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08-12-2011, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Ryan Howard has 3,479 PAs in the 4 hole. He has 297 and 323 PAs in the 5 and 6 hole respectively... in short, he's spent his entire career hitting in the prime RBI locations. Do you really believe that Chase Utley wouldn't put up huge RBI numbers if we flipped him and Howard? The vast majority of Utley's PAs have come in the 2 and 3 hole... a less prime position for RBIs (you're more likely to be knocked in, than be knocking people in).

Opportunity is, by far, the most important factor in accumulating RBIs. After that, there are some attributes that are ideal in a clean up hitter. You'd like him to drive the ball (easier to score on doubles and the like), and hit the ball in the air (sac flies), etc. Howard has certainly done that. Howard has been a very dangerous hitter (and all the numbers any sabremetrics analysis is going to look at will suggest that).

BTW, Chase Utley hits 30 points better with runners on base. Howard hits 20 points better.
I do think Utley would have similar #s throughout his career, I do not think Victorino would.

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