In 2004 Buster Olney of ESPN.com was very big on the idea of the productive out.
The productive out was defined as:
A productive out occurs when ...
A baserunner advances with the first out of an inning.
A pitcher sacrifices with one out.
A baserunner is driven home with the second out of an inning.
There is also "Productive Out Percentage" Productive outs divided by the total number of outs. For instance, if three of Player A's 10 outs are productive, his POP is .300.
ESPN.com ran weekly totals for this (tabluated by the Elias Sports Bureau) for 2004.
However, articles such as this one by Larry Mahnken cast serious doubts on whether productive outs were predictive of anything.
ESPN.com stopped running weekly totals in 2005, but Elias kept tabulating them. But in Olney's Insider blog entry for February 26, he revealed the leaders for 2005.
I'm sure everyone was waiting.
The AL leader was Tadahito Iguchi of the White Sox with 32. The NL leaders wer Luis Castillo of Florida and Omar Vizquel with 31. With Castillo moving to the AL, Vizquel should have the crown all to himself in 2006.
The Productive Out Percentage Leader (minimum 40 opportunities) were a pair of Molinas. Bengie Molina led the AL at .522 and Yadier Molina led the NL at .500. Three of the top 5 in the NL in POP were Cardinals, with David Eckstein and Abraham Nuñez at #4-5.
The most productive out making team in the majors was....
the San Francisco Giants with 211.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim led the AL with 187. Despite Iguchi's 32 productive outs, the White Sox did not crack the top five. The supposedly "smallball"-eschewing Red Sox had 184, the same as Detroit and Minnesota.
As Olney writes "The SABR world judges its value to be somewhere between useless and less-than-useless".