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Introducing V-Rating (The Ultimate Offensive Metric In MLB)

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

by James Vlietstra

May 5, 2021


Introducing V-Rating:

The Ultimate Offensive Metric In MLB


Over the years, there’s been different emphasis put on the way that the sport of baseball is played. From the early days of slap hitting and bunting and stolen bases to the current model of walks, strike outs, and home runs. What has remained constant is the goal of getting on base and circling the diamond 360 feet in a counter clockwise direction as many times as possible.

Analytics. OPS. Sabermetrics. WAR. Runs Produced. How do you determine who were the greatest hitters of all time?

Years ago, while coaching a church softball team, I developed a rating system to formulate the best lineup based on productivity per at bat. Runs produced and total bases were the centerpieces of my analysis.

Using a similar system, I am going to sift through the numbers to determine who the best offensive players have been in Major League history. In addition to those stats, I have taken into account walks, hit by pitches, net stolen bases, grounding into double plays, and sacrifices. This will provide a true determination of the most productive players per at bat.

I call this new formula The V-Rating.

The V-Rating is a metric that judges all players throughout baseball history using the same criteria per plate appearance.

Let the numbers do the talking.

  1. A V-Rating higher than 1.000 is inner circle greatness.

  2. Anything.850 or higher is truly elite.

  3. .750 and higher is All-Star status.

  4. Below .650 and that player needs another carrying skill, like Gold Glove defense.

A couple of items of note:

  1. This is a purely offensive metric. Pitching and defense are not reflected in the rankings.

  2. All stats are from Baseball Reference.

  3. Sacrifice hits began in 1894. Caught stealing was sporadic prior to 1920. GIDP stats started in 1939. Integration began in 1947. Sacrifice flies records started in 1954. The designated hitter rule began in 1973, in only the American League. All stats are through 2020.

In the coming weeks (each Wednesday at 1:00) some of the comparisons I will make will include the careers of some active players and lots of retired players, including every member of the Hall of Fame.

I will also share my analysis of some of the best and worst teams of all time. Finally, I will showcase some of the greatest individual seasons of all time as I searched for the greatest seasons in MLB history.


Here is a special preview of the V-RATINGS of some Baseball Hall-of-Famers:

  1. Babe Ruth – 1.101

  2. Ted Williams – 1.010

  3. Hank Aaron – .858

  4. Frank Robinson – .852

  5. Rickey Henderson – .822

  6. Bill Dickey – .807

  7. Reggie Jackson – .787

  8. Johnny Bench – .753

  9. Rod Carew – .708

  10. Ozzie Smith – .617


NEXT WEEK – I will provide the complete list of every single player in the Hall-of-Fame ranked by V-Rating!

I welcome your comments and a great discussion!


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