There have been a lot of words written on the Cardinals' hitting success with runners in scoring position (RISP) last year. A lot of those numbers look at the batting average with RISP, especially with 2 outs. Maybe it's in comparison to others around the league (best team BA w/RISP in recorded history) or against their statistics with nobody on base - which itself was well below league average.

I wanted to look at the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals RBI production with a fresh set of eyes at a new set of data. If you didn't know, baseball-reference lists the major league average player's opportunities with men on base if you look at an individual player's game log from a single season.

I am just going to look at the typical St. Louis Cardinals' lineup last year (starting 8) plus Matt Adams to keep this relatively brief.

Leadoff hitter, **Matt Carpenter** came to the plate 717 times. He came up to the plate with 307 runners on base (133 on first, 107 on second, and 67 on third base). Carpenter drove in 78 runs. 11 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 67 out of 307 base runners (21.8%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 717 times would have seen 428 runners on base (215 on first, 139 on second, and 72 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 74 runs. If you assume 11 home runs, they would have driven in 63 out of 428 base runners (14.7%).

Through this relatively simple math, **Carpenter drove in 7.1% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

** ** Second hitter, ** Carlos Beltran** came to the plate 600 times. He came up to the plate with 355 runners on base (194 on first, 106 on second, and 55 on third base). Beltran drove in 84 runs. 24 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 60 out of 355 base runners (16.9%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 600 times would have seen 358 runners on base (180 on first, 117 on second, and 60 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 62 runs. If you assume 24 home runs, they would have driven in 38 out of 358 base runners (10.6%).

**Beltran drove in 6.3% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

Third hitter, ** Matt Holliday** came to the plate 602 times. He came up to the plate with 385 runners on base (211 on first, 111 on second, and 63 on third base). Holliday drove in 94 runs. 22 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 72 out of 385 base runners (18.7%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 602 times would have seen 359 runners on base (180 on first, 117 on second, and 61 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 62 runs. If you assume 22 home runs, they would have driven in 40 out of 359 base runners (11.1%).

** Holliday drove in 7.6% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

Clean up hitter, ** Allen Craig** came to the plate 563 times. He came up to the plate with 362 runners on base (187 on first, 113 on second, and 62 on third base). Craig drove in 97 runs. 13 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 84 out of 362 base runners (23.2%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 563 times would have seen 336 runners on base (169 on first, 109 on second, and 57 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 58 runs. If you assume 13 home runs, they would have driven in 45 out of 336 base runners (13.4%).

**Craig drove in 9.8% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

Fifth hitter,

**Yadier Molina**came to the plate 541 times. He came up to the plate with 347 runners on base (185 on first, 105 on second, and 57 on third base). Molina drove in 80 runs. 12 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 68 out of those 347 base runners (19.6%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 541 times would have seen 323 runners on base (162 on first, 105 on second, and 54 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 56 runs. If you assume 12 home runs, they would have driven in 44 out of 323 base runners (13.6%).

**Yadi drove in 6.0% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

**Sixth hitter,**

**David Freese**came to the plate 521 times. He came up to the plate with 374 runners on base (190 on first, 133 on second, and 71 on third base). Freese drove in 60 runs. 9 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 51 out of those 374 base runners (13.6%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 521 times would have seen 311 runners on base (156 on first, 101 on second, and 52 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 54 runs. If you assume 9 home runs, they would have driven in 43 out of those 311 base runners (13.8%).

**Freese drove in 0.2%**

*LESS*base runners than the league average hitter.Seventh hitter,

**Jon Jay**came to the plate 628 times. He came up to the plate with 423 runners on base (205 on first, 142 on second, and 76 on third base). Jay drove in 67 runs. 7 of those runs were himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 60 out of those 423 base runners (14.2%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 628 times would have seen 375 runners on base (188 on first, 122 on second, and 63 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 65 runs. If you assume 9 home runs, they would have driven in 56 out of those 375 base runners (14.9%).

**Chief Justice drove in 0.7%**

*LESS*base runners than the league average hitter.**Eighth hitter,**

**Pete Kozma**came to the plate 448 times. He came up to the plate with 295 runners on base (126 on first, 106 on second, and 63 on third base). Kozma drove in 35 runs. 1 of those runs was himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 34 out of those 295 base runners (11.5%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 448 times would have seen 267 runners on base (134 on first, 87 on second, and 45 on third base). The average major leaguer would have driven in 46 runs. If you assume 1 home run, they would have driven in 45 out of those 267 base runners (16.9%).

**Koz drove in 5.4%**

*LESS*base runners than the league average hitter.Lastly, the best bat off of the bench was

**Matt Adams.**He came to the plate 319 times, with 222 runners on base (121 on first, 70 on second, and 31 on third base). Adams drove in 51 runs. 17 of those runs was himself, due to hitting a home run; therefore, he drove in 34 out of those 222 base runners (15.3%).

The average major leaguer coming to the plate 319 times would have seen 190 runners on base (95 on first, 62 on second, and 32 on third). The average major leaguer would have driven in 33 runs. If you assume 17 home runs, they would have driven in 16 out of those 190 base runners (8.4%).

**Adams drove in 6.9% more base runners than the league average hitter.**

For the record, Descalso also had 350+ PA and over 200 base runners - driving in 17.9%. The average base runner in his situation would have driven in 15.0%, so Descalso was about 2.9% better than league average in his situation as well.

All in all, this led to the Cardinals being very successful with runners in scoring position - as the top 5 batters in the order were quite a bit better than league average and their top hitting sub was also much better. The bottom of the order was not nearly as successful last year - thus the acquisition of Peralta to play SS and a better defensive CF.

Thanks for your time! As always, comments are welcome and appreciated!