(BaseballSTL) -- If this is a coincidence it would have to be the mother of all coincidences. Allen Craig’s .484 average with runners in scoring position not only leads baseball, it’s borderline comical. Every time he walks up to the plate with runners on second and/or third base he comes through.
Every single time.
Some sabermetricians would have you believe this is a fluke. They’d argue hitting with runners on base is the same thing as hitting with no one on. To be honest, I’m not sure where that argument comes from other than a few numbers. They firmly believe it’s mathematically proven hitting in “clutch” situations takes no separate skill from hitting in general.
I could not possibly disagree anymore.
Anyone who says that never played a sport in their life. There is an anxiety that goes with important situations that only certain people can thrive under. Even terrific hitters fold miserably when faced with pressure.
Look at Allen Craig’s numbers this year more closely. He hits .484 with runners in scoring position. He hits .467 with runners in scoring position and two out. He hits a ridiculous .625 (5-8) when the bases are loaded. Yet he hits just .272 when no one is on base and an even more ordinary .245 when leading off an inning.
So to recap, the lesser the at-bat means, the worse Allen Craig is. The more the at-bat means, the better Allen Craig is. Oh, and by the way, this isn’t the first year it’s been like this. It’s a pattern, a trend. That’s not a coincidence. It’s fact.
There are those that can hit in pressurized situations and there are those that simply cannot. Some rot. Some excel.
Craig is one of those guys that simply excels.