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Friday, August 12, 2011
There’s another major flaw with using this method of evaluation—it doesn’t account for walks. Take Cabrera, for example. According to this statistic, he’s only the 97th-best “RBI guy” in the majors. Here’s the thing though: He’s hitting .373 with runners in scoring position and .348 with men on base. But pitchers will pitch around him whenever possible. With runners in scoring position, Cabrera has had just 102 at-bats, but 31 walks (giving him a .507 on-base percentage), meaning he draws a walk more than 20 percent of the time when a runner is already in scoring position. You think pitchers fear Cabrera?
Compare that to Howard, who has 132 at-bats with runners in scoring position and just 21 walks. (Howard is actually hitting .311 with runners in scoring position). Howard may have 20 more RBI than Cabrera, but it’s all a matter of opportunity and how often pitchers challenge you. Or compare to Beltre, who is hitting only .254 with a .296 OBP with runners on base. He also had more RBI than Howard, but rarely draws a walk, meaning overall he’s not that productive with runners on, even though he has 76 RBI.
In the end, this is just further evidence of why you shouldn’t place much emphasis on a hitter’s RBI total. It’s simply a tally of something that happened, not a good tool to analyze a hitter with.
Thanks to The Buck Washer.
Posted: August 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM | 11 comment(s)
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