Spector: How well does OBP correlate to runs scored?

From Jesse Spector at The Sporting News on September 9, 2013:

There is no debate over the offensive goal in baseball, which is to score runs, but the optimal method of achieving that goal is a topic where consensus is difficult to reach.

“I’m a firm believer in on-base percentage, and it’s huge,” says Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes.

But is Gomes a believer that it is intuitive that on-base percentage directly correlates to runs scored?

“Definitely not,” he says. “There’s guys, and it’s hard to track — I’m a stat guy, I’m not a sabermetric guy. I’m not like this plus this plus this equals f—in’ this, you know? If you were to look at how many times a guy scores after a walk, that’s a big separation. If you walk Miguel Cabrera, is he going to steal second and score on a single to left? Probably not. Will he score from first on a double? Probably not. He can drive ’em in. I don’t think on-base really dictates if you’re gonna score. You look at a guy like (Giancarlo) Stanton, they’ll walk him — is someone driving him in?”

Looking at this season’s numbers, Gomes would appear to be correct. Among players with 100 or more plate appearances in the major leagues this season, Stanton ranks 49th with a .365 on-base percentage, and 136th with a rate of 0.1216 runs scored per plate appearance. The Miami Marlins, as a team, are last in the National League in every statistical category except triples, steals, and walks, a category in which Stanton leads the team by a hefty margin.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2013-09-09/on-base-percentage-obp-runs-scored-correlation-stats

Originally published: September 13, 2013. Last Updated: September 13, 2013.