A batter receives an RBI when their presence results in a run being scored. There are exceptions to the majority of baseball regulations.
Most importantly, a batter will not be given credit for an RBI when a run is scored as a result of an error or a double play.
There are other ways to get RBIs, but it should come as no surprise that run-scoring hits are the most typical kind. Let’s look in-depth at everything RBI-related in baseball with this in mind.
Baseball fans enjoy checking over their favorite players’ season-long numbers. There are various metrics that can be used to evaluate a player’s ability, from wins for pitchers to their batting average for hitters.
What Does RBI Stand for in Major League Baseball?
When evaluating a hitter’s performance over the course of a game, a season, or their entire career, runs batted in, or RBIs, are one of the most frequently discussed statistics.
When a runner, or a number of runners, score during a batter’s at-bat, that batter receives an RBI. The most frequent sources of RBIs are hits by pitches, walks, and hits by batters (including home runs).
Additionally, there are a few instances in which a baserunner scores but the hitter still does not receive an RBI. These occurrences include wild pitches, errors, and double plays.
When a batter’s plate appearance results in a run being scored, he or she is typically given an RBI. However, there are a few outliers. When a run scores due to an error or ground into a double play, the player is not given an RBI.
RBIs are most frequently seen in run-scoring hits. Players also score an RBI when they are hit by a pitch or walk with the bases loaded. When a player strikes out, they can still accumulate RBIs if a run or runs are scored as a result (except, as noted above, in the case of double plays).
Examples of RBI Situations in an MLB Game
An MLB player can accumulate RBI points in a variety of ways throughout a baseball game. They showed the most frequent instances of an RBI complete during a game below.
▸ Hitting a base hit that scores a runner who is already on base
▸ Hitting a sacrifice fly via a fly ball or ground out, a sacrifice bunt like a suicide squeeze, or getting into a fielder’s choice that drives in a run
▸ A home run counts as an RBI for you, along with whoever scored on that play.
▸ Walking or getting hit by a pitch that drives in a run counts as an RBI
Reasons You Don’t Receive an RBI Credit
When the defense commits a mistake, the hitter is not given credit for an RBI. For instance, you might toss the ball away in the middle of a play only to have it result in a run. There is a pop fly in the outfield as well.
As well as grounding into a double play when a run is scored, a runner steals home while the batter is at the plate does not count as an RBI. Both a balk and any errant pitch that results in a run do not count toward RBI.
What is a Good RBI Total in Baseball?
Depending on where you bat on your team’s batting order, you can have a good or bad RBI total. For instance, a leadoff hitter’s duty is to reach base so that runners can advance to home plate.
The following batter has a chance to score an RBI by reaching base. Then, as opposed to a traditional leadoff hitter with no runners on base to begin a game, your number three or fourth hitter will frequently have more chances to drive in runs.
Although there isn’t an ideal number of RBIs, hitters in the cleanup position should aim for at least 100 in a season.
If you want to compare players based on their overall number of RBIs, it makes the most sense to compare leadoff batters to the leadoff hitters of opposing teams. If you were only looking at overall RBIs, it wouldn’t be fair to compare a leadoff hitter to your cleanup hitter.
How is RBI Different from OPS?
The main distinction between RBI and OPS is that whereas OPS measures a hitter’s ability to reach base safely or go to extra bases, RBI tracks runs batted in. On-base percentage and slugging percentage are both components of OPS. You can click on that link to find out more about baseball OPS.
Who Has the Most RBI’s in a Regular Season?
With 191, Hack Wilson has the most RBIs in a season. The top 5 players with the most RBIs in a season are shown below. To see everyone, visit the Baseball-comprehensive Reference list.
▸ Hack Wilson at 191
▸ Lou Gehrig at 185
▸ Hank Greenberg at 184
▸ Jimmie Foxx at 175
▸ Lou Gehrig at 173
Who Has the Most RBI’s in their Career?
Baseball’s all-time leader in RBIs is Hank Aaron, who has 2,297. The top 5 players in terms of career RBI totals are listed below.
▸ Hank Aaron (Hall of Fame): 2,297
▸ Babe Ruth (Hall of Fame): 2,214
▸ Albert Pujols (active player in 2021): 2141
▸ Alex Rodriguez: 2,086
▸ Cap Anson (Hall of Fame) 2,075
Why is RBI Not a Useful Stat in Baseball?
RBI isn’t always a good figure for assessing a hitter’s effectiveness, even though it does help to identify who is accountable for the runs driven over a season. Famously, Barry Bonds purposefully walked 232 times in 2004.
Occasionally, teams even intentionally walked Barry Bonds to score a run so he wouldn’t hit. The RBI rating was affected by this. The batting position also plays a significant role in why RBI isn’t as helpful.
A leadoff hitter’s responsibility is to reach base, while a batter who is in the third or fourth spot will have a greater opportunity to increase their RBI because the bases may be filled.
Additionally, some batters, typically those further down the lineup, prepare others to load the bases. They forfeit the opportunity to raise their RBI when they pass the baton to the following hitter.
In conclusion, comparing the RBIs (also known as ribbies) of different teams’ sluggers provides a great high-level perspective.
Theoretically, you want your team’s slugger in the lineup to score the most runs because they should have the most opportunities to bat with runners in the scoring position.
Even if more in-depth statistics can assess a hitter’s effectiveness in areas other than RBIs, calculating RBIs remains a simple approach to evaluating a slugger’s worth.