According to FanGraphs, a “clutch score” measures “how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in context neutral situations.” Therefore, one can do extremely well in “neutral” (low-leverage) situations, and perform admirably in high leverage situations, yet their performance in high leverage situations isn’t as good as their performance in the neutral situations. Clutch score, in this context, is predicated on the notion of going above and beyond in those pressure packed, game-changing moments. So, if a hitter hits .300 in a neutral situation – no men on base, for example – he should hit .330 with RISP.
Last season, Robinson Cano owned the lowest clutch score in baseball at -2.37. Basically, the disparity between his offensive production in high leverage and neutral situations was tremendous (everyone knew that, too). Thankfully, that has changed this season, in 2010.
Currently, Cano owns a clutch score of -0.42, which is the lowest on the Yankees. However, his score, while negative, speaks more to how great he has been in every situation, as that has led to his negative mark. If Cano is hitting .489/.529/.979 with no men on base, an absolutely mind-boggling offensive line, it is then difficult to go above and beyond with men on base. For Cano to have a positive clutch score, he would have to do even more with RISP, or with RISP with 2 outs. Cano is hitting well with RISP this season as his current triple slash line in such situations is .300/.333/.550. He may not be producing in the way that he does when there are no men on base, but given that he hit .207/.242/.332 with RISP in 2009, his latest clutch score, though a negative number, is certainly read positively.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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