I was speaking recently to another Mets blogger, and the topic of Justin Turner came up. After being unsurprised that a sabermetrician like myself prefers Josh Satin to Turner, he said that he liked Turner because, “Justin Turner is a clutch player.”
“There are certain players who are just better in clutch situations, you can’t deny that,” another person chimed in.
Before I knew it, I was by myself debating against a dozen other people trying to make the case that player’s performance does not change in high leverage situations.
Before we go any further, let’s establish a couple of things first. Clutch performances exist. On any given night, Justin Turner can in fact come through with a big hit in a high leverage situation. So can any other player in Major League Baseball. That’s the beauty of baseball. Any given player can come through in a clutch situation on any given day. There’s just no such thing as a player that is better in the clutch than he is in any other situation.