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Old 09-23-2012, 11:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hoping for intelligent comments re RBI and BA/SLG RISP

Quote:
Originally Posted by btimm View Post
I give you Sammy Sosa, the first player that came to my mind when discussing the value of RBIs.

Sammy Sosa Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com

Yes, he had many RBIs in the 5-year stretch from 98-02, but not relative to the number of homeruns hit. I mean seriously, look at 2002. he hit 49 homeruns, and only had 108 RBIs. Seriously, that is mind boggling. Just further proves the point that Ryan T. made - it all depends on your teammates, not just you. If they aren't on base, you cannot knock them in. Think about that. If Sosa hit 40 HRs that year - a fairly big number - he would not have had 100 RBIs ...

Wins = runs = RBIs = not a valid way to judge a player's performance. Basically, if you lead the league in runs, RBIs, or wins, you likely performed very well. However, if you did not have large totals in those categories, it does not mean you performed worse.
The second portion of your statement is one of the rare times
Ive seen someone on this board acknowledge this point.

All to often many people just state "rbis are meaningless" and are incredibly dismissive.

example
"Batter dude has 150 rbi's. He's great !"

typical dismissive response
"So what !????!!??!
RBI's are meaningless. are you from the dark ages ???
he must have had a ton of guys on base for him"

As opposed to the way Btimm puts it - which simplifies down to
odds are these guys "likely did well"

less eloquently put -
a batter doesnt get 150 RBI's because his team was on base
so many times that it made up for him sucking like a 3 dollar ho with RISP.



As I stated elsewhere,
my first thought when I see numbers like BTimm points out about Sosa in 2002
is that the player underperfomed with RISP.
not that "no one got on base for him"

Since I am genuinely wondering why BA RISP seems to get no creedence at all. I looked into Sosa on ESPN
Sammy Sosa Stats, Splits - ESPN

1998 66 HR 158 RBI - 150 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .313/.613
1999 63 HR 141 RBI - 154 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .299/.656
2000 50 HR 138 RBI - 160 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .313/.669
2001 64 HR 160 RBI - 139 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .324/.691
2002 49 HR 108 RBI - 121 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .264/.628
2003 40 HR 103 RBI - 141 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .284/.518

what I find is that in 2002
Sosa did indeed have least amount at bats with RISP in this 6 year period.
So it would be fair to say the number on runnners on base played a part
but BA RISP was .264 - also lowest of the years shown and it played a part as well.
(the perfect storm - as both points are true)


Compare 2002 to 2003 -
20 more AB RISP in 2003
If RBI are predominantly the result of runners on ahead of you
He should have had more RBI right ?
WRONG - He had 5 Less RBI
Why?
The BA risp was a bit better, but the SLG was way down
Conclusion - the difference in these 2 seasons had little to do with runners on base and more to do with overall HR and SLGRISP

Compare 2001 to 2000
21 more AB with RISP in 2000
If RBI are predominantly the result of runners on ahead of you
he should have more RBI in 2000 right ?
WRONG
He had 22 more RBI in 2001
Conclusion - the difference in these 2 seasons had little to do with runners on base and more to do with overall HR and the higher BA/SLGRISP in 2001


Compare 2001 to 2003 - Nearly Identical AB RISP
Should have about the same RBI then right ???
WRONG!
he had 57 Less RBI in 2003
notice the huge difference in ba risp and slg risp ???

Conclusion - the difference in these 2 seasons had nothing to do with runners on base and everything to do with BA/SLGRISP & total HR's

Compare 1998 to 2000 - BA RISP of .313 in both seasons
2000 he has 10 more ab RISP, a higher SLGRISP, but 20 less RBI then in 1998.

Which is clearly impossible since the number of runners on base ahead of you
dictates how many RBI you will have, right ??
Wrong

Conclusion - The 1998 HR TOTAL accounts for the almost the entire difference in RBI and has little to nothing to do with runners on base.

So it seems to me (and always has) that
While one has to account for actual (not assumed) runners on base ahead of the player,
RBI's are meaningful in that
they a generally indicative of a batters ability to hit and to hit with power with RISP
aka hitting in the clutch

enjoy

Last edited by MetDude; 09-23-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MetDude View Post
sucking like a 3 dollar ho
Does said "ho" accept Paypal Gift?
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TakaTanakaGiant View Post
Does said "ho" accept Paypal Gift?
Only on tuesday in the late mid early morning.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If people insist on using RBIs as a way to measure individual performance, the best way to do this would be using something like the percentage of players on base to the number of RBIs a player has.

