Monday, January 27, 2014

Which Players Participated in the Greatest Proportion of Their Teams' Runs in 2013?


AL MVP Miguel Cabrera participated in almost a third of the Tigers runs in 2013.
(Photo credit: Ed Zurga/ Getty Images)

In my previous post, I presented a new statistic (Runs Assisted or RAS) and updated an old one (Runs Participated In or RPI).  A player gets credit for a Run Assisted in the following instances:
  • A batter advances a runner to either second or third with a hit, base on balls, hit batsmen, error, sacrifice bunt, or another kind of out.  If that runner then scores either during the same at bat or an ensuing at bat, the batter who advanced him is given a Run Assisted.
  • A batter reaches base and is removed for a pinch runner or is replaced by another runner on a force out.  If the new runner then scores, the batter who originally reached base is given a Run Assisted.
One tweeter (FoulBallzMLB) observed that a Run Assisted is like an assist in hockey because a player doesn't actually score the run/goal, but helps to make it happen.  You could also say that the RBI is like the first assist in hockey and the Run Assisted is like the second assist.  Either way, I think the hockey analogy is apt.

A player gets credit for a Run Participated In if he either scores a run, drives in a run or Assists a run, but he can't get double credit for any one run.  The formula is RPI = R + RBI + RAS - HR.  The limitations of these measures were discussed in detail in the above linked post.

Runs Participated In is a counting statistic which is influenced by opportunity, so it's good to also have a rate measure.  One possibility is Runs Participated In Percentage (RPI%) which is the percentage of a teams' runs in which a player participated.  For example, Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera participated in 250 runs out of 796 total runs for the Tigers in 2013, so he had a 31.4% RPI%.  In Table 1, it is seen that Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano led the American League with a 32.0 RPI%.

Table 1: AL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2013


Player
Team
Team Runs
RPI
RPI%
Robinson Cano
NYA
650
208
32.0
Eric Hosmer
KCA
648
206
31.8
Mike Trout
ANA
733
231
31.5
Miguel Cabrera
DET
796
250
31.4
Adam Jones
BAL
745
226
30.3
Elvis Andrus
TEX
730
218
29.9
Chris Davis
BAL
745
222
29.8
Evan Longoria
TBA
700
207
29.6
Alex Gordon
KCA
648
189
29.2
Billy Butler
KCA
648
183
28.2
Ben Zobrist
TBA
700
194
27.7
Dustin Pedroia
BOS
853
236
27.7
Josh Donaldson
OAK
767
211
27.5
Edwin Encarnacion
TOR
712
195
27.4
Torii Hunter
DET
796
217
27.3

The RPI% statistic might tell us how much a team relied on a player to score runs.  As such, some fans might find it useful in MVP voting.  The limitation, of course, is that a player may benefit from having less productive teammates surrounding him in the order.

The National League RPI% leaders are shown in Table 2.  First basemen Paul Goldschmidt (35.3%) of the DiamondBacks Joey Votto (33.2) of the Reds bot participated in over a third of their teams runs in 2013. 

Table 2: NL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2013


Player
Team
Team Runs
RPI
RPI%
Paul Goldschmidt
ARI
685
242
35.3
Joey Votto
CIN
698
232
33.2
Brandon Phillips
CIN
698
229
32.8
Hunter Pence
SFN
629
204
32.4
Andrew McCutchen
PIT
634
202
31.9
Matt Holliday
SLN
783
249
31.8
Freddie Freeman
ATL
688
218
31.7
Adrian Gonzalez
LAN
649
200
30.8
Daniel Murphy
NYN
619
189
30.5
Jay Bruce
CIN
698
210
30.1
Matt Carpenter
SLN
783
232
29.6
Anthony Rizzo
CHN
602
172
28.6
Ian Desmond
WAS
656
184
28.0
Jayson Werth
WAS
656
183
27.9
Ryan Zimmerman
WAS
656
181
27.6
 
 The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.  Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at Retrosheet.org.

7 comments:

  1. Enjoying the schadenfruede of seeing that Cano meant more to his team's offense than did any other player in the league and now he is gone. Couldn't happen to a better organization.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the Yankees should trade Tanaka and Ellsbury for Cano in a salary dump!

      Delete
  2. Votto is close but actually less than one third.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah if he participated in the next run then it would have been 1/3 exactly.

      Delete
  3. Votto is close but actually less than one third.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah if he participated in the next run then it would have been 1/3 exactly.

      Delete
  4. You are correct...both times!

    ReplyDelete

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