Who Has The Most Total Runs in 2013?

May 30, 2013

Since Defensive Runs Saved is expressed in runs, it is an easy metric to combine with runs generated by offense, baserunning, and pitching to create a comprehensive evaluation of a player. In The Fielding Bible—Volume III, we published our current method for Total Runs, which estimates the total value each player has contributed to his team taking into account offense, defense and pitching. Here are the current leaders in 2013:


Player Runs Created BR Runs Pitching Runs Created Runs Saved Pos Adj Total Runs
Joey Votto 49 2 0 6 4 61
Manny Machado 39 1 0 11 8 59
Miguel Cabrera 53 2 0 -6 8 57
Carlos Gomez 38 0 0 8 9 55
Dustin Pedroia 38 0 0 7 10 55
Paul Goldschmidt 42 1 0 7 4 54
Carlos Gonzalez 44 -1 0 3 6 52
Gerardo Parra 32 1 0 12 7 52
Chris Davis 52 0 0 -4 4 52
Jean Segura 42 -2 0 1 11 52
Hisashi Iwakuma 0 0 48 2 1 51


The top of the list has a couple of usual suspects in Joey Votto and Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is looking to repeat his Triple Crown from 2012. He leads all of baseball in batting average (.373) and RBI (57), and his 14 home runs are just three behind Chris Davis. He and Votto, who is sporting a Bonds-like .477 on-base percentage, are the frontrunners for AL and NL MVP.

Apart from those two, there are a few interesting breakout players. Manny Machado is baseball’s best defensive third basemen so far this year and has taken a huge step forward offensively in his second season. He actually is second on the list ahead of Cabrera. Paul Goldschmidt has really improved his defense in his first three seasons in the majors; his seven Runs Saved leads all first basemen. Carlos Gomez set a career high with 19 home runs last season and already has 10 this year. Gerardo Parra is the real surprise on the list. With the injury to Adam Eaton, Parra has capitalized on his playing time by saving the Diamondbacks an estimated 12 runs defensively in the outfield and is hitting over .300.

One pitcher made the list, and he may not be who you would expect to see. Hisashi Iwakuma has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits allowed per nine innings) among all starters in baseball (.839) and has a 2.35 ERA. He edges out Clayton Kershaw and Matt Harvey, who both fell just short of 50 Total Runs so far in 2013.

Note: Total Runs uses a few different measures of a player’s ability. We measure offense using Bill James’ Runs Created system. His system measures stolen base runs, but excludes activity on the basepaths other than that. We add in Baserunnning Runs to complete the offensive part of the equation. For pitching,we developed our new Pitching Runs Created system so that we can measure a pitcher’s contribution compared with a hitter. More can be found about that system in The Fielding Bible—Volume III. The last part is the Positional Adjustment. This is a technique we developed three years ago in The Fielding Bible—Volume II to take into account, for example, that a shortstop has more defensive value than a first baseman. Our Defensive Runs Saved system doesn't reflect the relative defensive importance of one defensive position compared to another, which makes the Positional Adjustment necessary.


COMMENTS (4 Comments, most recent shown first)

As of today, Tulowitzki has 67 total runs, which I think is second in the league to Cabrera's 69. How did he drop out of this earlier list?
7:31 PM Jun 9th
A tough rule of thumb is that 10 runs equals a win. As the prior poster points out though, you'd have to adjust the baseline for wins above replacement (or wins above average).
12:31 AM Jun 4th
John - are these lists prorated, or this metric has the top 10 players as being worth 50+ runs already?

+20 runs, over a full season, would be roughly replacement level, right ... or about +7 runs so far being replacement level ...

So if the list is NOT prorated the list has guys from +34 to +54 runs above replacement over the first 1/3 of a season?
4:18 PM Jun 3rd
What is the relationships between total runs and wins? How would we construct a version of Wins Above Replacement from these total runs figures?
3:25 PM May 31st
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