I.E., a guy that comes up with 500 runners on base in a season and knocks in 75 of them would have an RBI efficiency of 15%, while a guy who comes up with 300 runners on base and knocks in 65 of them would have an RBI efficiency of 21.6%. That way we can at least even it out a bit and not simply say Player A is better than B because he had 10 more RBI than the B did.

As for BA/SLG RISP, I simple think that there isn't enough of a sample size to draw accurate conclusions based on the limited ABs. Maybe looking over an entire career one could determine if a player has that "clutch" gene, but truth be told, most of the time with more ABs you have to work with, the closer the number get to the player's overall career numbers.

Also, there is a really nice article about the worst season ever by a player with 100 RBI.

Quote:
But let’s go down the path of looking at two players who accumulated 101 RBI over a full season of AB’s




As you can see, Ruben Sierra accumulated 101 RBI’s in 692 plate appearances (PA’s) and Barry Bonds ended the season with 101 in 617 PA’s. But what else did they do? Bonds more than doubled his HR’s (45 to 22), Bonds struck out fewer times than he went deep (45 HR to 41 K’s), Bonds hit .362 to Sierra’s average of .233. When it gets really interesting is when you see the OBP/SLG/OPS and wOBA. Bonds more than doubled his OBP (.609 to .288); Bonds more than doubled his SLG (.812 to .390) and thus obviously more than doubled his OPS (.678 to 1.422). Sierra’s wOBA was well below average at .296 when Bonds’ was unfathomably high at .538, this when an excellent hitter will have a wOBA around .400. Bonds drew 232 walks that season. You read that right, 232. The 2009 entire Giants roster collectively walked 392 times and Bengie Molina has walked exactly 184 times in his 12 major league seasons. This is a drastic example, yes. But history is riddled with such (albeit less extreme) examples.

So ya, when someone tells me how important knocking in runners and hitting in the clutch is, I can only really scratch my head. There’s so much data out there for us to look through. Why would anyone in their right mind ever limit themselves to RBI? It’s about the last statistic I’d ever care to look at, if at all. The logical and easy answer (I guess) is because it’s been drilled into the fans heads, and fans are clingy. All this seems simple and straightforward to me, you know, considering I myself in the not too distant past would’ve happily and confidently expressed my reverence of a player like Ryan Howard for his ability to drive in runs, or Bengie Molina for that matter. But that veil of ignorance has been lifted.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Of course there's some correlation between counting stats like RBIs and Runs and actual performance. What myself, and the others on the board that are "dismissive" of these type of metrics are saying, is that when fairly evaluating a player, or when (this boards favorite thing to do) comparing two players, there are far far far better metrics to use that eliminate things like luck, teammate performance, lineup position, etc. in establishing value while also adding elements that DO add value, like defense and baserunning.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For instance, if player A gets on base more and has more extra base hits and isolated power than player B, I don't care much that player B had 15 more RBI since that could be a reflection of hitting in a high powered lineup, etc. I care MOST about what the player can control, and that's primarily what he does when he's at bat.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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tl;dr

RBI, as a stat, doesn't tell the user much. It's a stat of opportunity. A corpse could hit cleanup for the Yankees and end up with 90 RBI in a given season.

I glanced over the post and saw something about RBI being indicative of a batter's ability to hit with runners on base. For the most part, hitters hit. It doesn't matter the situation. What most people chalk up to clutch/choking is generally just variance in a small sample size. Guys who can't handle the pressure don't make it to the majors.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetDude View Post
1998 66 HR 158 RBI - 150 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .313/.613
1999 63 HR 141 RBI - 154 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .299/.656
2000 50 HR 138 RBI - 160 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .313/.669
2001 64 HR 160 RBI - 139 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .324/.691
2002 49 HR 108 RBI - 121 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .264/.628
2003 40 HR 103 RBI - 141 AB RISP - BA/SLG RISP .284/.518

what I find is that in 2002
Sosa did indeed have least amount at bats with RISP in this 6 year period.
So it would be fair to say the number on runnners on base played a part
but BA RISP was .264 - also lowest of the years shown and it played a part as well.
(the perfect storm - as both points are true)
Intentional walks, dude. He played on a pretty poor Cubs side that year and was their only real power threat, outside of McGriff. Instead of facing him, opposing teams just walked him. He had 103 walks...and Sammy wasn't known as the most patient hitter. Pretty simple.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't have much to contribute but this just reminded me about a conversation some broadcasters were having during a BJ - Mariners game in June. Montero had 22 hits and only 1 RBI and they were talking about that kind of thing.

In July he had 21 hits and 12 RBIs.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texgator View Post
Intentional walks, dude. He played on a pretty poor Cubs side that year and was their only real power threat, outside of McGriff. Instead of facing him, opposing teams just walked him. He had 103 walks...and Sammy wasn't known as the most patient hitter. Pretty simple.
The intentional walks speak to why he had less AB RISP.
One can see that with Bonds and McGwire as well.

Outside of that one outlier, the other 5 years clearly show a pattern of the
fluctuation of RBI production having more to do with BA/SLG RISP
then the number of opportunities.

In the case of David wright 2003 - 2008 , one sees the same pattern
There was 1 season where there was an outlier well above the norm.
In 2008 he had 189 AB RISP but batted a paltry .243 RISP prucing 124 RBI's
In the other seasons theres a fairly consistent range of AB RISP and the fluctuation in RBI is quite clearly "in line" with the BA SLG RISP.

I have read all the other replies and thank you for them.

To be clear,
I am not trying in any way to prove Player A is Better than Player B due to RBI,
and I am not trying to determine overall value.

I AM trying to show that the blanket statement of
"He must of had more opportunities"
is
a) an assumption
b) false more often then true

It is equally foolish & short sighted to "parrott" this assumption as it is for someone to state that
Player A is better than player B because he had 10 more RBI.

Whatever the reality may be, one must actually look it up.

That said, I'm going to check out Montero.

As I clearly remember this blanket statement having been applied to him by certain members.
It may be true, It may not.
But im going to try to actually look it up, instead of assuming.
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Last edited by MetDude; 09-24-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The one stat that gets a lot of love is runs scored, which I've never understood. Yes, it is an asset to any player because it is one portion of your skillset: speed and base-running awareness. A guy who steals bases like Mike Trout is more valuable because of his alertness, but how many actual runs would he have if you placed him on the lowly Astros instead of a line-up that has a higher tendency to drive him in?

Both RBI and R, to me, are incidental stats; they do not necessarily dictate how great a player is, but says more of the team built around the player.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Jesus Montero Stats, Splits - Seattle Mariners - ESPN

Sadly, this particular page has month by month but not for the situational hitting.

What I can see is that on the whole his BA and SLG RISP is much lower than his overall numbers, and while I might be able to make an inference from it, more data is needed.

or is it ?

He had 1 HR in June accounting for his lone RBI
Therefore he did not drive in ANY baserunners.

So

It MIGHT be true that he had less opportunities than other months,
but its obvious he did not hit at all with whatever AB RISP he had.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoop View Post
The one stat that gets a lot of love is runs scored, which I've never understood. Yes, it is an asset to any player because it is one portion of your skillset: speed and base-running awareness. A guy who steals bases like Mike Trout is more valuable because of his alertness, but how many actual runs would he have if you placed him on the lowly Astros instead of a line-up that has a higher tendency to drive him in?

Both RBI and R, to me, are incidental stats; they do not necessarily dictate how great a player is, but says more of the team built around the player.
Alternatively, how many LESS runs would he score if he didnt steal second, thus preventing him from moving to 3rd on a ground out behind him,and score on a sac fly or FC ground out?

Jose Reyes scored alot of runs for the mets precisely in this fashion.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Alternatively, how many LESS runs would he score if he didnt steal second, thus preventing him from moving to 3rd on a ground out behind him,and score on a sac fly or FC ground out?

Jose Reyes scored alot of runs for the mets precisely in this fashion.
That also clashes with the act of stealing a base and/or sacrificing outs for runners to be moved up one spot, things that boil some sabers' blood. Speed has more uses than just on the bases, too--see Michael Bourn track something in centerfield, for example.

Just something to consider. I think there are more factors than people like to acknowledge when it comes to player value, and they put too much emphasis on the ones that they feel are "worthless." At the end of the day, driving in more runs is a good thing because it helped your team win, and that's the only reason I watch--individual players be damned.
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