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Fantasy Baseball: Runs Created-Useful Stat??

Bill James, the king of sabermetrics, coined the term "Runs Created", in his Baseball Abstract many years ago. Runs created, according to Wikipedia, is a statistic intended to quantify a player's contribution to runs scored, as well as a team's expected number of runs scored. Runs created is calculated from other offensive statistics. James' first version of it: Runs Created = (Total Bases * (Hits + Walks))/(Plate Appearances).

I saw another blogger mention this stat recently and decided to take a peek at its value as I have never used it before. Once again, I am looking strictly at the NL players. I took a look at a quick and dirty version of the "runs created" calculation by using the following formula:

(AB * OBP * SLG)

Here is a look at the top 5 hitters at each position according to Runs Created:

First Base

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
Pujols, Albert 1B STL 524 0.4618 0.6527 342 81 157.94
Berkman, Lance 1B HOU 554 0.4195 0.5668 314 79 131.73
Gonzalez, Adrian 1B SD 616 0.3614 0.5097 314 69 113.47
Howard, Ryan 1B PHI 610 0.3386 0.5426 331 78 112.07
Fielder, Prince 1B MIL 588 0.3718 0.5068 298 66 110.80

Second Base

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
Utley, Chase 2B PHI 607 0.3796 0.5354 325 78 123.37
Uggla, Dan 2B FLA 531 0.3603 0.5141 273 70 98.36
DeRosa, Mark 2B CHC 505 0.3756 0.4812 243 54 91.27
Johnson, Kelly 2B ATL 547 0.3488 0.4461 244 57 85.11
Phillips, Brandon 2B CIN 559 0.312 0.4419 247 52 77.07

Third Base

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
Wright, David 3B NYM 626 0.3905 0.5335 334 77 130.42
Jones, Chipper 3B ATL 439 0.47 0.574 252 47 118.43
Braun, Ryan J. 3B MIL 611 0.3348 0.5532 338 83 113.16
Ramirez, Aramis 3B CHC 554 0.3798 0.5181 287 72 109.01
Glaus, Troy 3B STL 544 0.3721 0.4835 263 61 97.87

Shortstop

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
Ramirez, Hanley SS FLA 589 0.3997 0.5399 318 71 127.11
Reyes, Jose B. SS NYM 688 0.3575 0.4753 327 72 116.90
Drew, Stephen SS ARI 611 0.3333 0.5025 307 76 102.33
Hardy, J.J. SS MIL 569 0.3429 0.478 272 59 93.26
Guzman, Cristian SS WAS 579 0.3453 0.4404 255 49 88.05

Outfield

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
Ramirez, Manny LF LA 552 0.4297 0.6014 332 74 142.65
Ludwick, Ryan OF STL 538 0.375 0.5911 318 80 119.25
Holliday, Matt LF COL 539 0.4093 0.538 290 65 118.69
Beltran, Carlos CF NYM 606 0.3759 0.5 303 72 113.90
McLouth, Nate CF PIT 597 0.3559 0.4975 297 76 105.70
Dunn, Adam LF ARI 517 0.3856 0.5126 265 63 102.19
Giles, Brian RF SD 559 0.3982 0.4562 255 56 101.55
Ethier, Andre LF LA 525 0.3748 0.5105 268 63 100.45
Burrell, Pat LF PHI 536 0.3674 0.5075 272 69 99.94
Kemp, Matt CF LA 606 0.3399 0.4587 278 61 94.48

Catchers

Player AB OBP SLG TB XBH RC
McCann, Brian C ATL 509 0.3735 0.5226 266 66 99.35
Soto, Geovany C CHC 494 0.3641 0.504 249 60 90.65
Martin, Russell C LA 553 0.3846 0.396 219 38 84.22
Doumit, Ryan C PIT 431 0.357 0.5012 216 49 77.12
Molina, Bengie C SF 530 0.3216 0.4453 236 49 75.90
Iannetta, Chris C COL 333 0.3901 0.5045 168 42 65.54

Yeah, I would say it's useful. A few things stood out for me:

1. Chris Iannetta: give him 500 ABs and he is a top 3 catcher.

2. Rafael Furcal: he had 36 runs created in only 143 ABs. Those were Pujols numbers over a full season should he have stayed healthy, but I tend to think he would have slipped off playing such a demanding position.

3. Ian Stewart: yeah, another Rockie, had 42 runs created in only 266 ABs. He should get 550 ABs next season should Colorado trade Garret Atkins. That should put him in the top 3-5 3bman in the NL. Can you say sleeper?

4. Joey Votto-he produced 98 runs created in 526 ABs in his first major league season. Something tells me he will be top 5-6 at 1b in 2009.

5. Andre Ethier/Matt Kemp-both in the top 10 of NL outfielders in their first full season.

What do faketeamers think?