An interesting e-mail just dropped into my inbox.
John Dewan of Acta Publications has a “Stat of the Week.” This week he looks at something called Net Baserunning Gain, a stat Bill James helped come up with.
“It’s simply how many extra bases beyond average a player gains. For example, a runner goes first to third on a single about 30 percent of the time. The average is three out of ten. If a given player goes five out of ten, he is +2. We look at all the situations like this, scoring from first on a double, scoring from second on a single, and so on and so forth. If a player is thrown out on the bases, he receives a triple penalty (-3). And we count stolen bases, but it’s only a plus if it’s better than a success rate of two out of three (67 percent).
It makes a difference. The top ten baserunning teams are a collective 58 games over .500 and the bottom ten are 51 games under .500.
Here are the best (and worst) baserunning teams so far this year:
(The Yankees were at +64 last season, the seventh-best in baseball.)
Then we have this research from Baseball Prospectus.
It reveals that the Yankees have had 13 runners thrown out at the plate, among the most in the game. Seven have been gunned down going from second to home, which is tied for the most. That’s on Bobby Meacham.
The Yankees finally have their bats going. Now the coaching staff needs to help out by better picking when to run. The numbers are ugly.