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Pomp
04-27-04, 06:59 AM
According to some Bill James disciples, RBIs are a meaningless stat. However, I have noticed that some of those same people complain about the Yankees hitting with RISP. Aren't RBIs, to a degree, some measure of a player's ability to drive in runners who are in scoring position?

NJASDJDH
04-27-04, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Pomp
According to some Bill James disciples, RBIs are a meaningless stat. However, I have noticed that some of those same people complain about the Yankees hitting with RISP. Aren't RBIs, to a degree, some measure of a player's ability to drive in runners who are in scoring position?

RBIs aren't a good measure of "a player's ability to drive in runners who are in scoring position" because someone can have that ability, but if no one is on base in front of them their ability becomes useles. Also, it is not that are RBIs are useless as much as they are misleading and not very informative in assessing an individual player. In addition, "ability to drive in runners" is not a consistent year to year statistic in most cases, but over the course of a career it often evens out with a player's "real" hitting statistics.

markp
04-27-04, 07:57 AM
sabermaticians put RISP and RBIs where they belong: peripheral stats. If the difference between RISP and non-RISP wasn't almost exactly the same over all player's careers it would be an important stat. Since it does even out, RISP is pretty meaningless.
Of course the media loves both of these stats-they migrate to the least of stats and mock the people who've figured out what the important ones are.

AngelAstro
04-27-04, 08:15 AM
I think this may be a good example as to why RBI is only as important as the batter in front of you. Here are the numbers for Shawn Green and Hideki Matsui last year:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlbhist/players/splits?statsId=5179&type=batting&year=2003

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlbhist/players/splits?statsId=7042&type=batting&year=2003

If you look at their overall stats, you'll see that they are very similar, except that Matsui has 20 more RBIs. Looking at their splits with runners on, etc., you also see they are similar (though Green's are lower), but what you also must notice is that Green had 33 less at bats than Matsui with runners on base. This will of course depress Green's RBI stat because he has less of a chance of driving in runners because of the inability of the batters in front of him to successfully reach base. With those 33 extra at-bats with runners on, I suspect that Green would have had a similar RBI total as Matsui.