Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quantifying Stolen Bases

Found these Sabermetric stats interesting:
Studying baseball over the course of multiple seasons has led us to believe that each extra base a runner adds, whether by stolen base or otherwise, creates on average 0.2 runs above what would have been scored otherwise. ... On the flip side, a player who is thrown out on the bases costs his team 0.5 runs below what would have been scored otherwise.


  1. Interesting. This would suggest that Ellsbury's efforts (26 stolen bases, 10 times caught stealing) have been basically a wash. Pedroia (16 stolen bases, 2 times caught stealing) has generated a couple of additional net runs for the team. And Crawford's base stealing (8 stolen bases, 4 times caught stealing) has been an overall negative.

  2. Thanks for the breakdown! I was a bit surprised to see that Ellsbury's stats come to a wash, given his crazy speed.
    I pondered this a bit more yesterday and got to wondering if there was a way to quantify the effect of a base stealer on the pitcher. For example, remember when Buchholz used to collapse whenever someone that could run got on 1st? He'd throw over to first too often and lose focus on the batter. I see this a lot with Ellsbury in particular - a lot of throws to first, pitch outs, etc. - and wonder how much a pitcher's concentration on first might effect his regular pitching. Of course, this effect would vary widely per pitcher, so I bet there isn't a standard way to measure it, but it could be another factor to consider.