It should come as no surprise that generally speaking the players with the most RBI are the ones with the most opportunities to knock in runs. So, it was with the 2021 Houston Astros, as Yordan Alvarez led the team in RBI and opportunities, followed by Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker.
That said, there were some that were better than others in RBI situations and a couple of surprises. This data was obtained from the 2021 Bill James handbook by Sports Info Solutions, a great read.
The RBI% is derived from a formula for each situation a batter faces when at the plate. I highly recommend the book, if you’re into baseball data.
Jose Altuve – .399
It should come as no shock to any Astros fan that Jose Altuve tops the Astros in RBI%. Batting leadoff, Altuve had less chances for RBI than any Astro with the exception of Michael Brantley, but still came through with 82 RBI on the season and knocked in nearly 40% of the runners available.
Yuli Gurriel – .374
The American League batting champ had a good season with runners on, too, knocking in 81, despite hitting only 15 home runs. This metric favors those that hit bombs, even with no one on, over singles hitters and that’s shown by the fact that Yuli hit .299 with runners in scoring position, yet was 4th overall on the team in this metric.
Carlos Correa – .369
Correa had the same number of RBI as Kyle Tucker, but he had four more opportunities which drops him a bit to 36.9%. Correa was in the five and six holes most of the season, but tallied the second most RBI opportunities on the team in 2021.
Alex Bregman – .362
We’ve detailed Alex Bregman’s mostly lost season in a variety of ways and this is another. The 55 RBI can be explained by the relatively low number of opportunities given Bregman’s injury. The fact remains that If given the same number of RBI opportunities Jose Altuve had, Bregman would have had only 75 RBI with this ratio.