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Bucco Breakfast: 100 Days Until Opening Day

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Ralph Kiner’s 1953 Bowman card.

Opening Day is 100 days away, so let’s pass a few of those minutes until then by looking at Pirates players who have driven in 100 runs in a season.

Since RBI became an official stat in 1920, there have been 65 100 RBI campaigns compiled by 33 different Pirates players. Of those 33, 15 cracked the century mark multiple times, and 10 did it in at least three different seasons.

5: Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, Pie Taynor

4: Paul Waner

3: Brian Giles, Glenn Wright, Bobby Bonilla, Gus Suhr, Barry Bonds, Bob Elliott

While Kiner, Stargell, Bonds and most of the other members of this list need no introduction, Wright is a bit of an outlier. He was a good player in his time with Pittsburgh, but he was a below average hitter for his era. In his three 100 RBI seasons, his wRC+ rates were 92, 103 and 86. Meanwhile, Bonds’ wRC+ rates were 165, 155 and 198 in the three years he drove in 100. Bonds drove in 333 runs in those three years and Wright drove in 337. This is why RBI (deservedly) gets criticized, though I would argue it has aged better than some other old context dependent stats, like pitcher wins.

So of those 65 players who have driven in 100+ runs, how did their seasons compare to the rest of the league?

Courtesy of FanGraphs.

Roughly one-third of those seasons were “pedestrian,” ranging from the mid-80s to the upper 110s. For reference, that’s roughly the same production range as Jordy Mercer to Corey Dickerson. Another third were elite, producing at least 50 percent more offense than the rest of the league. That final, median third sat in All-Star territory, from 120-149. Pretty neat how that was fairly evenly divided.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. By my count, we now have 99 days, 23 hours and 58 minutes to go until Opening Day.

Daily Links:

The Pirates are kicking the tires on Tulo, according to reports by Ken Rosenthal and Jason Rollison.

The Jordan Lyles signing became official on Monday, and FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan thinks he’s a good little bargain.

Crow’s Eye has been doing great work in the FanPosts, and it looks like people are taking notice. Check out his debut piece with The Point of Pittsburgh from yesterday.

Finally, we lost a true die hard fan last week.