Gyorko Drove In Few, His Teammates Drove In Fewer

Jedd Gyorko led the 2013 Padres with 63 RBI. That’s a sad number, and this is a sad table:

Year Player RBI
2013 Jedd Gyorko 63
2011 Ryan Ludwick 64
1969 Nate Colbert 66
1988 Tony Gwynn 70
2003 Mark Loretta 72

Excluding the strike-shortened 1981 campaign, these are the lowest totals by single-season RBI leaders in Padres history. The numbers are almost as sad as being reminded of Ludwick.

You know what else is sad? Last year, Elvis Andrus hit .271/.328/.331 (81 OPS+) for the Rangers and had 67 RBI.

You know what’s sadder? Since 2000, Julio Lugo, Deivi Cruz, Neifi Perez, Rod Barajas, Juan Uribe, Yuniesky Betancourt (three times!), Joe Randa, and both Alex Gonzalezes have had more RBI in a season than Gyorko had last year.

Venturing back further, it gets worse. Since 1901, eight men have posted an OPS+ below 60 and collected more RBI in a season than Gyorko did in 2013:

Year Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ RBI
1937 Jackie Hayes .229 .282 .300 47 79
1901 Herman Long .216 .254 .284 50 68
1930 Tommy Thevenow .286 .316 .326 52 78
1924 Everett Scott .250 .278 .316 53 64
1901 John Ganzel .215 .256 .262 53 66
1932 Ski Melillo .242 .286 .324 54 66
1948 Virgil Stallcup .228 .253 .315 55 65
1925 Chick Galloway .241 .324 .299 55 71

Long, Ganzel, and Galloway all failed to crack a .300 SLG. Galloway is the first of two men since 1901 to knock 70 RBI with a sub-.300 SLG. Eddie Miller, the second, did it in 1943.

As a point of reference, César Izturis owns a career .322 SLG. These guys were worse than that and had more RBI than Gyorko.

Part of this is Gyorko’s fault. His bat disappeared when he had a chance to do the most damage:

Split PA BA OBP SLG
Bases empty 285 .272 .316 .485
Men on 240 .220 .283 .394
RISP 150 .184 .247 .382
Man on 3rd* 63 .145 .222 .309

*This includes 3rd only, 1st and 3rd, 2nd and 3rd, and bases loaded.

He drove in 28.7 runs per 100 plate appearances with RISP, as compared to the MLB average of 29.9. That’s subpar but not terrible.

Then again, all the Padres bats disappeared with RISP. The team hit .237/.319/.345 in such situations, posting an OPS lower than everyone else in MLB except the Pirates, Marlins, and Twins.

Fortunately, Gyorko is a good hitter who showed the ability to make adjustments toward the end of his rookie season. Maybe this year he can perform better at the plate when his teammates are on base and in scoring position.

Maybe he can even finish with more RBI than Andrus. And if Gyorko can’t do it, then at least maybe someone on the Padres can.

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