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Victor Martinez has a chance to do something rare

Sep 7, 2011, 2:36 PM EDT

Victor Martinez Getty Images

Victor Martinez‘s seventh-inning grand slam Wednesday gave him 89 RBI with just 10 homers this year.  He’s suddenly picked up the homer pace with two in his last three games, but he still has a good chance to become the first player since Jeff Cirillo in 2000 to drive in 100 runs with 12 or fewer homers.

Only nine players have pulled that off in the last 50 years:

1. Floyd Robinson (1962, CWS): 11 HR, 109 RBI
2. Wes Parker (1970, LAD): 10 HR, 111 RBI
3. Thurman Munson (1975, NYY): 12 HR, 102 RBI
4. Willie Montanez (1975, DET): 10 HR, 101 RBI
5. Keith Hernandez (1979, STL): 11 HR, 105 RBI
6. Tom Herr (1985, STL): 8 HR, 110 RBI
7. Willie McGee (1987, STL): 11 HR, 105 RBI
8. Paul Molitor (1996, MIN): 9 HR, 113 RBI
9. Jeff Cirillo (2000, COL): 11 HR, 115 RBI

Martinez has gotten the job done by hitting .327 and collecting 33 doubles this season.  Everyone else on the list also hit .300 with the exception of McGee, who got his 105 RBI despite a modest .285/.312/.434 line and a 94 OPS+ in the high-offense season of 1987.

  1. vince9663 - Sep 7, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    Too bad his WAR is only 2.2

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 7, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      Too bad he doesn’t play the field anymore, and his value is substantially diminished because of it. You can find plenty of guys who can hit nearly as well as he has. Not too many of them can do it as a catcher, which has been the reason for his great career value up to this point. As a DH, well, he’s good. And that’s not a bad thing.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      You know a 2.2 WAR is pretty good…right?
      And yeah, 2.2 wins for a DH with an .826 OPS sounds about right to me.

  2. bigleagues - Sep 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    When people offer a critical view of Ryan Howard’s RBI totals in the face of a batting average that is barely in the .250’s – and Phillies Phans counter that those criticisms are unfounded because Howard has a sixth sense for driving in runs despite his averages – Victor Martinez stands as the example of someone who seemingly does smell and deliver RBI where most players would not be successful. And it starts with Martinez selectivity and ability to work the account.

    • Mark - Sep 7, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      A lot of it has to do with him hitting fifth, and with Cabrera posting a 430 OBP it’s pretty easy to drive him in even without a HR given how often he’s on.

      I hate situational stats, but V-Mart is hitting 283/321/358 (680 OPS) with nobody on and an insane 403/440/575 (1.014 OPS). Which is pretty crazy.

  3. cleverbob - Sep 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Everyone knows RBI’s are meaningless.

    • kellyb9 - Sep 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      RBI’s are meaningless for teams that aren’t concerned with winning.

      • kellyb9 - Sep 7, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        Wow, someone thumbed me down. I understand baseball is very focused on individual statistics, and I’m a firm believer in the fact that wins is not a good indicator for pitchers and RBI’s are not a good indicator for hitters. But from a team perspective, they are the most important statistics.

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