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klw
02-17-2010, 11:20 PM
Here is a transcript of an interesting interview Law did with WEEI. Some minor league stuff, some stats, some Red Sox, etc

http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2010/02/17/keith-law-on-dh-the-2010-sox-the-farm-system-and-useless-statistics/

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 01:48 AM
Thanks, interesting stuff.

His discussion on RBI's and clutch hitting are just further proof to me that he's a tool.

cincinnati chili
02-18-2010, 03:44 AM
I'll gladly be part of that tool club. While "meaningless" is a bit much, RBIs are much more a product of opportunity rather than skill, especially if you're evaluating players on a multiyear basis.

edabbs44
02-18-2010, 06:09 AM
I'll gladly be part of that tool club. While "meaningless" is a bit much, RBIs are much more a product of opportunity rather than skill, especially if you're evaluating players on a multiyear basis.

I don't get why RBI have to be flatly dismissed. I understand qualifying it with opportunities. For example, if someone had 120 RBI and then you look deeper and see that they had 50% more "chances" than the next guy. But to dismiss it out of pocket doesn't make sense.

There is a reason why the top hitters typically fare well in the stat.

blumj
02-18-2010, 09:01 AM
I don't get why RBI have to be flatly dismissed. I understand qualifying it with opportunities. For example, if someone had 120 RBI and then you look deeper and see that they had 50% more "chances" than the next guy. But to dismiss it out of pocket doesn't make sense.

There is a reason why the top hitters typically fare well in the stat.
Yes, there is, isn't that what makes it unnecessary, that you know who the top hitters are without it, and that, when it's practically the only thing that might indicate someone might be a top hitter, you already know he probably isn't really one?

wolfboy
02-18-2010, 09:23 AM
I don't get why RBI have to be flatly dismissed. I understand qualifying it with opportunities. For example, if someone had 120 RBI and then you look deeper and see that they had 50% more "chances" than the next guy. But to dismiss it out of pocket doesn't make sense.

There is a reason why the top hitters typically fare well in the stat.

I don't think RBI is flatly dismissed. Like any measure, it tells you something. The key is not reading too far into it.

edabbs44
02-18-2010, 09:33 AM
I don't think RBI is flatly dismissed. Like any measure, it tells you something. The key is not reading too far into it.

Did you read his interview?


Theo Epstein said that J.D. Drew is worth more than $14 million a year. Do you agree with that assessment, and that average and RBIs, particularly RBIs, are overrated?

RBIs are useless. I couldn’t tell you how many RBIs really anyone had last year. It’s not a stat I’ve looked at since I stopped playing fantasy baseball eight years ago.


Dismissals don't get any flatter than that.

Agreed that RBI isn't the be all end all (as all stats are flawed, to an extent), but some of these arguments against "traditional" statistics have become of the "look how smart I am" variety.

dunner13
02-18-2010, 09:47 AM
The complete dismissal of traditional stats seems to come from guys who never really played and are more computer geeks. I mean I love some of the new stats they have come up with but anyone who has played baseball knows that there are some guys on your team who always seem to come through and drive in the runs in big situations. And there are other guys who tend to choke under the pressure. The bottom line is a good hitter is going to drive in more runs simply because hes a good hitter. So RBI's tell us that a guy is probably a pretty good hitter and comes through with men on base more times then the average guy. I dont know how you can completely dismiss that stat. I mean find me one guy who has lead the league in RBI's whos a bad hitter!

westofyou
02-18-2010, 09:48 AM
The complete dismissal of traditional stats seems to come from guys who never really played and are more computer geeks.

Talk about dismissal, you lost me here.

nate
02-18-2010, 09:54 AM
This is amongst the smartest things I've heard him say:


“Totally useless,” Law said of RBIs. “In terms of measuring the value of a player’s performance, I find them absolutely useless because 1) it’s determined by how many opportunities you get — the guys who hit in front of you in the lineup, how often did they get on base; and 2) there’s no particular skill to driving runs in. There’s no such thing as a hitter who is significantly better in RBI opportunities.”

The “In terms of measuring the value of a player’s performance" part is especially poignant. Players who get a lot of RBI do so because they're good hitters, not because they become better hitters when men are on base or they hit home runs. Because they're good hitters, they hit higher in the lineup and therefore have more chances in a season to hit with men on base. I think RBI is only useful as a stat when used by a sports agent while negotiating a contract or a baseball announcer who has to fill 8 seconds with meaningless banter. It's not that it's a "flawed stat," it's that it doesn't actually measure individual player production.

In any event, if one truly does believe RBI accumulation is a skill, a stat like OBI% (percentage of others batted in) is much more useful and, in my opinion, measures precisely what RBI is commonly thought to measure.

Unfortunately, it doesn't smell like bubble gum.

westofyou
02-18-2010, 09:55 AM
Here's a nice list, guys who had more than 90 RBI's in a season but were below average in RC/27, also the amount of outs they made and the times they reached base




RBI >= 90
RUNS CREATED/GAME <= -.01 vs. the league average
REACHED BASE displayed only--not a sorting criteria
OUTS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

AT BATS AB RBI RC/G RB OUTS
1876--
1877--
1878--
1879--
1880--
1881--
1882--
1883--
1884--
1885--
1886--
1887--
1888--
1889--Charles Comiskey 587 102 -.23 190 419
1890--Ed Beecher 536 90 -.82 195 377
1891--Charles Comiskey 580 93 -1.39 192 428
1892--Jake Beckley 614 96 -.52 190 469
1893--Jim O'Rourke 547 95 -1.00 214 390
1894--Tommy Corcoran 576 92 -1.83 198 413
1895--Bill Hallman 539 91 -.94 207 385
1896--Patsy Tebeau 543 94 -2.36 170 411
1897--Billy Shindle 542 105 -1.00 196 409
1898--Bobby Wallace 593 99 -.06 227 444
1899--Jimmy Collins 599 92 -.62 218 442
1900--
1901--
1902--
1903--Lave Cross 559 90 -.28 173 404
1904--
1905--
1906--
1907--
1908--
1909--
1910--
1911--
1912--Red Murray 549 92 -.28 187 416
1913--
1914--HARRY SWACINA 617 90 -1.01 188 461
1915--
1916--
1917--
1918--
1919--
1920--Larry Gardner 597 118 -.21 239 464
1921--Wally Pipp 588 97 -.59 220 457
1922--
1923--Stuffy McInnis 607 95 -.60 217 461
1924--GLENN WRIGHT 616 111 -.26 205 463
1925--Eddie Brown 618 99 -.67 213 457
1926--Baby Doll Jacobson 576 90 -.11 205 433
1927--Glenn Wright 570 105 -.61 200 426
1928--Les Bell 591 91 -.81 204 452
1929--Marty McManus 599 90 -.04 229 454
1930--TAYLOR DOUTHIT 664 93 -.79 265 483
1931--Ossie Bluege 570 98 -.89 210 434
1932--Freddy Lindstrom 595 92 -.75 189 437
1933--
1934--Billy Rogell 592 100 -.04 249 433
1935--Hal Trosky 632 113 -.17 218 464
1936--Moose Solters 628 134 -.50 225 451
1937--
1938--Buddy Lewis 656 91 -.44 253 480
1939--Gee Walker 598 111 -.64 209 458
1940--Gee Walker 595 96 -.33 202 436
1941--Frank McCormick 603 97 -.23 206 469
1942--
1943--Bill Johnson 592 94 -.08 223 464
1944--
1945--
1946--
1947--Rudy York 584 91 -.83 194 471
1948--
1949--
1950--Sam Chapman 553 95 -.46 210 433
1951--Sam Mele 558 94 -1.02 186 433
1952--
1953--Eddie Robinson 615 102 -.28 220 480
1954--Ray Jablonski 611 104 -.11 232 463
1955--
1956--Del Ennis 630 95 -.51 200 490
1957--
1958--
1959--Wally Post 468 94 -.05 158 359
1960--
1961--
1962--Frank Malzone 619 95 -.21 210 471
1963--
1964--Joe Pepitone 613 100 -.75 181 484
1965--Dick Stuart 538 95 -.31 168 428
1966--
1967--Clete Boyer 572 96 -.13 181 455
1968--
1969--Ernie Banks 565 106 -.22 192 452
1970--Lee May 605 94 -.36 193 476
1971--
1972--Doug Rader 553 90 -.16 193 456
1973--Bobby Darwin 560 90 -.56 190 448
1974--
1975--Jeff Burroughs 585 94 -.02 212 477
1976--John Mayberry 594 95 -.14 222 482
1977--Butch Hobson 593 112 -.05 188 470
1978--Willie Montanez 609 96 -.15 217 479
1979--Butch Hobson 528 93 -.33 168 427
1980--
1981--
1982--Ted Simmons 539 97 -.13 179 422
1983--George Foster 601 90 -.71 187 480
1984--Lance Parrish 578 98 -.40 180 464
1985--Julio Franco 636 90 -.32 241 497
1986--Bill Buckner 629 102 -.56 212 498
1987--RUBEN SIERRA 643 109 -.55 210 515
1988--Ruben Sierra 615 91 -.10 201 486
1989--Cal Ripken 646 93 -.17 226 510
1990--JOE CARTER 634 115 -.86 202 513
1991--Eddie Murray 576 96 -.11 205 454
1992--George Bell 627 112 -.76 197 504
1993--CAL RIPKEN 641 90 -.22 236 503
1994--Ruben Sierra 426 92 -.90 137 343
1995--Mike Blowers 439 96 -.19 166 351
1996--Cal Ripken 640 102 -.48 241 496
1997--Sammy Sosa 642 119 -.66 208 514
1998--Kevin Young 592 108 -.01 215 468
1999--Carlos Beltran 663 108 -.04 244 504
2000--Garret Anderson 647 117 -.47 209 499
2001--Orlando Cabrera 626 96 -.55 220 486
2002--Vernon Wells 608 100 -.26 197 470
2003--Tony Batista 631 99 -1.80 181 512
2004--Geoff Jenkins 617 93 -.19 221 480
2005--Hank Blalock 647 92 -.22 224 497
2006--Jeff Francoeur 651 103 -1.17 201 506
2007--Ryan Zimmerman 653 91 -.43 238 511
2008--Corey Hart 612 91 -.66 196 485
2009--Jose Lopez 613 96 -.83 197 484
2010--

nate
02-18-2010, 10:03 AM
The complete dismissal of traditional stats seems to come from guys who never really played and are more computer geeks.

Rude.


I mean I love some of the new stats they have come up with but anyone who has played baseball knows that there are some guys on your team who always seem to come through and drive in the runs in big situations. And there are other guys who tend to choke under the pressure.

How can you tell the difference between success and failure in "big situations," "normal situations" or "small situations?"


The bottom line is a good hitter is going to drive in more runs simply because hes a good hitter. So RBI's tell us that a guy is probably a pretty good hitter

No, he's a good hitter because he makes contact, doesn't make outs and hits for extra bases which makes him valuable and puts him in more situations (both micro and macro) to generate the team statistic of RBI.


and comes through with men on base more times then the average guy. I dont know how you can completely dismiss that stat. I mean find me one guy who has lead the league in RBI's whos a bad hitter!

I think you're not understanding the argument.

nate
02-18-2010, 10:07 AM
Here's a nice list, guys who had more than 90 RBI's in a season but were below average in RC/27, also the amount of outs they made and the times they reached base

It would be interesting to see the OBP of the guys hitting 1-3 spots ahead of them.

I bet it's pretty good!

wolfboy
02-18-2010, 10:09 AM
Did you read his interview?



Dismissals don't get any flatter than that.

Agreed that RBI isn't the be all end all (as all stats are flawed, to an extent), but some of these arguments against "traditional" statistics have become of the "look how smart I am" variety.

I read the interview. I was addressing the issue on a more general level, but thanks for the snark. Nate's post made the point I was trying to illustrate. RBI isn't completely dismissed, but why do people constantly try to make it into something that it is clearly not?

puca
02-18-2010, 10:10 AM
I don't get why RBI have to be flatly dismissed. I understand qualifying it with opportunities. For example, if someone had 120 RBI and then you look deeper and see that they had 50% more "chances" than the next guy. But to dismiss it out of pocket doesn't make sense.

There is a reason why the top hitters typically fare well in the stat.

There is also a reason why top hitters typically get a bunch of PAs, get a bunch of hits, score a lot of runs.

No doubt that a guy with 120 RBIs is likely a good hitter. What about a guy with 50 RBIs. Is he a bad hitter?

The problem is that counting stats in isolation do a very poor job when evaluating players. So if that is you job, I can understand why you would not pay attention to them.

Always Red
02-18-2010, 10:14 AM
In any event, if one truly does believe RBI accumulation is a skill, a stat like OBI% (percentage of others batted in) is much more useful and, in my opinion, measures precisely what RBI is commonly thought to measure.


I like this idea a lot.

Not everyone will totally like getting rid of the RBI stat; I don't think it's useless, and it does tell us something.

But posting the stat like this (for example): 120 RBI (0.315), giving a rate (of some sort) of RBI chances would be very helpful in identifying the elusive "clutch hitter."

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 10:23 AM
The problem is that counting stats in isolation do a very poor job when evaluating players. So if that is you job, I can understand why you would not pay attention to them.

Any stat in isolation does a poor job evaluating players.

blumj
02-18-2010, 10:27 AM
FTR, I know it was mentioned in the Law interview, but the question came up because of the Theo Epstein interview a few months ago where he said that the Red Sox FO doesn't pay any attention to RBI at all, either, which has since become recurring topic in Boston.

Brutus
02-18-2010, 10:34 AM
I'm not a big RBI guy, as I do like RBI% and OBI better. I prefer the stat that I use... (RBI-HR) / (RBI - HR + LOB). This essentially measures both result and opportunity. It doesn't penalize players for drawing walks or getting on base and moving people up, but it gives a better idea of what percentage of guys that a player truly drives in. Best part is that it's a shorthand metric and can be calculated from a lot of available box scores and stat pages.

As far as RBI in general:

* I don't believe they're totally useless. I think there are better stats available, without question. I think, though, they are a snapshot of a guy's results. If you truly want the best quantitative measure of a player, then RBI would not be the stat best used.

* I do not, absolutely do not agree that a player doesn't have ability to drive in runs. I have always maintained that is a gross over-statement of the RBI position. I'll concede RBI may, again, not be the best way to measure that skill. But don't agree it doesn't exist.

nate
02-18-2010, 10:35 AM
I like this idea a lot.

Not everyone will totally like getting rid of the RBI stat; I don't think it's useless, and it does tell us something.

But posting the stat like this (for example): 120 RBI (0.315), giving a rate (of some sort) of RBI chances would be very helpful in identifying the elusive "clutch hitter."

To me, it would be interesting to compare success/failure in "RBI" situations and "non-RBI" situations. I'm sure some of the smaller samples would generate quite the firestorm.

puca
02-18-2010, 10:43 AM
Any stat in isolation does a poor job evaluating players.

Touche - I probably should have left out the word 'isolation' entirely.

RBIs require opportunity and execution,. Given enough extra opportunities, player A will get more RBIs than player B no matter their relative abilities. Do you agree or disagree?

edabbs44
02-18-2010, 10:53 AM
FTR, I know it was mentioned in the Law interview, but the question came up because of the Theo Epstein interview a few months ago where he said that the Red Sox FO doesn't pay any attention to RBI at all, either, which has since become recurring topic in Boston.

To be honest, I think Theo is full of...soup.

He can promote his advanced statistical measures and everything else, but I would say that money and PEDs have helped him succeed a hell of a lot more than not believing in RBI.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 10:57 AM
Touche - I probably should have left out the word 'isolation' entirely.

RBIs require opportunity and execution,. Given enough extra opportunities, player A will get more RBIs than player B no matter their relative abilities. Do you agree or disagree?

To a certain point yes. In your statement there a couple of vague statements. What is enough extra opportunities? What are their abilities? If player A has 50 more opportunities than player B but they both have the same RBI total, is there something there? I do think that an RBI percentage would make sense but is that only related to scoring position, or runners on base? Should a player be knocked if he fails to get a runner in from 3rd with less than 2 outs?

Sure RBI is an imperfect stat. It is team oriented, but it is also slot oriented. It is even more so slot oriented when you have a Tony LaRusa as the manager hitting a decent OBP guy 9th in order to get more players on base for Pujols. But at the same time I like it for a baseline stat. I can glimpse at the stat and make a basic snap judgment. To be honest when I am watching a game I don't want to see all kinds of in depth stats because I can't digest them quickly enough. So RBI may be an incomplete stat, but I still like it.

klw
02-18-2010, 11:27 AM
The usefulness of BA HR and RBI is that they are simple introductory stats that can be flashed on the screen of a telecast without continual explanations by the announcers. They can give a simple idea of what kind of batter is up and what kind of year they are having. This can be confirmed or denied by delving further into other stats. This is similar to me reading the Caledonia Record (or Cincinnati Enquirer for you folks not in the NE part of VT) for a national story and then going to the New York Times or somewhere else for the details if I want more. If a telecast flashed rc/27, isoP. BABIP as the initial statline 98% of fans would say "huh?" or "Honey did you mess up the settings on the TV again?"

nate
02-18-2010, 11:36 AM
To a certain point yes. In your statement there a couple of vague statements. What is enough extra opportunities? What are their abilities? If player A has 50 more opportunities than player B but they both have the same RBI total, is there something there?

That's why OB% is better at showing baserunner conversion to runs than RBI.


I do think that an RBI percentage would make sense but is that only related to scoring position, or runners on base?

The link I provided to the OBI stats page also breaks down what base runners scored from.


Should a player be knocked if he fails to get a runner in from 3rd with less than 2 outs?

No. It has nothing to do with overall efficiency at driving in runners.

Hoosier Red
02-18-2010, 11:51 AM
I like your idea Brutus. Do you have any place you can pick up Left on Base stats for a season?

nate
02-18-2010, 11:52 AM
The usefulness of BA HR and RBI is that they are simple introductory stats that can be flashed on the screen of a telecast without continual explanations by the announcers.

But that's only due to history. I don't think explaining that OBI% = "success at driving in baserunners/opportunities to drive in baserunners" is really any more mindblowing than batting average = "success at getting a hit/opportunities to get a hit."


They can give a simple idea of what kind of batter is up and what kind of year they are having. This can be confirmed or denied by delving further into other stats. This is similar to me reading the Caledonia Record (or Cincinnati Enquirer for you folks not in the NE part of VT) for a national story and then going to the New York Times or somewhere else for the details if I want more. If a telecast flashed rc/27, isoP. BABIP as the initial statline 98% of fans would say "huh?" or "Honey did you mess up the settings on the TV again?"

And...so what? Is the argument being made they should replace it? No*. The argument being made is that RBI isn't a good measure of individual skill. That a stat exists which is a more accurate measure and happens to require a bit more math not only thrills me to no end but would indeed seem logical and represent evolution in the field.

*I don't know if you've noticed, but I have heard very little "fresh" banter during a baseball broadcast over the last few (40) years and it might make a refreshing change to talk about a "new" stat every once in awhile. I mean, how many times can we see Freddy Benavides show us how to properly hold a bat when bunting?

puca
02-18-2010, 11:53 AM
But the problem is that without understanding opportunites, RBIs tells you very little.

Say Joe Schmo has 80 RBIs, can you tell if he a good hitter? What if you know he has 600 PA, can you make a judgement yet? What if you see that he is batting 6th today, what say you: Is Joe Schmo a bum, an all-star or is there not enough information? What else do you need to know to make the call?


To a certain point yes. In your statement there a couple of vague statements. What is enough extra opportunities? What are their abilities? If player A has 50 more opportunities than player B but they both have the same RBI total, is there something there? I do think that an RBI percentage would make sense but is that only related to scoring position, or runners on base? Should a player be knocked if he fails to get a runner in from 3rd with less than 2 outs?

Sure RBI is an imperfect stat. It is team oriented, but it is also slot oriented. It is even more so slot oriented when you have a Tony LaRusa as the manager hitting a decent OBP guy 9th in order to get more players on base for Pujols. But at the same time I like it for a baseline stat. I can glimpse at the stat and make a basic snap judgment. To be honest when I am watching a game I don't want to see all kinds of in depth stats because I can't digest them quickly enough. So RBI may be an incomplete stat, but I still like it.

westofyou
02-18-2010, 11:59 AM
The usefulness of BA HR and RBI is that they are simple introductory stats that can be flashed on the screen of a telecast without continual explanations by the announcers. They can give a simple idea of what kind of batter is up and what kind of year they are having. This can be confirmed or denied by delving further into other stats. This is similar to me reading the Caledonia Record (or Cincinnati Enquirer for you folks not in the NE part of VT) for a national story and then going to the New York Times or somewhere else for the details if I want more. If a telecast flashed rc/27, isoP. BABIP as the initial statline 98% of fans would say "huh?" or "Honey did you mess up the settings on the TV again?"

Even that stuff is changing, and always has as outlined here.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52377

puca
02-18-2010, 11:59 AM
The usefulness of BA HR and RBI is that they are simple introductory stats that can be flashed on the screen of a telecast without continual explanations by the announcers. They can give a simple idea of what kind of batter is up and what kind of year they are having. This can be confirmed or denied by delving further into other stats. This is similar to me reading the Caledonia Record (or Cincinnati Enquirer for you folks not in the NE part of VT) for a national story and then going to the New York Times or somewhere else for the details if I want more. If a telecast flashed rc/27, isoP. BABIP as the initial statline 98% of fans would say "huh?" or "Honey did you mess up the settings on the TV again?"

I agree completely.

The casual fan understands RBIs, HRs and BA and that is why they are important.

However that doesn't mean they are good tools for evaluating players. So it shouldn't be suprising that some people whose job (or hobby) involves evaluating players, largely ignore them.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 12:07 PM
But the problem is that without understanding opportunites, RBIs tells you very little.

Say Joe Schmo has 80 RBIs, can you tell if he a good hitter? What if you know he has 600 PA, can you make a judgement yet? What if you see that he is batting 6th today, what say you: Is Joe Schmo a bum, an all-star or is there not enough information? What else do you need to know to make the call?

Again, when you take it as the sole stat, with little else behind it, its rather vague. But then again I like stuff that is easier to digest. I like watching games in the micro. If an announcer said Joey Votto has an ops of 2, wOBI of 50% today that would confuse pretty much everybody listening. If he said Joey Votto is 2-3, 1 HR, and 3 runs driven in today. It would be much easier to digest.

I don't poo poo on advanced stat, I just don't like to use them. I also wonder with all the advanced stats out there, how much a FO actually uses in personal decisions, how much a manager uses in day to day decisions, as well as game time decisions.

puca
02-18-2010, 12:16 PM
Again, when you take it as the sole stat, with little else behind it, its rather vague. But then again I like stuff that is easier to digest. I like watching games in the micro. If an announcer said Joey Votto has an ops of 2, wOBI of 50% today that would confuse pretty much everybody listening. If he said Joey Votto is 2-3, 1 HR, and 3 runs driven in today. It would be much easier to digest.

I don't poo poo on advanced stat, I just don't like to use them. I also wonder with all the advanced stats out there, how much a FO actually uses in personal decisions, how much a manager uses in day to day decisions, as well as game time decisions.


You didn't answer my question though. What other stats do you need to go along with RBIs to tell if Joe Schmo is a good hitter?

I don't think anyone questioned why RBIs are in box scores or flashed on the scoreboard/tv when a player comes to bat, but I'm still waiting to hear why someone that evaulates players for a living should pay attention to that statistic?

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 12:59 PM
This is amongst the smartest things I've heard him say:


“Totally useless,” Law said of RBIs. “In terms of measuring the value of a player’s performance, I find them absolutely useless because 1) it’s determined by how many opportunities you get — the guys who hit in front of you in the lineup, how often did they get on base; and 2) there’s no particular skill to driving runs in. There’s no such thing as a hitter who is significantly better in RBI opportunities.”

The “In terms of measuring the value of a player’s performance" part is especially poignant. Players who get a lot of RBI do so because they're good hitters, not because they become better hitters when men are on base or they hit home runs. Because they're good hitters, they hit higher in the lineup and therefore have more chances in a season to hit with men on base. I think RBI is only useful as a stat when used by a sports agent while negotiating a contract or a baseball announcer who has to fill 8 seconds with meaningless banter. It's not that it's a "flawed stat," it's that it doesn't actually measure individual player production.

In any event, if one truly does believe RBI accumulation is a skill, a stat like OBI% (percentage of others batted in) is much more useful and, in my opinion, measures precisely what RBI is commonly thought to measure.

Unfortunately, it doesn't smell like bubble gum.

My complaint with Law on this quote is mostly with the first sentence. RBI's are not totally useless. That is a severe over-reaction to the fact that there were highly over-rated for decades. That is a statement that a complete tool makes, not one a respected baseball analyst makes.

OBI% is definitely a better stat for evaluating both performance and talent, but RBIs still have some value. RBI's does actually measure a player's production, since a players production is how many runs that player is responsible for.

With RBI's you are giving an exact number of how many runs a player directly produced with his bat. The fact that some players have more opportunity does not lessen the value of those runs.

A leadoff hitter scores more runs, because he is on base in front of the teams best sluggers (or should be) more often than other hitters. But that doesn't lessen the value of the runs that the leadoff hitter scores. It just means that we need to take that into account when evaluating his stats.

Same for RBI's. The runs a batter drives in count the same whether he's the cleanup hitter or the #8 hitter. And a cleanup hitter drives in more runs than a #8 hitter (or should), and thus he is more productive than a #8 hitter. This is what RBI's tells us. It doesn't tell us who is a better hitter, or who is more clutch, but it does tell us who directly produced more runs during that time period.

Blitz Dorsey
02-18-2010, 01:24 PM
You guys are nothing but a bunch of Hack Wilson haters.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 01:25 PM
You didn't answer my question though. What other stats do you need to go along with RBIs to tell if Joe Schmo is a good hitter?

I don't think anyone questioned why RBIs are in box scores or flashed on the scoreboard/tv when a player comes to bat, but I'm still waiting to hear why someone that evaulates players for a living should pay attention to that statistic?

If I am looking at offensive stats and want to make a judgment about a given hitter give me BA, OBP, OPS, HR's, R. Its pretty much a basic stat line that enables me to make a determination of a hitter. Im not saying that its going to be a sure fire proven way, but its a quick, easy way for me to analyze things.

nate
02-18-2010, 01:28 PM
My complaint with Law on this quote is mostly with the first sentence. RBI's are not totally useless. That is a severe over-reaction to the fact that there were highly over-rated for decades.

For measuring individual player skill, I think RBI is totally useless.


OBI% is definitely a better stat for evaluating both performance and talent,

I believe OBI% measures precisely what most folks think RBI measures.

However, I am not convinced that "driving in runs" is it's own skill above and beyond "hitting the ball."


but RBIs still have some value. RBI's does actually measure a player's production, since a players production is how many runs that player is responsible for.

Great, but RBI doesn't measure that because a player can't control who gets on base ahead of him. All he can do is succeed or fail at the plate but he can't "will" the previous three guys in the lineup to get on base so he can collect some RBI.


With RBI's you are giving an exact number of how many runs a player directly produced with his bat.

No. The stat the measures how many runs a player directly produced with his bat is "HR."


The fact that some players have more opportunity does not lessen the value of those runs.

A leadoff hitter scores more runs, because he is on base in front of the teams best sluggers (or should be) more often than other hitters. But that doesn't lessen the value of the runs that the leadoff hitter scores. It just means that we need to take that into account when evaluating his stats.
Same for RBI's. The runs a batter drives in count the same whether he's the cleanup hitter or the #8 hitter. And a cleanup hitter drives in more runs than a #8 hitter (or should), and thus he is more productive than a #8 hitter. This is what RBI's tells us. It doesn't tell us who is a better hitter, or who is more clutch, but it does tell us who directly produced more runs during that time period.

No it doesn't because no one produced those runs (aside from HR.) The team produced them.

RBI is driven entirely by the OBP of the hitters before and HR. In my opinion, it's not an individual skill different than making contact, avoiding outs and taking extra bases.

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 01:34 PM
Concerning this argument that good clutch hitters are really just good hitters and that hitters don't perform differently with RISP than they do overall, I think that is just bunk.

A few years ago, I looked at every major league hitter with at least 2000 PA's, and looked at the difference between their BA and their BA with RISP. This is what I found.

There were 276 hitters with at least 2000 PA's. 63 of them had a difference between their BA and their BA with RISP of less than 5 points, 65 of them had between 5 and 10 points, 58 had between 10 and 15 points, and 90 of them had greater than 15 points difference.

So nearly 1/3 of hitters hit either at least 15 points higher or lower with RISP than they did overall, and well over half of them hit at least 10 points higher or lower. To me that says that hitters do hit differently with RISP than they do overall, or at least enough that it should be considered a skill, or something that is within their control.

I am in the middle of doing something similar with current players, but I will expand it to include SLG. It will take a few days, but when I am done, I will post the the results here. I am confident that they will show that enough hitters do hit differently with RISP that it is something that should be used in evaluating talent and production.

backbencher
02-18-2010, 01:38 PM
The plural of RBI is RBIs.

Adding an apostrophe is optional. Adding the s is not.

The s-less plural form "RBI" is an affectation promoted by a SportsCenter anchor desparate for a schtick. Dan Patrick, to his credit, used to make fun of it.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 01:39 PM
The plural of RBI is RBIs.

Adding an apostrophe is optional. Adding the s is not.

The s-less plural form "RBI" is an affectation promoted by a SportsCenter anchor desparate for a schtick. Dan Patrick, to his credit, used to make fun of it.

Isn't RBI Runs Batted In, hence plural as it is.

westofyou
02-18-2010, 01:43 PM
You guys are nothing but a bunch of Hack Wilson haters.

Hack Wilson drove in 19.1% of his teams runs in 1930 (191 RBI's), George Foster drove in 18.6% (149) of the Reds runs in 1977.

Looks like Hack had more chances than George did.

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 01:50 PM
Great, but RBI doesn't measure that because a player can't control who gets on base ahead of him. All he can do is succeed or fail at the plate but he can't "will" the previous three guys in the lineup to get on base so he can collect some RBI.

No. The stat the measures how many runs a player directly produced with his bat is "HR."

No it doesn't because no one produced those runs (aside from HR.) The team produced them.

RBI is driven entirely by the OBP of the hitters before and HR. In my opinion, it's not an individual skill different than making contact, avoiding outs and taking extra bases.

I am sorry but that is not valid logic.

If I am hunting ducks, and all of the sudden, a bunch of ducks fly into my site, and I shoot three of them, I directly shot those ducks. The fact that I had no control over where the ducks were is meaningless in determining how productive I was. This is true even if another person was responsible for the ducks flying into my site. I shot three ducks. Period. That is how productive I was.

Now you can claim that there was a lot of luck involved, but you can't deny that I directly shot three ducks and should take credit for shooting three ducks.

I am simply talking about production, not about skill or luck. If I drive in a runner, it doesn't matter how he got there. The only thing that is important is that I did something that directly lead to a run being scored. I directly produced that run.

Eric_the_Red
02-18-2010, 01:55 PM
I am sorry but that is not valid logic.

If I am hunting ducks, and all of the sudden, a bunch of ducks fly into my site, and I shoot three of them, I directly shot those ducks. The fact that I had no control over where the ducks were is meaningless in determining how productive I was. This is true even if another person was responsible for the ducks flying into my site. I shot three ducks. Period. That is how productive I was.

Now you can claim that there was a lot of luck involved, but you can't deny that I directly shot three ducks and should take credit for shooting three ducks.

I am simply talking about production, not about skill or luck. If I drive in a runner, it doesn't matter how he got there. The only thing that is important is that I did something that directly lead to a run being scored. I directly produced that run.


But if no ducks flew in front of your hunting partner, you couldn't say that you were a better or more productive duck hunter.

It is all about opportunity, which is more about the skill of those batting in front of a hitter than the hitter himself. RBI are mostly, IMO, random and about being in more of those situations.

Sure, a .300 hitter may produce more RBI than a .240 hitter, but that is because he hits the ball more productively.

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 01:56 PM
Concerning this argument that good clutch hitters are really just good hitters and that hitters don't perform differently with RISP than they do overall, I think that is just bunk.

A few years ago, I looked at every major league hitter with at least 2000 PA's, and looked at the difference between their BA and their BA with RISP. This is what I found.

There were 276 hitters with at least 2000 PA's. 63 of them had a difference between their BA and their BA with RISP of less than 5 points, 65 of them had between 5 and 10 points, 58 had between 10 and 15 points, and 90 of them had greater than 15 points difference.

So nearly 1/3 of hitters hit either at least 15 points higher or lower with RISP than they did overall, and well over half of them hit at least 10 points higher or lower. To me that says that hitters do hit differently with RISP than they do overall, or at least enough that it should be considered a skill, or something that is within their control.

I am in the middle of doing something similar with current players, but I will expand it to include SLG. It will take a few days, but when I am done, I will post the the results here. I am confident that they will show that enough hitters do hit differently with RISP that it is something that should be used in evaluating talent and production.

If you want to look at how 'clutch' a player is, you need to go through all of the PBP data and figure out how much each PA changes that players teams chance of winning/losing. Add them all up at the end of the season and see who is well above the norm and who is well below. Fangraphs does this with daily scores. Here is the one from the last game of the WS:
http://www.fangraphs.com/tgraphs/20091104_Phillies_Yankees_0.png
When Matsui hit his HR in the 2nd inning he took the Yankees from about a 57% chance of winning to a 75% chance of winning. To find out who is clutch and who isn't, you need to do that for every play in baseball. Clutch guys ideally would be very good in close games. In a close game a big play is going to result in a large increase in your teams chance of winning.

pahster
02-18-2010, 01:58 PM
Isn't RBI Runs Batted In, hence plural as it is.

Yes.


Concerning this argument that good clutch hitters are really just good hitters and that hitters don't perform differently with RISP than they do overall, I think that is just bunk.

A few years ago, I looked at every major league hitter with at least 2000 PA's, and looked at the difference between their BA and their BA with RISP. This is what I found.

There were 276 hitters with at least 2000 PA's. 63 of them had a difference between their BA and their BA with RISP of less than 5 points, 65 of them had between 5 and 10 points, 58 had between 10 and 15 points, and 90 of them had greater than 15 points difference.

So nearly 1/3 of hitters hit either at least 15 points higher or lower with RISP than they did overall, and well over half of them hit at least 10 points higher or lower. To me that says that hitters do hit differently with RISP than they do overall, or at least enough that it should be considered a skill, or something that is within their control.

I am in the middle of doing something similar with current players, but I will expand it to include SLG. It will take a few days, but when I am done, I will post the the results here. I am confident that they will show that enough hitters do hit differently with RISP that it is something that should be used in evaluating talent and production.

Do you have this data along with number of PA and/or hits and AB? I'd be curious if a difference of means test would show a significant difference between AVG and AVG w/RISP (judging by the descriptives you provided, my guess is that it probably not even be close to significant).

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 02:00 PM
But if no ducks flew in front of your hunting partner, you couldn't say that you were a better or more productive duck hunter.

It is all about opportunity, which is more about the skill of those batting in front of a hitter than the hitter himself. RBI are mostly, IMO, random and about being in more of those situations.

Sure, a .300 hitter may produce more RBI than a .240 hitter, but that is because he hits the ball more productively.

Again, I am not talking about skill. I am talking about raw production. If no ducks flew in front of my hunting partner, and he shot zero ducks, I can still say that I was more productive. I came home with more ducks. He might be a better duck hunter than I am, but on that day, I was more productive.

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 02:03 PM
Yes.



Do you have this data along with number of PA and/or hits and AB? I'd be curious if a difference of means test would show a significant difference between AVG and AVG w/RISP (judging by the descriptives you provided, my guess is that it probably not even be close to significant).

I didn't on first one, but I surely can on this next one I am working on. Thanks for the insight (although I only half understand what you are talking about. lol)

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 02:07 PM
If you want to look at how 'clutch' a player is, you need to go through all of the PBP data and figure out how much each PA changes that players teams chance of winning/losing. Add them all up at the end of the season and see who is well above the norm and who is well below. Fangraphs does this with daily scores. Here is the one from the last game of the WS:
http://www.fangraphs.com/tgraphs/20091104_Phillies_Yankees_0.png
When Matsui hit his HR in the 2nd inning he took the Yankees from about a 57% chance of winning to a 75% chance of winning. To find out who is clutch and who isn't, you need to do that for every play in baseball. Clutch guys ideally would be very good in close games. In a close game a big play is going to result in a large increase in your teams chance of winning.


That's awesome, thanks! That would be very decisive information. I wish I had the time to look at every play. :)

Maybe someone who does this for a living will take that up one offseason.

Eric_the_Red
02-18-2010, 02:24 PM
Again, I am not talking about skill. I am talking about raw production. If no ducks flew in front of my hunting partner, and he shot zero ducks, I can still say that I was more productive. I came home with more ducks. He might be a better duck hunter than I am, but on that day, I was more productive.


Don't know if that is entirely true. You had more opportunity to be productive. You can't be more productive than someone with zero opportunity. It would be like saying you are a more productive worker on a day when your co-worker was out sick.

Point being, high RBI guys are generally more "productive" because they have more opportunities to produce. The stat cannot be used to compare two players, as their opportunities to produce are almost certainly different.

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 02:32 PM
Don't know if that is entirely true. You had more opportunity to be productive. You can't be more productive than someone with zero opportunity. It would be like saying you are a more productive worker on a day when your co-worker was out sick.

Point being, high RBI guys are generally more "productive" because they have more opportunities to produce. The stat cannot be used to compare two players, as their opportunities to produce are almost certainly different.

I am sorry, but how could I not be more productive than someone who out sick and not even there? If I am not more productive than someone who is not there, I must really suck. lol

Are you saying that players on the DL are actually productive and producing runs for their team?

I think the problem is that were are using "productive" differently. You are using it to mean how productive player can be and I am using it to mean how productive he actually is.

Eric_the_Red
02-18-2010, 02:39 PM
I am sorry, but how could I not be more productive than someone who out sick and not even there? If I am not more productive than someone who is not there, I must really suck. lol

Are you saying that players on the DL are actually productive and producing runs for their team?

I think the problem is that were are using "productive" differently. You are using it to mean how productive player can be and I am using it to mean how productive he actually is.

Maybe that one day you are more productive, but you couldn't say for certain that you are a more productive worker. You can't someone isn't productive if they've never had a chance to produce.

If Albert Pujols just happened to come up with the bases empty all year, and he only had 43 RBI (from 43 HR), but he still hit like he usually does, would he not be a productive player? Probably more productive than Skip Schumaker and his 60 RBI?

nate
02-18-2010, 02:43 PM
Concerning this argument that good clutch hitters are really just good hitters and that hitters don't perform differently with RISP than they do overall, I think that is just bunk.

"Clutch hitters" typically hit behind Santa and the Tooth Fairy in the lineup.


A few years ago, I looked at every major league hitter with at least 2000 PA's, and looked at the difference between their BA and their BA with RISP. This is what I found.

There were 276 hitters with at least 2000 PA's. 63 of them had a difference between their BA and their BA with RISP of less than 5 points, 65 of them had between 5 and 10 points, 58 had between 10 and 15 points, and 90 of them had greater than 15 points difference.

So nearly 1/3 of hitters hit either at least 15 points higher or lower with RISP than they did overall, and well over half of them hit at least 10 points higher or lower. To me that says that hitters do hit differently with RISP than they do overall, or at least enough that it should be considered a skill, or something that is within their control.

"Ron Johsnon" (comment #22 at this (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/weei_keith_law_on_dh_the_2010_sox_the_farm_system_ and_useless_statistics/#When:14:21:01Z) link) also did a study:


I did a study of 187 players with 1,000+ PA with RISP. They hit .275/.346/.432/.340 overall and .278/.369/.430/.345 with RISP.
(The last number being OBP with IBB removed. Didn't think to adjust for SF. If I had ... well you're talking ~5 points of OBP versus maybe 7 points of SLG. It's a difference that would take a long time to manifest itself in runs scored)

He looked at players with 1000+ PA with RISP.

Last year, the average NL player hit .009 better with "men on" so if this is some sort of "skill," every player has it. They hit a bracing .002 better with "RISP."

Or maybe it's because the defense plays differently with "men on." Or maybe the pitcher doesn't have the same velocity or movement when pitching from the stretch. Or it's simply a natural variation that you'd get if you get from flipping a coin 1000 times.


I am in the middle of doing something similar with current players, but I will expand it to include SLG. It will take a few days, but when I am done, I will post the the results here. I am confident that they will show that enough hitters do hit differently with RISP that it is something that should be used in evaluating talent and production.

No offense but being confident in the result before you're finished with the study screams confirmation bias.

Anyhow, back to the point. RBI do not measure an individual hitting skill.

nate
02-18-2010, 02:47 PM
I am sorry but that is not valid logic.

It is.


If I am hunting ducks, and all of the sudden, a bunch of ducks fly into my site, and I shoot three of them, I directly shot those ducks. The fact that I had no control over where the ducks were is meaningless in determining how productive I was. This is true even if another person was responsible for the ducks flying into my site. I shot three ducks. Period. That is how productive I was.

Now you can claim that there was a lot of luck involved, but you can't deny that I directly shot three ducks and should take credit for shooting three ducks.

Of all the analogies I've seen, this is one of them.


I am simply talking about production, not about skill or luck. If I drive in a runner, it doesn't matter how he got there. The only thing that is important is that I did something that directly lead to a run being scored. I directly produced that run.

Well, there's your problem. I'm talking about RBI(s) being un-useful as a measure of skill.

backbencher
02-18-2010, 02:54 PM
Isn't RBI Runs Batted In, hence plural as it is.

No.

RBI is an initialism for Run Batted In.

Initialisms, when pluralized, take the standard plural form (though some prefer to add an apostrophe).

POWs [Prisoners of war]
RPMs [Revolutions per minute]
MPs [Members of Parliament]

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 02:58 PM
Maybe that one day you are more productive, but you couldn't say for certain that you are a more productive worker. You can't someone isn't productive if they've never had a chance to produce.

If Albert Pujols just happened to come up with the bases empty all year, and he only had 43 RBI (from 43 HR), but he still hit like he usually does, would he not be a productive player? Probably more productive than Skip Schumaker and his 60 RBI?

No, in this example, Shumaker was more productive at driving in runs because he drove in more runs. Period. Shumaker was directly responsible for more runs than Pujols in this example. Pujols might have been the better hitter, but Shumaker was more productive. It really is that simple.

ochre
02-18-2010, 02:59 PM
I am sorry, but how could I not be more productive than someone who out sick and not even there? If I am not more productive than someone who is not there, I must really suck. lol


Because you are trying to use, or at least implying it should be used, an event, or series of events as predictors of future performance when there is little to no correlation between these events and the actual output potential of what's supposed to be measured.

Let's revisit the Ducks. Say you saw/shot at 4 and only bagged one. Your friend saw/shot one and bagged one. Clearly equal hunter skill, right? Same amount of dinner on the plate. (one problem with this analogy is that it is, kind of, only (loosely) measuring shooting skill, not hunting ability, as the ability to find shooting targets is probably an appreciable hunting skill, whereas coming to bat (shooting) with runners on base is decidedly not akin to hunting (no/limited reflection of the skill of the batter), or locating base runner targets in the wild.)

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 03:12 PM
Because you are trying to use, or at least implying it should be used, an event, or series of events as predictors of future performance when there is little to no correlation between these events and the actual output potential of what's supposed to be measured.

Let's revisit the Ducks. Say you saw/shot at 4 and only bagged one. Your friend saw/shot one and bagged one. Clearly equal hunter skill, right? Same amount of dinner on the plate. (one problem with this analogy is that it is, kind of, only (loosely) measuring shooting skill, not hunting ability, as the ability to find shooting targets is probably an appreciable hunting skill, whereas coming to bat (shooting) with runners on base is decidedly not akin to hunting (no/limited reflection of the skill of the batter), or locating base runner targets in the wild.)

But I am not "trying to use, or at least implying it should be used, an event, or series of events as predictors of future performance."

I am simply stating that RBI's tell us who was more productive during a certain time frame. I think that is usefull, even if it doesn't help us predict future performance.

ochre
02-18-2010, 03:20 PM
But I am not "trying to use, or at least implying it should be used, an event, or series of events as predictors of future performance."

I am simply stating that RBI's tell us who was more productive during a certain time frame. I think that is usefull, even if it doesn't help us predict future performance.
Who is more productive 1 duck one kill, or 4 ducks one kill?

Will M
02-18-2010, 03:25 PM
in the old days we looked at things like batting average, home runs & rbis. obviously stats like OPS+ or runs created are vastly superior. but eventually the difference between the latest new stat & the standard stat is going to get smaller and smaller. it seems like going beyond things like OPS+ and runs created are for the 'stat geeks' only. its like 'look. my new stat predicts Joey Votto will produce 0.00034 more runs next year. good thing i spent 187 hours finding this out'.

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 03:31 PM
But I am not "trying to use, or at least implying it should be used, an event, or series of events as predictors of future performance."

I am simply stating that RBI's tell us who was more productive during a certain time frame. I think that is usefull, even if it doesn't help us predict future performance.

Except you are only looking at 'production' as RBI. Not into actual run production (which includes avoiding out and reaching base not only to further the runners on in front of you, but also to give the guys behind you chances to drive you and others in as well). The only way a player can alone produce a run without help from someone else is to hit a solo HR. Any other event resulting in a run being scored takes more than one person and thus one person shouldn't get the credit for said run production alone.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 03:32 PM
Who is more productive 1 duck one kill, or 4 ducks one kill?

Lets look at this duck hunting expedition another way. Lets assume that you are hunting Ducks for food, not sport. The first hunger has a flock of ducks fly over head and shots 3. The second hunter sees only one duck all day and shoots it. The first hunter brings 3 ducks home to his family to eat, the second brings home only one. Suffice to say the first hunters family is going to have much better fed than the second hunter.

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 03:33 PM
Lets look at this duck hunting expedition another way. Lets assume that you are hunting Ducks for food, not sport. The first hunger has a flock of ducks fly over head and shots 3. The second hunter sees only one duck all day and shoots it. The first hunter brings 3 ducks home to his family to eat, the second brings home only one. Suffice to say the first hunters family is going to have much better fed than the second hunter.

But it doesn't tell us who is better at shooting ducks. Just like RBI doesn't tell us who is better at driving in runners or any other baseball skillset.

klw
02-18-2010, 03:43 PM
Lets look at this duck hunting expedition another way. Lets assume that you are hunting Ducks for food, not sport. The first hunger has a flock of ducks fly over head and shots 3. The second hunter sees only one duck all day and shoots it. The first hunter brings 3 ducks home to his family to eat, the second brings home only one. Suffice to say the first hunters family is going to have much better fed than the second hunter.

The ducks who did not get shot are clearly the ducks who are clutch.

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 03:57 PM
Who is more productive 1 duck one kill, or 4 ducks one kill?

They each killed one duck. Equally productive.

Who is most likely to be more productive in the future? That's a different question than the one I am asking.

I think it is very valuable to know and understand who was productive and how productive they were, even if it says nothing about their skill.

ochre
02-18-2010, 04:04 PM
so four shots for one bird is equal productivity to one shot one bird?

reds44
02-18-2010, 04:04 PM
The ducks who did not get shot are clearly the ducks who are clutch.
Awesome.

ochre
02-18-2010, 04:09 PM
The ducks who did not get shot are clearly the ducks who are clutch.
Nah. Danny Graves was the shooter.

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 04:16 PM
The ducks who did not get shot are clearly the ducks who are clutch.

Clearly it was the Ducks who benefited from a faulty manufacture of ammunition.

nate
02-18-2010, 04:17 PM
Nah. Danny Graves was the shooter.

Danny Graves thinks you're "number one!"

:cool:

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 04:23 PM
The ducks who did not get shot are clearly the ducks who are clutch.

:laugh::laugh:

Brutus
02-18-2010, 04:29 PM
so four shots for one bird is equal productivity to one shot one bird?

I get what he's saying.

If you're trying to shoot 10 ducks. And you each shoot 5 ducks. You frankly were just as productive as one another, even if one had 10 opportunities and the other had 15. The point he's making is that it's the same level of production even if it's not the same level of efficiency or productivity.

If I have a sales quota of $1,000 for selling cabinets and I meet that quota, did I not bring in the same amount for my company as the guy who had the same quota, did the same amount of sales, but may have had 10 more prospective clients? If I'm a sales manager, the guy who reached the quota with fewer clients might be a better salesman, but he sure didn't bring me in any more sales revenue than the next guy.

In the technical sense, next is right on this. He's not saying having more production means someone is better. It just means in the literal sense, they produced more.

Brutus
02-18-2010, 04:31 PM
I like your idea Brutus. Do you have any place you can pick up Left on Base stats for a season?

CBS Sports used to have them in the sortable stats section for players in the "advanced" category. I don't know if they still do, as I have not looked recently.

I know CBS Sportsline's fantasy baseball leagues have LOB as an option for a stat. I have a custom report in my league to check out these rates - i.e. (RBI-HR)/(RBI-HR+LOB).

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 04:32 PM
In the technical sense, next is right on this. He's not saying having more production means someone is better. It just means in the literal sense, they produced more.

It means they drove in more runs, it doesn't mean they produced more. I think that is where the issue lies.

