Sunday, January 11, 2015

Which Players Participated In The Highest Percentage of Their Teams' Runs?

Matt Holliday of the Cardinals participated in over 35% of the team's runs in 2014.
(Photo credit: Jeff Roberson/ AP)

In my previous post, I presented the Runs Assisted (RAS) statistic 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.
Some readers have observed that a Run Assisted is similar to 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 230 runs out of 757 total runs for the Tigers in 2014, so he had a 30.4% RPI%.  In Table 1, it is seen that Rays third baseman Evan Longoria led the American League with a 33.0 RPI%.

Table 1: AL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2014 


Player
Team
Team Runs
RPI
RPI%
Evan Longoria
TBA
612
202
33.0
Michael Brantley
CLE
669
213
31.8
Jose Bautista
TOR
723
223
30.8
Miguel Cabrera
DET
757
230
30.4
Mike Trout
ANA
773
234
30.3
Josh Donaldson
OAK
729
218
29.9
Brian Dozier
MIN
715
213
29.8
Ian Kinsler
DET
757
222
29.3
Alexei Ramirez
CHA
660
191
28.9
Howard Kendrick
ANA
773
221
28.6
Alex Gordon
KCA
651
186
28.6
Robinson Cano
SEA
634
179
28.2
Adam Jones
BAL
705
199
28.2
Victor Martinez
DET
757
213
28.1
Adrian Beltre
TEX
637
179
28.1
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.

The RPI% statistic might tell us how much a team relied on a player to score runs.  As such, some fans might find it somewhat 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.  Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday (35.4%) Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (34.9) both participated in over a third of their teams' runs in 2014.  

Table 2: NL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2014


Player
Team
Team Runs
RPI
RPI%
Matt Holliday
SLN
619
219
35.4
Freddie Freeman
ATL
573
200
34.9
Anthony Rendon
WAS
686
223
32.5
Justin Upton
ATL
573
186
32.5
Hunter Pence
SFN
665
210
31.6
Adrian Gonzalez
LAN
718
221
30.8
Chase Utley
PHI
619
190
30.7
Giancarlo Stanton
MIA
645
195
30.2
Todd Frazier
CIN
595
179
30.1
Matt Carpenter
SLN
619
186
30.0
Buster Posey
SFN
665
196
29.5
Jayson Werth
WAS
686
199
29.0
Anthony Rizzo
CHN
614
176
28.7
Ryan Howard
PHI
619
176
28.4
Daniel Murphy
NYN
629
173
27.5
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.


2 comments:

  1. I think I'd prefer RPI / PA as the rate stat.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jeff, That is another possibility, but it's still going to be biased by whoever is batting around the player in question. In a later post I'm going to look at how successful players were at advancing runners given opportunities to advance runners.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete

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