Here's a question for you.
If Nick Markakis hit .338 this year with runners in scoring position and .299 last year, how come last year he drove in 101 runs and this year he had just 60 RBI?
Twice in his previous four full seasons with the Orioles, Markakis knocked in 100 runs and he averaged 91 RBI per year from 2006 to 2009.
Clearly this was a season where Markakis' batting average and on base were around what he has done before, but the power numbers were down.
If you analyze some Markakis stats from 2009 to 2010 you find two stats that help explain why he drove in 41 fewer runs this year.
First, he had fewer at bats this year with runners in scoring position. Second, he had fewer extra-base hits with runners in scoring position.
Nick with runners in scoring position by year:
2009: 167 at bats.......79 RBI.......25 EBH's........878 OPS.
2010: 136 at bats........45 RBI.........9 EBH's.......847 OPS.
So, Markakis had fewer RBI chances in 2010 and, while producing a very good batting average in those chances, produced many fewer extra-base hits.
In 2009, Markakis averaged 1 extra-base hit for every 6.7 at bats with RISP. That mark was 1 in 15.1 this past season.
Here are Markakis' average numbers for 2006 through 2009 and what he did in comparison this year:
06-09: .298-19-91,,,,,,,92 runs.....61 EBH's.....65 walks.....367 OBP....470 slugging.....838 OPS.
2010: .297-12-60........79 runs.....60 EBH's.....73 walks.....370 OBP....436 slugging.....805 OPS.
Markakis has already logged five full seasons and won't turn 27 until November 17.
If you want to find some player to be concerned about on the Orioles, find another player than this one.
While some of those numbers were down this year, by no means did the league figure him out. Markakis remains a key player, maybe the key player on this team.
Give him some better hitters around him and the RBI's will return. That and a healthy Brian Roberts hitting at the top of the order. This is a player that provides defense and hustle and as Buck would say "want to," on an every day basis.
Analyze his season? Sure that is worth doing.
Worry about Markakis or be concerned what he offers to the O's in 2011 and beyond? Not me.
Coming next week: Some quotes from Markakis on his 2010 season and outlook for the future for him and the Orioles.