Re: Overrated stats - HR's, K's, RBI - truth or fallacy?
posted at 7/1/2013 10:33 PM EDT
In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
Hitting in the clutch is really not a sustainable skill, in my opinion. That's one reason I have to chuckle when posters blame the GM for not acquiring clutch hitters. How can you obtain clutch hitters when it is not something one can project.
I haven't done any in depth studies on pitching, but I do think there are certain pitchers that almost always rise to the occasion.
I think you're right and this is kind of an interesting question in itself. Maybe it's only possible for pitchers to be clutch, because they are the ones who have the most control over how they perform.
There are certain players who have overperformed or underperformed in the postseason vs. the regular season, but of course the sample size thing comes in with the postseason.
One point about hitters almost all having worse numbers in the clutch or playoffs than there career numbers has to be attributed to the strength of the pitcher they are facing. If you are in the playofss, you are probably facing better pitching than the season/career average you have seen. If you are batting in a late & close situation, you may be facing the closer of top set-up man rather than a lowly starter or middle releif guy.
Maybe a better way to measure "being clutch" might be to take a player's career OPS vs a particular pitcher in clutch vs nonclutch situations. How did players do vs Schilling in their career vs in the playoffs or late and close?
It does seem that a pitcher can "rise to the occasion" on a more consistent basis than a hitter. I think you are right about having more control of all of the factors involved in a player getting a hit or making an out.
It is an interesting debate.
Back to the K thing, what bothers me most is how someone complains about a guy striking out too much, even if he has a .380 OBP and decent Slg% or a decent OBP and a .500+ Slg%. To me, it's the marginal players that it seems to matter more if they K or make an out another way. You look for the weak hitter to at least be able to make contact and move a runner over, bunt, or sac fly when you need it. It's like it's the least they can do. And, when you are totally frustrated with a player in a slump or a player who is never a good hitter, those Ks just seem to drive home that point that he is no good.
Look at a guy like Adam Dunn. His 222 Ks in 2012 was second most ever (to Mark Reynold's 223), but even more amazing is the fact that on the top season K list of the top 89 player in the history of MLB, you will see Adam Dunn's name 10 times! He has struck out over 164 times in a season 10 times! He holds 4 of the top 13 slots! He must stink, right? Then how has he been allowed to play 13 seasons in MLB? I'll tell you why:
.367 career OBP
.498 career SLG%
.865 career OPS
427 career HRs
7 of 8 straight years with 100+ RBIs
Who cares about the career .238 BA and 2126 Ks?
Yes, it would be nicer if he hit .285 and had only 500 Ks, but the rest of his body of work makes up for this.