There's been a rise of incidents over the last couple weeks 'round these parts where posters have used metrics such as RBI, AVG, and R to determine the relative worth of a player. As a fairly rigorous, stat-based community, our first reaction to that sort of thinking has ranged from surprise to disdain, which is fair enough. But!
I think it's only fair, in the interest of building a better commenting community, to ask a question about which I'm not certain. I ask that question in the form of the following hypothetical:
I'm at a party, having some beers with some friends, and someone says "I'm so happy the M's got Jimmy Dinger and got rid of Pete Productive. Productive was a terrible hitter - he only hit .246 last year! And only had 10 home runs! - while Dinger hit 27 home runs and was a stud" (hey, I said it was a hypothetical. Maybe it was a baseball party. That's a thing, right?).
I think I'm mostly looking for a list of a few easily-explainable metrics (this is key; remember, there are beers at the baseball party, and tons of verrrrrry casual baseball fans - we don't want to intimidate them) that are valuable enough to refute the arguments of those who still think BA and RBI are effective ways to measure talent, yet explainable with a sentence or two. I want to be able to gently educate people and not just roll my eyes and walk away, and I realized this morning I'm not sure I'm up on the best way to do that.
So, if you are a more statistically inclined person, what three advanced stats would you write on an index card for someone to tuck in their pocket and pull out the next time someone says something and supports it with old-school stats, so you can teach them a better way of looking at things?