodriguez, who hit .310/.360/.560 in 748 plate appearances back in 1998. His compadres with 600+ PA:

And that's it -- nobody aside from these four has finished a season with a rounded slash line while playing all year. But, as you'll notice, their TAv's weren't rounded, and that darn A-Rod finished at .302 in 1998 as well. That being said, has anyone ever achieved a quadruple-round, with BA/OBP/SLG and TAv rounded? Well, yes and no. Players have technically accomplished this but not in any meaningful number of plate appearances. Of the 103 to produce a quadruple-round, only two players did so in 100+ PA:

Coghlan finished with a .299 TAv, meaning that he was one-thousandth of a point from becoming just the 9th player in the last 40 or so years to have a rounded slash line and another thousandth of a point away from having the most PAs for any quadruple-round player. He won the Rookie of the Year but he has to be disappointed about this.

Eric Seidman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Eric's other articles. You can contact Eric by clicking here

Related Content:  Quadruple-A Player

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