With regard to an offensive player, the first key question is how many runs have resulted from what he has done with the bat and on the basepaths. Willie McCovey hit .270 in his career, with 353 doubles, 46 triples, 521 home runs and 1,345 walks -- but his job was not to hit doubles, nor to hit singles, nor to hit triples, nor to draw walks or even hit home runs, but rather to put runs on the scoreboard. How many runs resulted from all of these things?1
Runs created attempts to answer this bedrock question. The conceptual framework of the "runs created" stat is:
In the most basic runs created formula:
This can also be expressed as:
This formula expands on the basic formula by accounting for a player's basestealing ability.
This formula accounts for all basic, easily available offensive statistics.
where BB is base on balls, CS is caught stealing, HBP is hit by pitch, GIDP is grounded into double play, TB is total bases, IBB is intentional base on balls, SH is sacrifice hit, SF is sacrifice fly, and AB is at bats.
Earlier versions of runs created overestimated the number of runs created by players with extremely high A and B factors (on-base and slugging), such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. This is because these formulas placed a player in an offensive context of players equal to himself; it is as if the player is assumed to be on base for himself when he hits home runs. Of course, this is impossible, and in reality, a great player is interacting with offensive players whose contributions are inferior to his. The 2002 version corrects this by placing the player in the context of his real-life team. This 2002 version also takes into account performance in "clutch" situations.
where K is strikeout.
The initial individual runs created estimate is then:
If situational hitting information is available, the following should be added to the above total:
where RISP is runners in scoring position, BA is batting average, HR is home run, and ROB is runners on base. The subscripts indicate the required condition for the formula. For example, means "hits while runners are in scoring position."
This is then figured for every member of the team, and an estimate of total team runs scored is added up. The actual total of team runs scored is then divided by the estimated total team runs scored, yielding a ratio of real to estimated team runs scored. The above individual runs created estimate is then multiplied by this ratio, to yield a runs created estimate for the individual.2
The same information provided by runs created can be expressed as a rate stat, rather than a raw number of runs contributed. This is usually expressed as runs created per some number of outs, e.g. (27 of course being the number of outs per team in a standard 9-inning baseball game).
Runs created is believed to be an accurate measure of an individual's offensive contribution because, when used on whole teams, the formula normally closely approximates how many runs the team actually scores. Even the basic version of runs created usually predicts a team's run total within a 5% margin of error.3 Other, more advanced versions are even more accurate.
While even the simplest version of Runs Created estimates team runs with reasonable accuracy, the multiplicative (A*B)/C structure of the formula is fundamentally flawed when estimating the runs produced by each individual hitter, particularly in the case of hitters with extremely high on-base and slugging percentages. The reason for this is that it is impossible for a player to get on base and then drive himself in -- players' on-base and slugging averages must interact with those of their teammates. Yet RC's simple OBP*TB form assumes that a player's own slugging is interacting with his own on-base percentage, which artificially inflates RC for players who score well in both categories.
Take an example: in isolation, Ryan Howard's on-base percentage and slugging average each have a real, discrete effect on the Philadelphia Phillies' offense, but when combined they overstate Howard's contribution by treating it as though he is both driving in players with equal on-base ability as himself, and simultaneously being driven in by players with equal slugging ability as himself. This model would be appropriate with regard to a theoretical lineup of nine Ryan Howards, each of whose on-base and slugging abilities would interact in precisely this manner; however, Howard is in a lineup with players of lesser on-base and slugging abilities—his actual contribution to the Phillies in terms of runs is influenced by the fact that some of his on-base skills are being wasted by teammates who lack his slugging ability, and that some of his slugging skills are being wasted by teammates who lack his on-base ability. Therefore, Howard's RC production must be adjusted downward to reflect this reality.
This is generally not a major issue for most players, as their OBPs and SLGs are not high enough to significantly distort their Runs Created; however, superstars who put up impressive OBPs and SLGs will frequently see their RC artificially inflated by this phenomenon. In recent years, James has modified the Runs Created to correct this error, effectively placing a player in a lineup of average players, rather than assume that a player's own slugging is interacting with his own on-base percentage.
Runs created does not take into account the stadiums in which a player hits. Certain stadiums, such as Denver's Coors Field prior to the introduction of the baseball humidor, generally increase offensive production in games played there. Since each run scored in such stadiums is less valuable, the same number of runs created will translate into fewer wins in a stadium like Coors than it would elsewhere.
Runs created also does not take into account the era in which a player played. Due to various factors, some eras of baseball history have had lower or higher average levels of offensive production.
McKenney runs with focus on business ; Election 2004: His challenger, Jane Moriarty, says the district needs stronger representation.
Oct 22, 2004; TESS NACELEWICZ Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (Maine) 10-22-2004 McKenney runs with focus on business ; Election 2004: His...