The RBI, much like the pitcher’s Win and batting average, have become much-maligned statistics in the age of OPS+, ERA-, and WAR.

While it’s true that most of those traditional stats have major (and fairly obvious) shortcomings, the attempts to stamp them out completely has fallen short for one primary reason, in my view: The players and managers care about them.

Particularly, when it comes to driving in runs, Nolan Arenado used to tell me with regularity that he considered himself a “run producer” at the plate and was more than happy to acknowledge the massive uptick in his numbers with runners on base and/or in scoring position.

It’s early yet, but that exact same phrase “run producer” is floating in the air around Hunter Goodman.

“I don’t know if something happens inside me. I don’t know if I notice a difference,” he told me after a three RBI performance against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

“Maybe I’m more locked in? I feel like sometimes pitchers can get into tendencies with guys on base. Maybe they are heavier off-speed with guys in scoring position. So, I feel like I do a good job of looking at that kind of stuff which enables me to have success with guys on base.”

He certainly did a good job against Jays reliever Trevor Richards who has one of the best change-ups in MLB. In the bottom of the fifth, Rockies down 5-3 and a pair of ducks on the pond, Goodman waited back, went down below the zone, and pulled a game-tying double into the left-field corner. 

“I faced him two nights ago and I think he threw me four straight change-ups so that was something I was thinking about going up there,” he says. “Got one up just enough to be able to do something with it.”

Goodman has seven RBI in seven games played at the major league level, he drove in 33 in just 15 games at Triple-A Albuquerque and had 78 in 91 games before that at Double-A Hartford.

So in 113 games across three levels, Hunter Goodman is sitting on 118 RBI with 24 games left on the schedule in 2023.

Ironically, he is still … sorry … hunting for his first MLB home run. He hit 34 of those in the minors this season, and that tends to help with the whole run producing thing as well.

He almost certainly won’t continue to bat .500 with runners in scoring position but with his Josh Donaldson/Justin Turner inspired right-handed hack capable of driving the ball to all parts of the park, he sure does look set to live up to the moniker of run producer.

Though it has only been a week, it’s easy to see why there is so much buzz around this 23-year-old who wasn’t even ranked by MLB Pipeline as one of the Rockies Top 10 Prospects coming into this season. 

“It’s pretty cool when you get to second or get to first and people are cheering and the dugout is excited,” he says. “Doing something for your team and then they give you that acknowledgement back? It’s pretty cool.”

It’s been a wild week and while it might look based on his stillness at the plate that Goodman has settled into MLB already, “I wouldn’t say it’s normal yet,” he says. “Every time I do something good, there’s always this cool feeling. It feels different. It doesn’t feel like the minor leagues. It’s still pretty exhilarating.”

For Rockies fans who have been tuning in despite the record of the club, they too have been exhilarated so far by the Hunter Goodman Experience.