Nelson Cruz: One of this era’s best clutch hitters

I was having a great day, just minding my own business, and then I found the SportsNation Polls on ESPN… Try them out, tons of fun.

This poll in particular caught my eye.
What’s your take on Nelson Cruz hitting 10 home runs in 24 career post season games?

The options almost made me vomit and die from laughter at the same time.
Door #1 – One of this era’s best clutch hitters
Hint, you are a moron if you choose this door.

Door #2 – Some clutch ability, some good fortune
Hint, still a moron

Door #3 – No such thing as a clutch hitter
Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! *Flashing lights/sound of coins falling*

Another option could have been, while very impressive, this is quite a small sample size.

Let’s take a look at the results:
#1 – 38%
#2 – 57%
#3 – 5%

Ho-ly shit. 33,151 people participated in this poll, that means that 12,597.38 people consider Nelson Fucking Cruz to be one of this era’s best clutch hitters. Ignoring the fact that clutch does not exist (way to go five percenters!), but Nelson Cruz? Seriously?

Well, okay, let’s take a look:
According to Fangraph’s Clutch statistic, which is about as credible as clutch gets, Nelson Cruz is -.35 for his career. Now, I don’t know exactly what the scale is for “clutch,” but I’m going to go ahead and assume that negative is not good.

According to Baseball Reference for Cruz:
tOPS+ 2 outs, RISP – 94
tOPS+ late and close – 89 
tOPS+ tie game – 91
tOPS+ within 1 run – 98

100 is average…

Nelson Cruz has been aided by a tremendous amount of luck, coupled with his ability to hit homeruns and play for the Texas Rangers, who play in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the stadium with the highest homerun factor in all of baseball, not some made up shit called clutch that people believe Nelson Cruz sprinkles over his bat every night before he goes to sleep.


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