1971 Topps Frank Robinson AS MVP.jpg

In memory of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who recently passed way, I decided to take his 1971 card out for a spin in an interesting project.

In short, I looked at this as a fun experiment to test out the accuracy of Deep Drive Baseball’s formulas and I’ll go ahead and share the results with everybody.

I took every plate appearance that F-Rob had in 1971 and replayed it, using random.org to generate the dice rolls an ensure a highly-reliable level of randomness.

Robinson’s first plate appearance was against the Washington Senators’ Casey Cox with two outs and Paul Blair on 1st base. So that was the game situation I used for the plate appearance I simulated.

His second plate appearance was also against Cox with two outs and Blair on 3rd base. And so I used that for the situation in the next plate appearance I simulated.

And on and on I went, simulating all 545 plate appearance from Robinson’s 1971 season.

If anybody is really curious to see the spreadsheet where I have each plate appearance’s result, I’m happy to post that here.

But I’m going to go ahead and share the final results here…

Sim Real
AVG .297 .281
OBP .384 .384
SLG .490 .510
2B 26 16
3B 2 2
HR 20 28
RBI 85 99
BB 60 72
SO 58 62
HBP 10 9

As you can see, some interesting results there, but pretty darned accurate!

Robinson finished with a .384 OBP in the sim, just as in real life.

His batting average went up from .281 to .297, but his Deep Drive results tended to roll high, resulting in a lower SLG – down from .510 to .490.

Speaking to that, he had 48 total extra base hits, compared to 46 in real-life. Again, really close! But he had 10 more doubles than real life and 8 fewer homers.

(Rest assured, Robinson’s Deep Drive section has 58 HR readings and 33 DO readings, so the fact that he finished with 20 HR/26 DO is kind of a weird statistical oddity.)

Strikeouts also finished really close – 58 sim versus 62 real.

Walks weren’t too far off the mark, but he still finished a little shy there – 60 sim versus 72 real.

His 9 real-life HBP were pretty well replicated, as he finished with 10.

Not included up there, Robinson had 6 sac flies in the sim versus 8 in real life. He also reached by error 8 times versus 7 in real life.

Robinson was done in by a lot of double play grounders. In real life, he hit into 20 of them. In the sim – 28.

(In a real sim, you’d probably have called for the occasional hit and run, resulting in fewer than 28 double plays. I never called for a bunt or hit and run, though – just “swung away” on every plate appearance simmed.)

Overall, a really fun project and I’ll try to do something similar with another card in the future.

Hope you enjoyed this!