Saturday, December 26, 2015

Which Players Participated In The Most Runs in 2015?

Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson participated in more runs than any other player in 2015
(Photo credit: Ben Margot, Associated Press)

In my previous post, I discussed the Runs Assisted statistic which rewards players who contribute to runs scored for their team without actually scoring or driving in a run.  To review, there are two broad scenarios in which a player can get credit for a Run Assisted:
  • 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.
The addition of Runs Assisted statistic allows us to expand the Runs Participated In (RPI) measure.  The current RPI definition is the number of runs to which a player made a direct contribution.  It is calculated by adding runs scored and RBI and then subtracting home runs:

   RPI = RS + RBI - HR

RPI was first introduced as Runs Produced in the 1950s by Sports Illustrated writer Bob Creamer but was more recently renamed RPI by Tom Tango.  If  Tigers scecond baseman Ian Kinsler doubles and then scores on a single by first baseman Miguel Cabrera, neither player actually produces the run by himself.  Both participate in creating the run but neither is 100% responsible for producing the run.  Thus, the name “runs participated in” is more appropriate than "runs produced".  Home runs are subtracted in the RPI formula, so that a player does not get credit for two runs (an RBI and a run scored) when he only participated in one team run. 

Adding Runs Assisted to the RPI formula yields:

   RPI = RS + RBI + RAS - HR 

One might question whether a Run Assisted should count as much as a run scored or an RBI since it is more likely to also produce an out.  I would guess that a player getting an assist typically contributes less to the run than a player with a run scored or RBI, (although the
example shown at the top of the previous post shows that is not always the case).  More complicated statistics involving linear weights are better for answering that question.  By definition, runs scored, RBI and Runs Assisted will count the same in the Runs Participated In measure..

Also, remember that RPI does not address the biases of runs scored and RBI (and RAS for that matter).  It is still the case that some players have more opportunities to contribute to runs based on their teammates and batting order position.  RPI is not a replacement for something like Batting Runs, but rather a simple alternative for those that prefer to look at actual runs scored.   

Keeping the above caveats in mind, the American League RPI Leaders are listed in Table 1 below.  AL MVP winner Josh Donaldson led the league with 261 RPI. followed by Blue Jay teammate Jose Bautista (237) and Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (226).  

The National League leaders, shown in Table 2, were MVP Bryce Harper (241), Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo (228) and Diamond Backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (227).  

Finally, Table 3 lists the Tigers RPI leaders.  Kinsler and right fielder JD Martinez each had 200 followed by slugger Miguel Cabrera with 169. 

Table 1: AL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2015

Player
Team
PA
R
RBI
RAS
HR
RPI
Josh Donaldson
TOR
711
122
123
57
41
261
Jose Bautista
TOR
666
108
114
55
40
237
Eric Hosmer
KCA
667
98
93
53
18
226
Shin-Soo Choo
TEX
653
94
82
65
22
219
Kendrys Morales
KCA
639
81
106
54
22
219
Prince Fielder
TEX
693
78
98
63
23
216
Chris Davis
BAL
670
100
117
44
47
214
Xander Bogaerts
BOS
654
84
81
55
7
213
Edwin Encarnacion
TOR
624
94
111
43
39
209
Jose Abreu
CHA
668
88
101
48
30
207
Lorenzo Cain
KCA
604
101
72
48
16
205
Ian Kinsler
DET
675
94
73
44
11
200
J.D. Martinez
DET
657
93
102
43
38
200
Adrian Beltre
TEX
619
83
83
51
18
199
Alex Rodriguez
NYA
620
83
86
61
33
197
Data source:Retrosheet

Table 2: NL Runs Participated In Leaders, 2015
Player
Team
PA
R
RBI
RAS
HR
RPI
Bryce Harper
WAS
654
118
99
66
42
241
Anthony Rizzo
CHN
701
94
101
64
31
228
Paul Goldschmidt
ARI
695
103
110
47
33
227
Andrew McCutchen
PIT
685
91
96
56
23
220
Nolan Arenado
COL
665
97
130
34
42
219
A.J. Pollock
ARI
673
111
76
47
20
214
Matt Kemp
SDN
648
80
100
48
23
205
Kris Bryant
CHN
650
87
99
45
26
205
Matt Duffy
SFN
612
77
77
61
12
203
Joey Votto
CIN
695
95
80
52
29
198
Buster Posey
SFN
623
74
95
48
19
198
Starling Marte
PIT
633
84
81
50
19
196
Curtis Granderson
NYN
682
98
70
44
26
186
Matt Carpenter
SLN
665
101
84
28
28
185
Carlos Gonzalez
COL
608
87
97
40
40
184
Data source:Retrosheet

Table 3: Tigers Runs Participated In Leaders, 2015
Player
PA
R
RBI
RAS
HR
RPI
Ian Kinsler
675
94
73
44
11
200
J.D. Martinez
657
93
102
43
38
200
Miguel Cabrera
511
64
76
47
18
169
Nick Castellanos
595
42
73
35
15
135
Yoenis Cespedes
427
62
61
27
18
132
Victor Martinez
485
39
64
33
11
125
Anthony Gose
535
73
26
27
5
121
Rajai Davis
370
55
30
21
8
98
Jose Iglesias
453
44
23
29
2
94
James McCann
425
32
41
21
7
87
Andrew Romine
204
25
15
20
2
58
Tyler Collins
207
18
25
19
4
58
Alex Avila
219
21
13
12
4
42
Jefry Marte
90
9
11
4
4
20
Dixon Machado
78
6
5
4
0
15
Data source:Retrosheet

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