I'm amazed he got as many RBI's as he did this spring (8).
--- Stros Bro
Well, not to say that Adam didn't have a shitty spring, but I don't know if I'm amazed as all that. Dave Raymond was talking about this during Saturday's game, how it at least seems like AE squeezes the maximum damage out of the minimum performance.
I think we saw it last year, when he garnered as many 2006 Game Hero Awards as any other hitter besides Berkman, while hitting a paltry .239.
And comparisons of this sort aren't that easy, but consider Josh Barfield. Barfield was the Padre's most frequent number 8 hitter. He played the infield for a middle of the road offensive team, got 500 at bats, drove in 52--and batted .280. Everett--pretty darn similar if I have to say so myself--of course hit .239.
I would never suggest that AE was "clutch." If you're clutch you're gonna hit .280 regularly, and then get better when it counts, seems to me. But on the other hand, he had a lot of RBI's for a number 7 guy who hit .239, no?
Take a look at this:
|Player||RBI||OBI||ROB||OBI%||AVG||SLG||AVG - OBI%||SLG-OBI%|
Some of these numbers were taken from Baseball Prospectus. OBI is "Others Batted In," and means RBI's less the RBI you get for hitting a homer and driving yourself in. ROB is runners on base when you came to the plate, and OBI% is a ratio of the two, purporting to express RBI opportunities successfully converted. You probably know that Lance Berkman finished 2006 as one of only three players in the majors who had an OBI% above .210, and that he led the majors in that stat for most of the year.
I put A-Fraud in to compare, because he might be this hypothesized Everett of ours' evil opposite: lots of production, but less of it with runners on. You can see that his numbers might actually support this prejudice that many have.
Anyway, my thinking is that if I could somehow compare your standard rate stats (in which most of us would agree Adam frankly stinks) and your OBI% (in which Adam was better than team average), you'd get a number that might convey what Raymond was trying to express about Adam during yesterday's broadcast.
If you'd direct your attention to the column BA - OBI%, I might then make the following statement: that those players towards the top of that list, those with the smallest difference between their batting average and their OBI percentage, appear to have "been better" or at least have done the bulk of their production with runners on base.
And though this might not be a player's fault, those towards the bottom of the list had more damage done with the bases empty. Look at CJ. His only RBI came from the solo shot he hit off Cole Hamels, and therefore none of his average can be expressed in Others Batted In.
I know this isn't perfect. Batting Average and OBI percent are two different ratios with two different, um, denominators, if I remember my grade school math correctly, so I know you can't, strictly speaking, subtract them. And certainly looking at the SLG - OBI column you can see how everything could go off kilter. Like, Berkman's BA and OBI are close enough where you might say something like, "he was just as good with runners on as when they weren't" or something of that nature. But when you try to introduce the slugging, the average weighted by total bases, because his slugging was so high to begin with, he plummets to the bottom of the list, next to Luke.
I think this is because slugging is recorded on a larger scale than the OBI% number is, whereas BA is basically recorded in a similar though translated 200 point range. And as far as unlike denominators, the idea of OPS shows that sometimes adding unlike numbers can give you a useful answer anyway.
So based on that, I guess I'd say I believe that the AVG-OBI% numbers anyway DO hang together, and they DO show that Adam has a little secret talent: Although I will still be going off on his sorry-hitting ass this if he doesn't get his average into at least the high .240's, I think he really doesn't suck as much as it may at first glance appear, and the sabermetricians, in wantonly disregarding the RBI the way they have, would be even less likely to see it than Raymond or--ahem--I have.
I would certainly be interested in your input about all this.