In the Red Sox-Rays game yesterday, one of the announcers mentioned that Dioner Navarro batted .314 this year with runners in scoring position (RISP) while it was only .214 last year. He said that Navarro improved in the clutch due to experience. Maybe, maybe not. His overall average went from .227 to .295, also a big jump. Experience might make you a better hitter overall anyway.
But I had an article published on a similar topic in "By the Numbers," SABR's statistical bulletin several years ago. It was called Clutch Hitting and Experience (I know, not a real creative title). I only looked at one year, but I found that more experienced players did better, relative to their normal performance, in close and late situations than less experienced players. For example:
"ONE THING I DID NOT MENTION IN THE PAPER WAS THAT THE AVERAGE OPS FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS (2000 OR MORE PA) IN THE NONCLUTCH WAS .815 AND .808 IN THE CLUTCH, A DROP OF ONLY .007. FOR THE INEXPERIENCED PLAYERS, THEIR NONCLUTCH OPS WAS .792 AND NONCLUTCH WAS .741. A DROP OF .051, MUCH LARGER THAN FOR THE EXPERIENCED PLAYERS. THE DIFFERENCE IN DECLINES IS .044. THAT IS HIGH IN BASEBALL TERMS. THERE IS A RELATIVELY SMALL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS OF PLAYERS IN THE NONCLUTCH BUT A MUCH LARGER ONE IN THE CLUTCH SITUATIONS."
So it is possible that experience affects clutch hitting. But it was just one study over one year. If you know of any other studies on this, let me know. Also, I have a page called Clutch Hitting Links. There are links to lots of good stories and research. If you know of any that are not listed there, please let me know about that, too.