Eric_the_Red
02-18-2010, 04:34 PM
http://www.maniacworld.com/duck-hunt-game.jpg

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 04:36 PM
It means they drove in more runs, it doesn't mean they produced more. I think that is where the issue lies.

In a baseball game it really doesn't matter who was more efficient in a given game, rather who produced more.

Eric_the_Red
02-18-2010, 04:39 PM
In a baseball game it really doesn't matter who was more efficient in a given game, rather who produced more.

But in analyzing baseball talent, efficiency is key. That is the argument about using RBIs to judge baseball talent, which wins games.

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 04:43 PM
In a baseball game it really doesn't matter who was more efficient in a given game, rather who produced more.

Who judges ones skill based on a single game?

ochre
02-18-2010, 06:11 PM
Who judges ones skill based on a single game?
lead, or steel shot?

Dang it. I think I've lost the flow of the discussion again.

puca
02-18-2010, 07:40 PM
If I am looking at offensive stats and want to make a judgment about a given hitter give me BA, OBP, OPS, HR's, R. Its pretty much a basic stat line that enables me to make a determination of a hitter. Im not saying that its going to be a sure fire proven way, but its a quick, easy way for me to analyze things.


So given two hitters that have the exact same BA, OBP, OPS and number HRs, the one with more RBIs and Runs is the better hitter in your judgement?

If that works for you fine, there is nothing wrong using whatever stats you are comfortable with. If you were getting paid to evaluate players, however, I think your employer might expect a little more.

I claim that Runs and RBIs tell you very little about the individual player, they tell you more about the players around him. If the guy batting behind Ichiro always hit into DPs, would that make Ichiro any worse of a hitter?

Tony Cloninger
02-18-2010, 09:08 PM
I'm hunting wabbits!

AtomicDumpling
02-18-2010, 09:13 PM
I'm not a big RBI guy, as I do like RBI% and OBI better. I prefer the stat that I use... (RBI-HR) / (RBI - HR + LOB). This essentially measures both result and opportunity. It doesn't penalize players for drawing walks or getting on base and moving people up, but it gives a better idea of what percentage of guys that a player truly drives in. Best part is that it's a shorthand metric and can be calculated from a lot of available box scores and stat pages.

As far as RBI in general:

* I don't believe they're totally useless. I think there are better stats available, without question. I think, though, they are a snapshot of a guy's results. If you truly want the best quantitative measure of a player, then RBI would not be the stat best used.

* I do not, absolutely do not agree that a player doesn't have ability to drive in runs. I have always maintained that is a gross over-statement of the RBI position. I'll concede RBI may, again, not be the best way to measure that skill. But don't agree it doesn't exist.

I agree with you that RBI% and OBI are far superior to plain RBIs when judging the effectiveness of a hitter.

Most runs require at least three players to produce the run. The first guy gets on base, the next guy moves him over, then the last guy drives him in -- yet the only guy that gets any RBI credit is the last guy.

I'm curious as to why you are subtracting home runs from your stat. It seems like you are willing to give credit to the hitter for driving in runners from 3rd, 2nd or 1st base, but they get no credit for driving in themselves. Driving in a runner that is already in scoring position is a lot easier than driving in yourself from the batter's box. If anything you should give the hitter extra credit for hitting a home run. He is doing the work of three people all by himself. He created an opportunity and converted it into a run -- yet he gets no credit at all in your statistic.

Brutus
02-18-2010, 10:31 PM
I agree with you that RBI% and OBI are far superior to plain RBIs when judging the effectiveness of a hitter.

Most runs require at least three players to produce the run. The first guy gets on base, the next guy moves him over, then the last guy drives him in -- yet the only guy that gets any RBI credit is the last guy.

I'm curious as to why you are subtracting home runs from your stat. It seems like you are willing to give credit to the hitter for driving in runners from 3rd, 2nd or 1st base, but they get no credit for driving in themselves. Driving in a runner that is already in scoring position is a lot easier than driving in yourself from the batter's box. If anything you should give the hitter extra credit for hitting a home run. He is doing the work of three people all by himself. He created an opportunity and converted it into a run -- yet he gets no credit at all in your statistic.

My logic is that you can already determine the best home run hitters as is. We have HR% (and HR/FB ratio) for that sort of measurement. The reason I take that out, then, is to just measure the performance of a hitter to drive in the runners on base that he is given. You're right in a broad sense that home runs (i.e. driving yourself home) should count in a manner of speaking. For the way I look at it, I just like to strip that part from the equation to see how guys do with their opportunities.

westofyou
02-19-2010, 09:52 AM
RUNS CREATED/GAME <= vs. the league average
REACHED BASE
OUTS
SECONDARY AVERAGE vs. the league average

AT BATS AB RBI RC/G RB OUTS SEC
2003--Tony Batista 631 99 -1.80 181 512 -.060
2004--Tony Batista 606 110 -1.38 176 494 -.005

If I'm correct that's 1 RBI for every 5 outs and he reached base 1 time for every 2.9 outs.

Raisor
02-19-2010, 12:44 PM
It's all fun and games until someone brings Tony Batista into the conversation.

westofyou
02-19-2010, 12:48 PM
It's all fun and games until someone brings Tony Batista into the conversation.
If you take all the outs he created for those 209 RBI's you would have the total outs of 37.25 games or 11.5% of the teams outs in two seasons.

edabbs44
02-19-2010, 01:36 PM
If you take all the outs he created for those 209 RBI's you would have the total outs of 37.25 games or 11.5% of the teams outs in two seasons.

Something just bugs me about the runs created stat. It is just tough for me to buy into a stat that gives people credit for creating runs when their team gets shut out in a given game.

ochre
02-19-2010, 06:23 PM
Something just bugs me about the runs created stat. It is just tough for me to buy into a stat that gives people credit for creating runs when their team gets shut out in a given game.
It's giving them credit for contributing to the (team) effort of scoring runs. Is it, likewise, fair to give them no credit because those surrounding them didn't perform adequately?

TheNext44
02-22-2010, 04:33 AM
I promised that I would make up a spreadsheet showing the difference between player's BA and BA w/RISP, and between player's SLG and SLG w/RISP.

Here is the link to google docs.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkdD7jIEYIofdEY0TFZVOHJ5UFh6dFQtMThHX3Fpe mc&hl=en

I only used players with at least 3000 PA's. I included the number of PA's and number of PA's w/RISP. If anyone has any questions, please PM, I will try to answer them as best I can.

Here are some highlights of the BA results, the SLG results were similar:

The average difference between a players BA and BA w/RISP was 10.36 points.

41% of the players had at least a 10 point difference.
21% had at least a 15 point difference
13% had at least a 20 point difference

If you only look at players with 5,000 PA's:

47% had at least a 10 point difference
18% had at least a 15 point difference
7% had at least a 20 point difference.

And here is one interesting if meaningless observation:

Of the three players with 10,000 PA's:

Griffey had a difference of 1 point
Visquel had a difference of 9 points
Sheffield had a difference of 18 points.

nate
02-22-2010, 08:34 AM
I don't have permission to access it.

That could be by design though!

:cool:

TheNext44
02-22-2010, 12:56 PM
I don't have permission to access it.

That could be by design though!

:cool:

Nope, just my newness with google docs. It should be fine now. :thumbup: