What does QAB mean in Baseball?

what does pa mean in baseball

If you’re a baseball lover, or just a curious person, you may have heard the term QAB and are now wondering “What does QAB mean in Baseball?”. You are definitely not alone. Many people watch and love baseball and have no idea what it means. Keep in mind that it’s similar to Quality at Bats in softball. So keep reading and blow people’s minds the next time you come across someone who is looking for the same answer!

QAB Definition

QAB stands for Quality At Bats. You could say it’s the quality of a batter in terms of measuring the productivity and planned technique or condition of a batter according to his situation. Statistics that are easy and popular to talk about are things such as:

  • Batting average (AVG)
  • On-base percentage (OBP)
  • Slugging percentage (SLG)

These will help towards raising your batting average number, but these are not always the reason for a good QAB score. QAB is more on using the rules of baseball to your advantage.

The simplest yet best definition of a QAB was explained by the current ECU head coach Cliff Godwin:

“A Quality At-Bat is an at-bat that makes a positive contribution towards our team goals”. Instead, we can refer to this positive contribution as a Productive At Bat, as most people refer to QAB as the percentage score of these productive at-bats.

This might sound a little confusing, so we’re going to start by reviewing some of the basic conditions that are defined as At-Bats, and then talk about calculations for other terms that you’ll need to know before fully understanding how we come up with a QAB score and it’s relevance to the world of baseball.

printable quality at bat chart

QAB Baseball Meaning

Quality At Bats vs. Quality Plate Appearances

At bats are similar to Plate Appearances and sometimes get mixed up, so this is the difference:

Plate Appearances

A “Plate Appearance” is credited for a player every time he completes a turn in batting, whatever the result may be, you will not be credited a “Plate Appearance” on these following conditions:


  • When an instance of “Picked Off/ Caught Stealing” (depending on your preceding baserunner) you may continue your turn with no balls or strikes
  • Game ends as a winning run by score from 3rd base as balk, stolen base, passed ball, wild pitch; during your batting turn
  • You are replaced by a pinch hitter in the middle of a batting turn (depends on certain circumstances, like you are put back after 2 strikes against you while the pinch hitter striking out as well)

At Bats

An "At Bat" is every opportunity that the batter has against the opponent pitcher. Below, I will give  you all the conditions that are qualified for an “At Bat” when the batter is facing the opponent pitcher:


  • 3 or more pitches after 2 strikes
  • 6 or more pitches at bats
  • Extra base hits (XBH)
  • Sacrifice Flies (SAC)
  • Sacrifice Bunts (SF)
  • Walks (BB)

Your Plate Appearance score will help towards finding your Quality Plate Appearances (QPA), while your “at bats” score will assist in helping you find your QAB score.

Calculating Quality at Bats Percentage

Before everything else, it might be a good idea to draw up a chart you can fill in to keep score of your At-Bats, alternatively, you can download this printable quality at bat chart I found floating around the web.

  • Calculate your total At-Bats score
  • Take a look at every At-Bat move you’ve made and pick out your Productive At-Bats, again, these are At Bats that have made a positive contribution to your team.
  • Calculate your total Productive At-Bats or “Quality At Bats” score (however your prefer to call it)
  • Follow this formula: (Quality At Bats)/(At Bats) x 100 = QAB%

Now you know how to calculate it, you’re probably now wondering “What is a good at bat percentage?” Your target should be 50%-60% QAB.

Why QAB is Important

There are some instances in a baseball game, depending on score and how far into a game you are, in which making a fantastic swing and hitting far isn’t the best option. A lot of younger players don’t take this into thought, and it’s important to think strategically of what’s best for your team in each moment of the game.

A good quality at bats video to check out is this QAB drills video, which will help you think before you bat: