Re: Overrated stats - HR's, K's, RBI - truth or fallacy?
posted at 6/30/2013 11:35 PM EDT
In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
I've been reading quite a few comments this year on the question of whether or not HR's and K's are overrated. Just look at yesterday's game thread for examples.
I'm going to add RBI to the mix because that is another stat that is often referred to as being overrated. I once read a statement by Keith Law that the RBI stat was 'meaningless'. That really irritated me. How can RBI be meaningless? You don't win any games if you don't score any runs. And based on the current 2013 MLB stats, only 5% of all runs scored do not result in an RBI.
I still have a problem with Law's statement, but part of the problem is that he didn't expand on exactly what he meant. I have to assume that what he meant was that a player's RBI total doesn't necessarily reflect his performance.
A textbook example of the RBI distortion is the 2007 RBI totals of Lugo and Pedroia. Lugo had 73 RBI in 630 PA. Pedroia had 50 RBI in 581 PA.
But Lugo hit 237/294/349, and Pedroia hit 317/380/442.
The issues with HR's and K's are a little different, but I think there is a similarity. It's not so much a question of whether a HR, RBI or K is important in the context of one at-bat, it's a question of how important it is in the context of the whole season.
Fire away people.
I think you've raised two great separate issues, hf:
1) stats that isolate an individual's performance vs. teams stats; and
2) the value of those stats
IMO, it's obvious that some traditional stats like a pitcher's wins, or a batter's RBIs or runs have little meaning in isolation and I cringe when people cite them as measures of success. BA also makes me roll my eyes.....it's OBP that counts i.e. not making outs.
Value is a different issue. A home run is a clear advantage. Run(s) for your team. Seems obvious to me. But strikeouts? I don't think I'm hypocritical about them, but I am conflicted.
On one hand, if John Lackey strikes out 12 guys, that's 12 slam dunks....no chance of errors, misfortune, etc. But I also am pretty relaxed about how my players make outs....if an Adam Dunn-like player gets on base nearly 40% of the time why care how he makes his outs.