Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Professor Jeffrey S. Buzas, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

Professor David Jenemann, Ph. D

Third Advisor

Professor Alice Patania, Ph. D


sabermetrics, baseball, linear modeling


This paper aims to measure the economic value of baseball players being able to reach base based on their speed. Prior to around the year 2000, teams in baseball overvalued speed because flashier players stood out to scouts and other front office executives in the sport. Since then, Major League Baseball has valued other statistics more, namely on base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (see Glossary for the definition of these and other baseball statistics).

This project measures the added value to OBP and slugging percentage (SLG) for MLB players on plays where they must run at top speed, specifically ground balls and hits that are not home runs. Linear models were used to compare groups of players with differing speeds but similar values for OBP and SLG to determine whether faster players are still paid more than slower ones, even if their offensive statistics (OBP and SLG) are the same. In this study, I found that while speed may help certain players improve their offensive statistics, these players are not compensated any more than other players with similar statistics.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.