Originally Posted by BadFundamentals
A BB example:
For a stat like RC to work at PLAYER level it would have to operate on the assumption that over time all BBs for all players on all teams are equal (similar for doubles, triples etc.) in regards to Run Scoring efforts.
Example: In national league with pitchers hitting your ninth hole will be an out for first 5 innings what 85% of the time? Your 8th hole will be an out ~70-75% of time on average? You only get THREE outs an inning.
I'm sure you know of that Tango table which gives run scoring percentages based on outs and runners on base. That table doesn't take into account quality of hitters.
So right from the start it is easy to see at micro level why a BB to a top of the order hitter who has great speed is FAR more valuable to team run scoring efforts (and would be on high end of Tango table curve) than a BB to a 6 or 7 hitter who doesn't run very well. (and would be on low end of Tango table curve)
If this was just one exception you might say insignificant but the FACT is these situational "tendencies" for lack of better word or "distortion possibilities" are present every time thru the lineup with every player in different ways. They all wash out for lineup as a whole but for a specific player you'll get same distortion potential over and over and over, every time thru lineup and every game.
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So I guess my point is variance/margin of error would increase greatly at PLAYER level because of individual player and situational differences. Throw all players in a bucket fine. But just to grab ONE player out of bucket - he is likely to be overstated or understated and possibly in a predictable way.
But your example of a team that does those situational aspects well, the Nats, don't actually do them well. They don't hit well with RISP. Optimal lineup construction has more to do with getting you highest OBP people more ABs than anything else. James Click had a good article on this in BP awhile back.
Also, a BB is always preferable to an out, in any situation. If someone is going to give you a walk, than you take it, because if you try not to take it you're doing what the pitcher wants and you aren't very likely to get a hit. You cannot punish players for walking with RISP when the pitcher isn't going to throw them anything.