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Thread: RBI "Most Over-Rated stat"

  1. #41
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    Here is why I think RBI tells you little about who actually contributed to a run scoring.....

    leadoff hitter gest a single
    leadoff hitter steals second
    secon hitter advances runner to third on routine ground out
    third hitter hits routine fly ball to CF, runner scores

    all the third place hitter did was hit a routine out, but he gets an "RBI", like he did something special. Guys get RBI for routine fly balls and ground outs all the time. It is the guy that got on base, in that situation, that actually did something of value.
    Lighten up Francis....

  2. #42
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    all the third place hitter did was hit a routine out
    ...with the pitcher doing everything he can to *not* allow a fly ball.

    I'm not the biggest RBI guy, but it's not *nothing*.

    Also, most RBI aren't racked up this way, and looking at end-cases can be instructive but not particularly definitive.

  3. #43
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    So, a guy gets on base, steals second, and the next hitter hits a single, and the first guy is fast enough to score from second. Who did most of the work?

    I didn't say he did "nothing", but he didn't come close to contributing even half the work to making that run score, did he?
    Lighten up Francis....

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    It says no one was no base in front of him, is what it says. That's the whole point of it being over rated....
    Not really. It means he was pitched around.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    So, a guy gets on base, steals second, and the next hitter hits a single, and the first guy is fast enough to score from second. Who did most of the work?

    I didn't say he did "nothing", but he didn't come close to contributing even half the work to making that run score, did he?
    But you did say it tells you little. If that's big enough to include one-quarter to one-third, then we're probably not in disagreement.

  6. #46
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    It says no one was no base in front of him, is what it says. That's the whole point of it being over rated....
    He did have runners in front of him though, lots of them.

    We all know that RBI is not an effective way of measuring offense, or even the ability to drive in runners, because of its dependence on the offensive quality of the rest of the team. To rectify at least this flaw of the RBI, let’s look at a variant of the statistic, one that is reflective of its purpose, but more effectively measures said purpose. We’ll call it RBI per Opportunity, or RBI/Opp. Simply, it is the percentage of runners, on base while a player is up, that are driven in by said player, removing plate appearances in which the player is intentionally walked:

    Num Player RBI Opps RBI/Opp
    1 Wilson Ramos 48 196 24.5%
    2 Allen Craig 87 359 24.2%
    3 Freddie Freeman 91 382 23.8%
    4 Chris Davis 85 376 22.6%
    5 Miguel Cabrera 95 423 22.5%
    6 Matt Carpenter 68 307 22.2%
    7 Paul Goldschmidt 94 428 22.0%
    8 Robinson Cano 81 374 21.7%
    9 Salvador Perez 67 312 21.5%
    10 Yadier Molina 71 342 20.8%
    192 Joey Votto 53 412 12.9%
    Note: these are not literal RBI, but the number of times the runners on base actually score. In other words, I’m counting runs that score as a result of double plays or errors as RBI.
    The leaders in RBI/Opp are, for the most part, the players that we would expect to be leaders. These are primarily players that are, and should be, leaders in MVP voting. Joey Votto is a not a leader in this statistic. Joey Votto was not a victim of opportunity, a victim of the players who batted in front of him. Joey Votto drove in well fewer runners that we would expect from a player of his caliber.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/joey-...lue-of-a-walk/

    This article goes on to conclude Votto's walking with runners on base was good, based on historical weighted base-out values. But I'm not sure Votto's decisions were always best in the context of the score of the game and the context of the Reds lineup (specifically, having a lot of strikeout prone batters behind him (Phillips and Bruce)).

  7. #47
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    Thanks for the correction. I am curious, wuold people be happier with Votto if he swung at bad pitches and struck out or grounded out more often, but got 10 more RBI or so? Because I'd guess if he would swing more, he'd make a lot more outs.
    Lighten up Francis....

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    ...all the third place hitter did was hit a routine out, but he gets an "RBI", like he did something special. Guys get RBI for routine fly balls and ground outs all the time. It is the guy that got on base, in that situation, that actually did something of value.
    As we found out last year, that "routine out" was not routine for this team.
    Guy on 3rd with less than 2 outs: here
    Percent of scored base runners: here
    Just having productive outs: here

    We can argue these stats as well. However, I think they help emphasize the fact that SOMEONE has to hit that fly ball, or run out that grounder to avoid the double play. Last year the Twins were not good at it. We needed a fly ball...and we got a chopper to second, or a K. Good players are more capable of doing the "routine" plays.

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  10. #49
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    I don't mind RBI. The batter in front gets credit for creating the runs (R,2B,SB,3B) Someone who advances the runner gets a Sacrifice. So things are accounted for.

    My thing is Mauer getting such a high AVG or OBP but he doesn't seem to get many RBI. Maybe someone can pull up his stats with RISP. I feel like he walks so much and doesn't drive in runs... Then the guy behind him the last few years has not been an RBI machine (apart from Willingham).

  11. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    This is a great post on how RBI should be used... Unfortunately, that's not how the stat has been used historically.

    What we have today that we didn't have 60 years ago is data and the ability to crunch large amounts of it. Since the advent of computers and advanced stat tracking, we've learned a few things:

    - RBI does not indicate future production
    - RBI is heavily team-dependent
    - Over the course of multiple seasons, "clutch hitting" does not exist barring a few incredibly rare exceptions

    Those things make RBI almost completely useless as a projection of future production or even a good indication of how a player performed outside of "he drove in a lot of runners", which could be a side effect of a team effort, not that individual player.

    I see no reason to ever use RBI outside of MVP voting or judging a player's career numbers. Slugging % tells us so much more about a hitter than RBI (and even Slugging % is seriously flawed).
    BA with RISP can be predictive in the short term to see if a team is over or under performing. For example, you might get a team after 50 games that is in first place, but their BA with RISP is like .370 and overall BA is .290. Well it appears they have just been very timely with their hits and that will likely not continue.

    In the long term, it is primarily a longevity stat for players.

  12. #51
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Thanks for the correction. I am curious, wuold people be happier with Votto if he swung at bad pitches and struck out or grounded out more often, but got 10 more RBI or so? Because I'd guess if he would swing more, he'd make a lot more outs.
    Right. I think if he's not seeing any strikes then the bigger problem is in the lineup construction. Maybe the best thing for the Reds offense is to put a Victor Martinez high batting average type behind Votto for protection.

    edit: because I didn't watch too many Reds games, I can't say with any certainty that Votto made poor decisions with runners on base. Their fans sure seem to think so. On the other hand, they still won 90 games. Maybe they could have won 3-4 more if Votto swung at more borderline pitches in borderline games but I don't know how often he had those opportunities. Then again, maybe they would have lost 3-4 more if he'd done that.

    The Reds finished 5th in OBP and only 12 in runs scored, despite playing in a band box. So clearly I think they didn't hit on all cylinders.
    Last edited by Willihammer; 03-18-2014 at 10:48 AM.

  13. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by VandyTwinsFan View Post
    As we found out last year, that "routine out" was not routine for this team.
    Guy on 3rd with less than 2 outs: here
    Percent of scored base runners: here
    Just having productive outs: here

    We can argue these stats as well. However, I think they help emphasize the fact that SOMEONE has to hit that fly ball, or run out that grounder to avoid the double play. Last year the Twins were not good at it. We needed a fly ball...and we got a chopper to second, or a K. Good players are more capable of doing the "routine" plays.
    how'd they do wtih no one on base? worse? better? same? And, yes, there will be noise from AB to AB, month to month, and year to year. But it still doesn't tell you much of the whole story (like, 1/4-1/3 or so)......
    Lighten up Francis....

  14. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chance View Post
    Maybe someone can pull up his stats with RISP.
    They're on baseball-reference.com for each player. Mauer was bad with RISP in 2013, relative to other situations; he was good with RISP in 2012. I don't read much into changes like that. League-wide, batters tend to gain .015 or so of OPS, in RISP situations (or anyone on) versus bases empty.
    Last edited by ashburyjohn; 03-18-2014 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #54
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    I really hope Arcia takes a step toward becoming a Magglio Ordenez/Justin Morneau .300 type hitter with pop like he was in the minors. To have him backing up Mauer would do wonders for this offense.

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  17. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Here is why I think RBI tells you little about who actually contributed to a run scoring.....

    leadoff hitter gest a single
    leadoff hitter steals second
    secon hitter advances runner to third on routine ground out
    third hitter hits routine fly ball to CF, runner scores

    all the third place hitter did was hit a routine out, but he gets an "RBI", like he did something special. Guys get RBI for routine fly balls and ground outs all the time. It is the guy that got on base, in that situation, that actually did something of value.
    This is true and that person should be amongst the league leaders in runs scored too. It's often the guy who drives in the runs is also amonst the league leaders / team leaders in runs scored. When you can do both at a high rate - That trumps all to me. Very relevant stat in my opinion. How do you say that being amonst the best at producing runs and scoring runs is not meaningful? Are you better off being Joe Mauer and leading the league at OBP, but playing with no one who can ever drive you home. Great player with little support in the traditional manner (Power / RBI Support). Guys who can change a game with one swing are often underrated.

  18. #56
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightfoot789 View Post
    How do you say that being amonst the best at producing runs and scoring runs is not meaningful?
    It is meaningful. I don't think anyone would argue that.

    On the other hand, it's so team-dependent that it's doesn't tell much about that individual player's performance, only the team-derived outcome.

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  20. #57
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    The most overrated stat is clearly the stat: freak101

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  22. #58
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    After giving this thorough consideration, the inevitable conclusion is that all baseball stats are over-rated, and due for regression to the mean.

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  24. #59
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    WAR is not as statistic, but rather a measurement of value. Weather people want to give it credibility is up to them. But I wouldn't include it in this discussion either way.

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