Predicting batting average, in MLB, is hard enough: now, imagine placing predictive value in batting average with runners in scoring position.
It’s even harder because sample sizes are often small.
However, certain batters have some calmness to their game that makes them relaxed in these situations, as opposed to tense.
A relaxed hitter will think clearly and execute better.
Texas Rangers infielder Marcus Semien seems to belong in this last group.
Highest batting average with runners in scoring position (min 25 at-bats):
.511 — Marcus Semien
.500 — Jonah Heim
.475 — Cedric Mullins
.455 — Yordan Alvarez pic.twitter.com/jGTmRQS0YR
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 22, 2023
25 at-bats as a minimum threshold might seem like a lot, but it’s really not.
Still, it’s the sample we have at hand at the moment, as the season isn’t even two months old.
Regardless of the significance of the sample, it’s impressive to see Semien hitting over .500 with men in scoring position.
The Rangers are the highest-scoring team in baseball with 297 runs.
That’s more than the Tampa Bay Rays, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and all the offensive powerhouses out there.
Semien has been behind some of that excellent performance, as he is slashing an excellent .305/.383/.492 with seven home runs and a 142 wRC+.
100 is a league-average wRC+, so Semien’s offensive output has been 42 percent better than the average hitter.
Semien has been very much involved in run-scoring plays this year: he has 43 runs and 38 RBI.
A lot of those RBI have come thanks to his excellent situational hitting: as stated, his hits have been very timely.
With 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, he has been one of the best players in the American League and is one of the biggest reasons the Rangers are currently first in the AL West with a 29-17 record.NEXT: The Rangers Are On An Impressive Dominant Stretch