Sacrifices are validated through the act of making an out to move a runner over. Yet so many other scenarios can emerge where an out did not occur but the intent to move the runner over was still achieved, therefore numbers just can't be crunched based on pure sacrifices versus hits.
What can be said is that moving a runner over one base, or replacing the slower runner at first base with a faster one, is a better result than hitting a grounder to the shortstop that results in a double play, or popping the ball up, flying out, or striking out, unless the strike out required the pitcher throwing 8 pitches or more, in which case we can assess some value for raising the pitcher's count significantly. The conclusion is there are productive outs and the attempts to quantify a productive out at present time appears to be oversimplified.
Not only do sacrifice bunts generate hits, there are scenarios when a batter hits the ball to the right side to get a runner over and instead gets a hit. The batter is not credited for a sacrifice because they got a hit instead, yet the primary intent of the hitter was to move the runner over. So instead the batter gets a hit and therefore it was not a sacrifice, a big inning ensues, and it's not counted as being caused by a sacrifice even though that was the original intent of the batter. What if the batter had tried to muscle the ball and pulled it to the shortstop and it turns into a double play?
The point being that a straight comparison of a runner on first base and no outs with a runner on second base and one outs is an oversimplification that denies complex baseball strategy. Lets add another scenario to the mix and then compare all three. What happens if we compare a runner on second base, one out, with no one on, no outs? If no one on, no outs, produces more runs in an inning than a runner on second base and one out, then I would agree that a sacrifice is not batter than an at bat. However, if a runner on second base and one out is better than no one on, no outs, aka the beginning of an inning, then a sacrifice is clearly better than the start of an inning, even if overall it is less effective than a runner on first base and no outs.
It is also important to note, as has been mentioned numerous times by numerous baseball announcers and former baseball players as announcers, the sacrifices that are made during the season can position a team to do better at sacrificing in the playoffs in closely, well pitched games where going for one run to get an early lead or late in a game is the right baseball move to make. Situational needs can defy baseball sabermetric logic. What if the opposing pitcher is pitching really well. Suddenly the likelihood of stringing three singles together may actually be statistically unrealistic versus a single, a sacrifice, and a single. Sometimes just getting that early lead, or scoring that one run late in a game is what decides the game. The overall issue of sacrifices producing less overall runs becomes a moot point because of the game situation.