What If RBIs Were An Accurate Stat?

I'll spare you the anti-RBI rant, as we've all heard it before.  But what if RBIs actually reflected a player's offensive production?  To answer that question, I took Justin's runs-above-replacement stat (RAR, which is BaseRuns-derived linear weights with park and league adjustments) and found the best-fit equation with RBI:

deserved RBI = 17 + 1.6*RAR

So, if RBIs were useful, here's how the leader board would look.  I've basically just taken RAR and translated it onto the RBI scale.

Hitter dRBI
Albert Pujols 143
Lance Berkman 126
Manny Ramirez 126
Mark Teixeira 120
Grady Sizemore 118
Hanley Ramirez 112
Alex Rodriguez 110
Chipper Jones 107
Aubrey Huff 107
Jason Bay 106
Nick Markakis 102
Carlos J Quentin 101
Matt T Holliday 101
Adam Dunn 99
Milton Bradley 98
Ryan Ludwick 97
Xavier Nady 97
Chase Utley 95
Justin Morneau 95
David A Wright 95
Jose Reyes 94
Curtis Granderson 93
Dustin L Pedroia 93
Brian Roberts 92
Raul Ibanez 90

I don't know about you, but I love the idea that Brian Roberts could have more RBI than Raul Ibanez.

Here are the trailers, with a minimum of 400 plate appearances:

Hitter dRBI
Khalil Greene 2
Jeff B Francoeur 3
Freddy Sanchez 6
Michael R Bourn 6
Jeff S Keppinger 12
Melky Cabrera 12
Ross Gload 16
Carlos A Gomez 17
Yuniesky Betancourt 17
Willy Taveras 17
Pedro Feliz 17
Bobby Crosby 18
Jack Hannahan 18
Bill Hall 19
Gary Matthews Jr. 19
Emil Brown 21
Jason Varitek 21
Bengie Molina 22
Daric W Barton 24
Edgar Renteria 24
Jose Castillo 24
Miguel Tejada 24
Jason Kendall 24
Mark T Teahen 25
Robinson Cano 26

Uh, single-digit RBI totals?  Yes, those guys have been just that awful.  Remember when Luis Castillo couldn't pass the 40 RBI mark?  Yeah...  And did anyone predict that the Yankees would have two of the worst full time hitters this year?

How about the hitters who are most overrated by RBI?

Hitter dRBI-RBI
Ryan J Howard -72
Jeff B Francoeur -62
Bengie Molina -61
Jose Guillen -61
Garrett Atkins -52
Mark A Reynolds -51
Freddy Sanchez -44
Ryan F Garko -43
Mike Jacobs -41
Chris B Young -40
Bobby Crosby -39
Carlos Delgado -39
Emil Brown -38
Brandon Phillips -37
Bill Hall -35
Melvin Mora -35
Robinson Cano -35
Josh H Hamilton -34
Michael Young -34
Miguel Tejada -34
Miguel Cabrera -34
Pedro Feliz -34
Hunter A Pence -33
Khalil Greene -33
Garret Anderson -33

That list is pretty much dominated by low-walk, middle of the order hitters.  I'd make fun of Ryan Howard, but it's really just sad how far he's fallen in two years.

And, finally, who are the hitters most underrated by RBI?

Hitter dRBI-RBI
Hanley Ramirez 50
Albert Pujols 45
Brian Roberts 39
Jose Reyes 38
Chipper Jones 37
Curtis Granderson 36
Grady Sizemore 34
Ichiro Suzuki 33
Brian Giles 28
Lance Berkman 26
Milton Bradley 24
Johnny Damon 23
Manny Ramirez 22
Nick Markakis 21
Matt T Holliday 20
Chone Figgins 19
Ian M Kinsler 18
Dustin L Pedroia 16
Alex Rodriguez 15
Ivan Rodriguez 15
Fred D Lewis 15
J.D. Drew 12
Akinori Iwamura 10
Adam Dunn 10
Xavier Nady 10

And here you've got a whole bunch of high-walk leadoff hitters, plus some huge bats having phenomenal years.  Matt Holliday underrated?  Crazy.

To be completely forthcoming, I used RAR data through September 5th and RBI totals through September 9th.  Considering the depth of research in this post, I didn't think that would be much of an issue.  Thanks to The Hardball Times for supplying the stats Justin uses for his calculations.

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