Friday, October 26, 2007

Runs created by position in 2007 (Part 1)

Earlier this week, I looked at how Tiger players ranked in runs created (RC) and runs created per game (RC/G) among 133 American League players with 300 or more plate appearances (PA) in 2007. Today, I will start comparing players by position. Position comparisons are often useful because some positions demand more of players defensively and thus their offensive expectations are somewhat lower. For example, catchers are not expected to create as many runs as first basemen and, on average, they don’t. I’ll start with the catchers (Table 1).

The top run producers in the league were Jorge Posada (8.4 RC/G) and Victor Martinez (6.6 RC/G). Ivan Rodriguez finished 9th with 4.0 RC/G. This was a big decline from 5.1 RC/G in 2006. Since his defense also slipped in the past year, he's going to need to improve his offense a little in 2008.

Table 1: Runs Created by AL Catchers in 2007

Rank

Player

Team

PA

RC/G

RC

1

Posada

NYA

589

8.4

111

2

Martinez

CLE

645

6.6

104

3

Mauer

MIN

471

6.0

67

4

Varitek

BOS

518

5.2

66

5

Zaun

TOR

391

4.7

46

6

Johjima

SEA

513

4.5

62

7

Hernandez

BAL

409

4.3

46

8

Buck

KC

399

4.2

45

9

Rodriguez

DET

515

4.0

57

10

Pierzynski

CHA

509

3.7

51

11

Navarro

TB

434

3.2

39

12

Laird

TEX

448

3.1

38

13

Kendall

OAK

312

2.2

20



The league leading first baseman (Table 2 below) was old friend Carlos Pena with a very impressive 9.3 RC/G. Mark Teixeira created 7.2 runs per game before getting traded to the Braves. Another familiar face, Matt Stairs, finished 3rd with 7.0 RC/G. It was a big year for ex-Tiger first basemen.

Sean Casey was 11th in the league at 5.1 RC/G. Casey will not be back next year and will be replaced by Carlos Guillen who created 6.2 runs per game as a shortstop. That would have placed him 5th in the league among first basemen.

Table 2: Runs Created by AL First Basemen in 2007

Rank

Player

Team

PA

RC/G

RC

1

Pena

TB

612

9.3

126

2

Teixeira

TEX

335

7.2

55

3

Stairs

TOR

405

7.0

68

4

Youkilis

BOS

625

6.4

92

5

Garko

CLE

541

6.2

82

6

Kotchman

LAA

508

5.9

74

7

Morneau

MIN

668

5.7

97

8

Millar

BAL

562

5.7

77

9

Konerko

CHA

636

5.4

87

10

Johnson

OAK

495

5.2

64

11

Casey

DET

496

5.1

63

12

Wilkerson

TEX

389

5.0

50

13

Gload

KC

346

4.4

41

14

Overbay

TOR

476

4.0

50

15

Sexson

SEA

491

3.9

52



Placido Polanco topped all AL second basemen with 7.0 RC/G in 2007 (Table 3 below). He was followed by Brian Roberts (6.5) and Dustin Pedroia 6.2. This year was Polanco's highest RC/G ever and his lifetime mark is 5.1 so I would not expect a repeat performance next year. If he finishes above 6.0 RC/G in in 2008, I'll be very happy.


Table 3: Runs Created by AL Second Basemen

Rank

Player

Team

PA

RC/G

RC

1

Polanco

DET

641

7.0

105

2

Roberts

BAL

716

6.5

112

3

Pedroia

BOS

581

6.2

85

4

Cano

NYA

669

5.9

99

5

Ellis

OAK

642

5.4

88

6

Kinsler

TEX

566

5.3

75

7

Wigginton

TB

417

5.2

56

8

Kendrick

LAA

353

5.1

47

9

Grudzielanek

KC

486

5.0

62

10

Hill

TOR

657

4.9

85

11

Castillo

MIN

384

4.9

47

12

Iguchi

CHA

377

4.7

44

13

German

KC

405

4.4

46

14

Lopez

SEA

561

3.2

50

15

Barfield

CLE

444

3.0

37





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