Probably more than any other sport, baseball reveres stats in the highest regard. Maybe it’s because there are so many games. Or maybe it’s because there are so many things you can measure. Or maybe it’s because there are so many variables, like the starting pitcher, and the outdoor conditions, and all that.
But it’s all secondary.
The point of any game is to win. Winning in baseball is determined by who has the most runs. Therefore . . . .
The most important stat for a batter in baseball are the runs scored.
The second most important stat for a batter are runs batted in.
Everything else – batting average, home runs, slugging, on-base – EVERYTHING – should just be a means to that end. A tactic. A cause and not the effect.
But you rarely hear the league leader in runs scored praised, at least for their ability to score runs. RBIs are a little more popular, but they are definitely the Holy Spirit equal in baseball’s trinity (batting avg. and home runs being much more popular). And I’ve never heard of many contracts that have bonuses based on runs scored.
But that’s really all that matters. More runs = more wins.
p.s. – We’ve got something special happening this year, as the leader for Runs Scored and Runs Batted In is the same person – Alex Rodriguez. That’s the ultimate production; how could anyone else be the MVP this year?