The fielding percentage calculator is a useful tool for any baseball player or fan. If you're wondering how to calculate fielding percentage (FPCT), you're in the right place - this calculator will do it for you, and then describe the process. Read on to find out more about this useful sabermetric.

What is fielding percentage?

Fielding percentage (sometimes called fielding average, abbreviated to FPCT) is a baseball statistic that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player correctly handles a batted or thrown ball. As for its purpose, it's typically used to evaluate the performance of a defender. While it has its limitations, it's still one of the more popular metrics for assessing the skills of fielders. In simple terms, the higher the fielding percentage, the more effective a player's fielding. It can also be calculated for the whole team.

Similarly to other baseball statistics, such as ERA, FIP, SLG and WHIP, the fielding percentage may provide players with valuable information about their performance, which can be used to adjust their training strategy and help asses their chances of winning.

Terms used in the fielding percentage calculator

Before we move onto describing how the calculator works and how to calculate fielding percentage, it may be worth taking a moment to clarify the terms used while discussing FCTP.

Here's a short glossary:

  • A putout is a type of out performed in the field of play by any player other than the pitcher. This includes fly outs, tag outs, force outs, and all outs made by illegal plays. A putout goes into the record of the player most directly responsible for it occurring.

  • An assist in baseball is a defensive statistic, recorded when a player in the outfield position touches or throws a ball in play that results in a putout.

  • An error occurs when, by the official scorer's judgment, a fielder fails to convert an out on an average play, or if a fielder makes a poor play, allowing runners to advance on the bases.

  • Fielding positions are the nine different positions players can take in the defensive team.

  • A fielder is any player in one of these positions.

  • Total chances is a term used to describe the overall number of plays in which a fielder has participated.

How to use the fielding percentage calculator?

Now that the terms used by the calculator are clear, let's move on to using it. To calculate the FCTP of a player or team, all you need to do is:

  • provide the fielding percentage calculator with their number of putouts,
  • input the number of assists
  • put in the number of errors,
  • and voila! At the bottom of the calculator it will show you the fielding percentage.

How to calculate fielding percentage?

If you'd rather do the math on your own, here's how to do it:

FPCT = (putouts + assists) / (total chances)

As was stated above, the total chances is calculated by adding up the putouts, assists, and errors: total chances = putouts + assists + errors.

So in practice, the full fielding percentage formula is:

FPCT = (putouts + assists) / (putouts + assists + errors)

Example of FCTP calculations

Let's go through an example to clarify whatever doubts may still be lingering. According to National Collegiate Athletic Association, as of July 2019 the team at the University of Nebraska-Omaha recorded 1,489 putouts, 496 assists and 33 errors.

The calculations is as follows:

(1,489 + 496) / (1,489 + 496 + 33) = 1,985 / 2,018 = 0.984

As the decimal in FTCP is usually a zero, it's customary to report its value without that zero. It's usually rounded to three decimal places. That's not a rule and you are likely to come across FTCPs that are reported more precisely, but many organizations follow this practice for clarity's sake. Thus, we would say that the FTCP of the Omaha team is .984.

In the rare case that a player or a team has no recorded errors, their FTCP would equal 1. In such a situation it's acceptable to report is as 1.000 rather than .000.

Maria Kluziak

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