Via Fangraphs, here are the final clutch scores for the 2009 Yankees:
Alex Rodriguez 0.91
Johnny Damon 0.80
Brett Gardner 0.36
Nick Swisher 0.05
Hideki Matsui -0.05
Jorge Posada -0.13
Melky Cabrera -0.40
Mark Teixeira -0.52
Derek Jeter -0.68
Robinson Cano -2.43
It’s important to reiterate that clutch scores, according to FanGraphs, are measurements “of how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in context neutral situations.” Therefore, when you see the beloved Mark Teixeira anchoring the bottom portion of this particular list, remember that one can do extremely well in the “neutral” situations — Tex is hitting .305 with the bases empty — and perform admirably in high leverage situations, yet their performance in high leverage situations isn’t as good as their performance in neutral situations (Tex is hitting .264 with RISP, which is still good just not as good as .305). Clutch score, again, is based on going above and beyond the call of duty in those pressure packed moments.
Now, do I agree with this clutch assessment? Well, not necessarily. I’m offering this list since it provides us with an interesting way in which to analyze the ever elusive phrase, “clutch.” Despite the quantifiable nature of the data presented here, I, like many of you, are not going to say that Nick Swisher is “more clutch” than Mark Teixeira—not with a straight face, anyway. However, I must say that I do agree with some of the list, as Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon definitely deserve to sit at the top whereas a guy like Robinson Cano — no surprise there — is probably right where he belongs.
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