Saturday, March 17, 2007

All-time Tigers Hitting Leaders - Part 2

In my last post, I ranked the all-time best Tigers batters according to runs created (RC) and offensive winning percentage (OWP). RC measures longevity more than quality while OWP says more about quality. Lee Sinnis developed the statistic runs created above average (RCAA) which combines longevity with excellence. RCAA is the difference between a player's RC total and the RC total for an average player who used same number of his team's outs.

The lifetime RCAA leaders for players with over 1,500 plate appearances with the Tigers are listed in Table 1 below. As usual, Ty Cobb is the run away leader with over twice as many RCAA (1,319) than the runnerup Harry Heilmann (624). They are followed by Al Kaline (546), Hank Greenberg (531) and Sam Crawford (492). These names should come to no surprise to any fan with even a passing interest in Tigers history.

While runs created does adjust for league average, it does not take fielding into consideration at all. Another statistic which does address fielding to some extent is Runs Created Above Position (RCAP). RCAP is like RCAA except a player is compared to others at his his position. This statistic will yield a fairer comparison between a player who plays a more demanding position such as catcher and a player who plays a more offensive oriented postion such as first base.
One thing it does not take into consideration is how well a player plays his position. That's an analysis for another time though.

Table 2 presents the Tigers lifetime RCAP leaders. Once again Cobb is on top by a substantial margin (1,046 RCAP) but Charlie Gehringer (581) is a strong second on this list. Heilmann (463), Kaline (395) and Lou Whitaker (369) round out the top 5. One name on the list might be a surprise to some. Donie Bush is 18th all-time with 118 RCAP. Just yesterday, Bush was appropriately voted into the MotownSports Tigers Hall of Fame.


Table 1: Lifetime Tigers RCAA Leaders

Player

PA

RC

RCAA

Ty Cobb

12106

2590

1319

Harry Heilmann

8390

1613

624

Al Kaline

11597

1830

546

Hank Greenberg

5586

1263

531

Sam Crawford

8871

1438

492

Charlie Gehringer

10237

1828

444

Norm Cash

7772

1243

419

Lou Whitaker

9967

1379

266

Bobby Veach

6785

1022

243

Kirk Gibson

4773

742

192

Rudy York

5349

889

185

Willie Horton

5978

824

167

Alan Trammell

9375

1246

161

Dick Wakefield

2499

399

119

Vic Wertz

3218

518

116

Bobby Higginson

5660

827

113

Ray Boone

2856

446

112

Dick McAuliffe

6829

858

112

Cecil Fielder

4252

628

108

Roy Cullenbine

1951

328

107



Table 2: Lifetime Tigers RCAP Leaders

Player

PA

RC

RCAP

Ty Cobb

12106

2590

1046

Charlie Gehringer

10237

1828

581

Harry Heilmann

8390

1613

463

Al Kaline

11597

1830

395

Lou Whitaker

9967

1379

369

Alan Trammell

9375

1246

365

Sam Crawford

8871

1438

341

Hank Greenberg

5586

1263

339

Norm Cash

7772

1243

291

Dick McAuliffe

6829

858

193

Bill Freehan

6899

855

188

Harvey Kuenn

4750

665

163

Rudy York

5349

889

161

Kirk Gibson

4773

742

134

Lance Parrish

4674

598

120

Bobby Veach

6785

1022

119

Mickey Tettleton

2343

366

114

Donie Bush

8451

890

110

Ray Boone

2856

446

102

George Kell

3734

568

101

2 comments:

  1. Charles ListonMarch 18, 2007

    What has consistently surprised me about these lists is how high Norm Cash has placed on them. I'm not quite old enough to remember his stupendous 1961, I actually started following the team the next year. From then on he was a solid number 5 hitter but never really the main guy, so I wouldn't have guessed that his accomplishments would stack up so well historically. So, way to go Norm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Cash surprises a lot of people. After his big year, he never put up any eye popping numbers but he was pretty consistent. I think part of it was because he played in the 1960s when offensive numbers were way down and people noticed pitching more. Playing in the shadow of Kaline didn't help either.

    ReplyDelete

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