Baseball is one of the most challenging sports in many ways. Hardcore baseball nerds will often say that this is the best sport in the world and perfect by any means. However, for those who just started learning about baseball, understanding every single aspect of this game might be a challenge of its own. 

Baseball is one of those sports that are heavily reliant on various statistics. The more you learn about this sport, the more you get obsessed with the statistics. This is where our fielding percentage (FPCT) calculator comes in handy. 

This article will explain the fielding percentage metric and how you can calculate it using our calculator.

What is the fielding percentage?

Fielding percentage itself is not the most crucial metric in baseball. However, when combined with other metrics, it can help with getting a broader picture of the defender’s performance. 

Fielding percentage, for example, can tell how often a fielder makes an error, which can be valuable information.

But the fielding percentage on its own doesn’t say anything, and in some cases, it can be misleading.

In regards to that, there’s one problem with the fielding percentage, and it relates to the way this metric is perceived. 

Fielding percentage is one of the classic metrics, and it is one of those things that could spark a fierce debate between hardcore baseball junkies regarding whether it’s relevant or not.

So, what’s the problem?

With fielding percentage, a player has to make fewer errors to be considered successful. Therefore, this can be a valuable metric if a defender has made fewer errors. However, this single metric might be a bit misleading regarding the player’s overall performance. Thus it might not be the best way to evaluate players.

However, if you often hang out with some baseball nerds, don’t get surprised if, at one point, there’s a sudden argument about whether this is a valid metric or not.

Another thing that adds up to the ‘controversy’ about this metric is that it can be subject to the personal judgement of the official scorer of the game. Some baseball fans will say that fielding percentage is one of those inflated metrics and that scores are often awarded to the fielders when they should be recorded as errors.

Regardless of that, the fielding percentage is still widely used to evaluate the defense.

So, what is the fielding percentage exactly?

Take any period of a baseball game, and you’ll find that one team is in defense and the other team is in offense. So at any given time, one team is trying to get hits and score runs (offense) while the other team is trying to prevent that (defense). And fielding is just another name for playing defense.

Fielding the ball is any successful attempt to get hold of the ball and throw it to another player with the final goal of getting a base runner (from the opposite team’s offense) out. 

Therefore, the fielding percentage is essentially a statistic in baseball that evaluates how successfully a defender handles the ball, whether batted or thrown.

In other words, it is a count of successful putouts and assists scored by a player.

As we described above, fielding percentage is essentially a metric that measures the defense’s performance in baseball. 

Note that shortstops and third basemen will usually have the lowest fielding percentage scores as the possibility of an error is way higher for these positions. On the other hand, catchers, outfielders, and the first basemen will usually have higher fielding percentage scores, given that the possibility of error for these positions is way lower.

Fielding percentage formula

The Fielding percentage formula is straightforward:

To calculate the fielding percentage for a player, we need to divide the sum of successful putouts and assists by the number of total attempts, i.e. total number of putouts, assists and errors. 

FPCT= \frac{Putouts + Assists}{Putouts + Assists + Errors}

Let’s take a real-world example and explain how it works.

Let’s say that we want to determine the fielding percentage for a player who had six putouts, two assists and two errors. Thus we will have:

  • Six putouts
  • Two assists
  • Two errors
  • Ten attempts in total (6+2+2)

If we apply this to the fielding percentage formula, we will get:

FPCT = \frac{6+2}{6+2+2} = 0.8

So, the fielding percentage for the given player will be 0.8.

How to use the fielding percentage calculator?

Our fielding percentage calculator is simple and easy to use. 

To calculate the fielding percentage, you need to enter the number of putouts (PO), assists (A), and errors. Then, the calculator will show the exact result instantly.

If you want to see how the calculator calculated the result, you can right-click or tap and hold on to the ‘Fielding percentage’ field and then click on the ‘Show solution’ link.

If we use our calculator with the example shown in the previous section of this article (where we had six putouts, two assists and two errors) and if we want to see how the calculator came up with the solution, we can right-click on the ‘Fielding percentage’ field, and we will see the method used by the calculator:

FPCT =\frac{(x1+x2)}{(x1+x2+x3)}=\frac{(6+2)}{(6+2+2)}=0.8

Terms used in the fielding percentage calculator

If you are a beginner with baseball and not familiar with the terms used in the fielding percentage formula, we will explain them here.

  • Putout

    When an offense player (hitter or base runner) is taken out of play, this is called an out. Therefore a putout is a term used to describe a situation when a defensive player scores a valid out.

    In other words, when a player steps on the base performing a forceout, tags a runner, catches the ball or catches the third strike, all of these situations will be credited as a valid putout.
  • Assist

    Essentially an assist is awarded to any fielder who successfully throws the ball to another player before a putout performed by another fielder. However, even if the fielder touches the ball in any way or even unintentionally, this will also be recorded as an assist.

    The maximum number of assists per player per one out is always one. This means that even if the player touches the ball twice before the opposite team’s runner is tagged out, it will still count as one assist.

  • Error

    Anytime a fielder fails to convert an out in a situation that an average fielder should have scored properly is recorded as an error. In other words, whenever a fielder wrongfully handles the ball, we can call this an error.

    However, there’s more to that (and this is why baseball can get interesting and addictive to follow).

    The error is given by the official scorer of the game. This is a person that observes the game from the press box and is appointed to record every single situation in the game that can be recorded. So, in these situations, when it is to be decided whether the fielder made an error or not, it’s up to the official scorer to decide about that!

Now you see that baseball is all about statistics!  

Example of FPCT calculations

We have already presented a simple example of calculating the fielding percentage for a single fielder.

However, we can also calculate the fielding percentage for the whole team. Also, these calculations are not limited to just one game. You can calculate the fielding percentage for a player or the whole team for whichever number of games you want (even if you want to do the entire season). And you can do this by applying the same formula we presented above.

Let’s try to do the same as in the previous example. However, here we will calculate the fielding percentage for the last three games for the given player.

So let’s say that the fielder has these scores for the last three games they played as shown in the following table:

Game #1Game #2Game #3
Putouts679
Assists201
Errors230

To calculate this, we will first need to separately calculate the sums of all putouts, assists and errors for the last three games.

So first, we will calculate the sum of all putouts scored by the fielder:

  • Putouts (last 3 games): 6+7+9 = 22

Then we will calculate the same for the assists and errors as well:

  • Assists (last 3 games): 2+0+1 = 3
  • Errors (last 3 games): 2+3+0 = 5

Now we can calculate the total number of attempts for the last three games as well:

  • Attempts (last 3 games): 22 + 3 + 5 = 30

Finally, we have all of the data, and we can apply the fielding percentage formula:

FPCT = \frac{(22+3)}{(22+3+5)} = \frac{25}{30} = 0.83

So, the fielding percentage score for the last three games for the given fielder is 0.83.

Of course, you can also calculate this with our FPCT calculator by simply inserting the sums of putouts, assists and errors for the last three games (22, 3, 5), and you will get the same result.

You can apply the same approach for any number of games and players (including the whole team).

FAQ

Are fielding percentage and fielding average the same?

Yes, these are both used to describe a metric that evaluates defense players in baseball.

What is the 1.000 fielding percentage?

1.000 is the maximum FPCT score a fielder can get. This means that the fielder successfully handled all of the chances and made zero errors.

What is a good fielding percentage for an outfielder?

As described above, the first basemen, catchers and outfielders are more likely to score a good FPCT because they are less likely to make an error. However, this is not the case for the shortstops and third basemen. 

For example, the fielding percentage scored as an outfielder by Nick Markakis throughout his whole career was .944. He also holds the MLB record regarding consecutive games by an outfielder with zero error. He made no errors as an outfielder for 398 games in a row!

From that example, an outfielder is expected to have an outstanding FPCT. On the other hand, an FPCT score of .872 for an outfielder would be considered pretty bad.

Summary

We hope that you found our fielding percentage (FPCT) calculator helpful. It is simple to use, and if you are into baseball statistics, it will save you some time.

Here we explained how the calculator works and the formula behind it, and we also gave you some examples of how to use these for your own calculations.

If you found this one helpful, you might also want to check the Batting Average Calculator.