Friday, September 25, 2009

Top Run Producers

A player's RBI/PA average can show a decent amount, especially if they are supposed to a middle-of-the-order power hitter/run producer. It is nice if a run producer has a high OBP or steals bases or doesn't strike out, but they are really there to drive in runs.

Some hitters, of course, have been very fortunate to hit in the middle of a great lineup (Albert Belle or David Ortiz, for instance) for many years or play in a great hitters' ballpark (Larry Walker, ), but it is still extremely difficult to be an elite run producer over a long period of time even with those advantages. These are the only players (if I missed any let me know) with at least 1000 plate appearances to to have a .200 RBI/PA average (or at least easily rounded to .200).

In other words, these are the only players to have, on average, 2 RBI per every 10 times they come to the plate, for their entire career. There are numerous instances of a player getting .200 RBI/PA for an extended period of their career, such as Ken Griffey Jr. from 1996-2000, when had 685 RBI in 3399 PA. We'll have to see how Ryan Howard's career progresses, as he is the only active player on the list.

Career: .200 RBI/PA 1000+ PA
1930-1947 Hank Greenberg: .209 (1276 RBI, 6096 PA)
1914-1935 Babe Ruth: .209 (2217, 10616)
1923-1939 Lou Gehrig: .207 (1995, 9660)
2005-present Ryan Howard: .203 (active) (631, 3107)
1936-1951 Joe DiMaggio: .200 (1537, 7671)
1925-1945 Jimmie Foxx: .199 (1922, 9670)
1989-2005 Juan Gonzalez: .196 (1404, 7155)

If you're wondering how far down the RBI list you have to go find another player who is at .200, it appears to be Landon Powell, an Oakland rookie this year, with 29 RBI in 145 PA despite a .231 BA.

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