RBI leaders for 2014 tend to be Box-Toppers points leaders—but not always (such as NL RBI leader Adrian Gonzalez)

Leaders in runs batted in generally did well in Box-Toppers points, especially RBI leaders in the American League.

However, the overall leader in RBIs, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers, who drove in 116 runs, had one of the lower Box-Toppers point totals among RBI leaders—Gonzalez had 7.2 Box-Toppers points, ranking just outside the top 100 among all players in 101st place. He ranked 10th among NL batters.

Of the top 20 RBI leaders (listed in the chart below), 13 were among the top 100 players in Box-Toppers points. In the AL, eight of the 10 RBI leaders were among the top 100 players in Box-Toppers rankings. However, in the National League, only five of the 10 leaders were among Box-Toppers’ top 100 players for 2014.

In fact, the 10 AL RBI leaders had higher average RBIs, Box-Toppers point totals and Box-Toppers player rankings than the 10 NL RBI leaders:

• Average RBIs: The 10 AL leaders had an average of 104.3 RBIs. The 10 NL leaders averaged 96.5.

• Average Box-Toppers points: The 10 AL leaders had an average of 9.4 Box-Toppers points. The 10 NL leaders averaged more than two points lower—7.2.

• Average Box-Toppers player ranking: The 10 AL leaders had an average rank of 74th place. The 10 NL leaders averaged 112th place.

So while more RBIs generally translate into more Box-Toppers points, in specific cases there are many exceptions to that rule:

• The NL leader among batters in Box-Toppers points (11.6), Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, had only 52 RBIs.

• Buster Posey of the Giants, who had the highest Box-Toppers point total (8.5) of any player on the top 10 NL RBI list, had 89 RBIs, tied for ninth-most. (Posey ranked second among NL batters in Box-Toppers points.)

• Jose Abreu of the White Sox had the most Box-Toppers points of any batter in either league (15.5), ranking 14th among all players. However, Abreu ranked fourth in RBIs among AL players with 107.

• Mike Trout of the Angels led the AL in RBIs with 111. He had 8.5 Box-Toppers points, ranking seventh among AL batters and 78th among all players. (Trout won the AL Most Valuable Player Award.)

The lowest-ranked player in Box-Toppers points among the 20 RBI leaders listed below is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Kemp had 89 RBIs, tied for ninth among NL players. Kemp had 5.0 Box-Toppers points, ranking 193rd among all players.

Box-Toppers points are a measure of how much a player provides key contributions to his team’s wins. Specifically, Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

How RBI leaders fared in Box-Toppers points

Here are runs batted in leaders for the American League (left) and the National League (right) with their Box-Toppers point total (BTP) for the 2014 season and their rank in Box-Toppers points among all players (BTP rank).

Rank AL leaders Team Pos RBI BTP BTP

NL leaders Team Pos RBI BTP BTP
1 Mike Trout Angels cf 111 8.5 78 Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 1b 116 7.2 101
2 Miguel Cabrera Tigers 1b 109 12.5 28 Giancarlo Stanton Marlins rf 109 6.7 130
3 Nelson Cruz Orioles dh lf 108 8.5 77 Justin Upton Braves lf cf 102 8.2 80
4 Jose Abreu White Sox 1b 107 15.5 14 Ryan Howard Phillies 1b 95 7.2 102
5 Albert Pujols Angels dh 1b 105 7.5 98 Lucas Duda Mets 1b 92 8.5 79
6 David Ortiz Red Sox dh 104 7.0 105 *Adam LaRoche Nationals 1b 92 8.2 81
7 Jose Bautista Blue Jays rf cf 103 6.5 139 Ian Desmond Nationals ss 91 5.2 183
8 Yoenis Cespedes A’s/Red Sox lf 100 8.0 86 Matt Holliday Cardinals lf 90 7.5 97
9 Josh Donaldson Athletics 3b 98 10.5 53 Buster Posey Giants ca 89 8.5 76
10 *Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 1b dh lf 98 9.5 63 *Matt Kemp Dodgers lf rf 89 5.0 193

* Indicates the player was tied in RBIs with a player listed above them in rankings. In cases of ties, players are listed in order of their Box-Toppers point total for the season.

More on how 2014 stat leaders fared in Box-Toppers points:

Batting average leaders

In 2014, batting average leaders had low Box-Toppers point totals. Why? They came from losing teams, did not hit for power and were not often integral in their team’s (few) wins.

ERA leaders

Clayton Kershaw had a dominating lead among pitchers in earned run average and a dominating lead in Box-Toppers points. The top three pitchers in ERA in both leagues are among Box-Toppers’ top 10 overall players.

Home run leaders

Most home run leaders in 2014 also ranked high among batters in Box-Toppers points.

Wins leaders

Wins leaders—Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber—also led their leagues in Box-Toppers points. Also, pitchers like Kershaw and Kluber had more Box-Toppers points than wins, indicating their wins were more sincere and deserved than players whose wins outnumbered their Box-Toppers point total.

RBI leaders

In general, more RBIs translate into more Box-Toppers points. But in specific cases, some players among RBI leaders—such as NL leader Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers—were not among Box-Toppers points leaders.

Strikeout leaders

The top four pitchers who led each league in strikeouts were among the Box-Toppers’ top 10 players for 2014.