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08-11-2011, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Yoshimitsu View Post
Yes, you must "drive in runs" to win a baseball game. The problem is that RBI doesn't actually tell you how good of a hitter someone is, nor does it tell you how good they are at driving in runs. It's simply a compiling stat that is almost entirely dependent on how many opportunities a player has to bat with runners on base. It is more of a measure of the quality of the lineup than it is a measure of the quality of a hitter. Howard has double the RBIs of Victorino; who has been the better hitter this season? The answer is, by a large margin, Victorino.
I agree that RBIs are not the end all be all statistic, however it's also not fair to simply discredit them entirely. Ryan Howard is a very good run producer and has been for his entire career. Victorino has been a better hitter, but Ryan Howard is a better run producer because he hits better when runners are on base. Victorino hits .330 when the bases are empty, .279 with runners on, .274 with RISP. Howard hits .219 empty, .285 on, .311 RISP. So yes Victorino might be the better hitter, but Ryan Howard is a better choice if you are looking to drive runners in (which is why he's in the 4 spot and Victorino is best suited at the top of the lineup).

The point I'm making here is that RBIs are only overrated when you only look at RBIs. Ryan Howard throughout his career has been a good run producer because he is a better hitter when runners are on base.

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