# Daily Notes: Best and Worst Base-Stealers, By One Measure

Best and Worst Base-Stealers, By One Measure
Introduction
With regard to the art and science of base-stealing — and assessing its best and worst practitioners — it’s fair to say that there are two main elements one must consider. First, a runner must steal bases efficiently per attempt. Some combination of empirical study and also Pete Palmer reveal that, depending on the run environment of the league or park or whatever, a runner must generally be successful on something like two-thirds or three-quarters of his stolen-base attempts just to break even in terms of runs gained or lost.

Moreover, to be regarded as a legitimate base-stealing threat, a runner must also attempt to steal rather frequently per stolen-base opportunity. It’s fair to say that, all things being equal, two runners who’ve finished the season 5-for-5 on stolen-base attempts have been equally valuable in terms of runs produced from stolen bases. However, if the former player did so in 100 opportunities while the latter did it in just 20, then surely the latter must be regarded as the more impressive base-stealer.

To account both for the efficiency and frequency of 2013’s base-stealers, the author has first calculated every major leaguer’s stolen-base runs using the current linear-weight values both for stolen bases and caught stealing, and then divided that figure by stolen-base opportunities (i.e. plate appearances during which a runner is on first or second with the next base open). Finally, the author has multiplied that result by 100, such that one is left with stolen-base runs per 100 stolen-base opportunities.

The results of those calculations are available below.

Leaderboard: Stolen-Base Runs per Hundred Opportunities
Below are the top-10 players this season by stolen-base runs per every 100 opportunities (minimum 25 stolen-base opportunities). SBO stands for stolen-base opportunities; SBA, stolen-base attempts; SBA%, SBA per SBO; SBR, stolen-base runs; and SBR/100, stolen-base runs per 100 stolen-base opportunities.

Rank Name Tm SBO SBA SBA% SB CS SBR SB% SBR/100
1 Rajai Davis TOR 61 23 37.7% 21 2 3.4 91.3% 5.6
2 Elliot Johnson KCR 40 11 27.5% 11 0 2.2 100.0% 5.5
3 Pedro Ciriaco SDP 26 6 23.1% 6 0 1.2 100.0% 4.6
4 DJ LeMahieu COL 50 12 24.0% 11 1 1.8 91.7% 3.6
5 Jacoby Ellsbury BOS 153 36 23.5% 33 3 5.4 91.7% 3.5
6 Leonys Martin TEX 90 19 21.1% 17 2 2.6 89.5% 2.9
7 Jean Segura MIL 127 27 21.3% 24 3 3.6 88.9% 2.9
8 Jose Reyes TOR 40 5 12.5% 5 0 1.0 100.0% 2.5
9 Nate McLouth BAL 131 28 21.4% 24 4 3.2 85.7% 2.5
10 Everth Cabrera SDP 142 38 26.8% 31 7 3.5 81.6% 2.4

Laggardboard: Stolen-Base Runs per Hundred Opportunities
Now here are the bottom-10 players this season by stolen-base runs per every 100 opportunities (again, minimum 25 stolen-base opportunities):

Rank Name Tm SBO SBA SBA% SB CS SBR SB% SBR/100
1 Mark Kotsay SDP 26 2 7.7% 0 2 -0.8 0.0% -3.0
2 Clete Thomas MIN 41 3 7.3% 0 3 -1.2 0.0% -2.9
3 Jimmy Paredes HOU 30 5 16.7% 2 3 -0.8 40.0% -2.6
4 Robbie Grossman HOU 50 6 12.0% 2 4 -1.2 33.3% -2.3
5 Yoenis Cespedes OAK 76 7 9.2% 2 5 -1.6 28.6% -2.0
6 David Murphy TEX 69 5 7.2% 1 4 -1.4 20.0% -2.0
7 Jurickson Profar TEX 44 2 4.5% 0 2 -0.8 0.0% -1.8
8 Adeiny Hechavarria MIA 65 9 13.8% 4 5 -1.2 44.4% -1.8
9 Ryan Roberts TBR 45 2 4.4% 0 2 -0.8 0.0% -1.7
10 J.B. Shuck LAA 68 6 8.8% 2 4 -1.2 33.3% -1.7

Three Notes
• Arizona outfielder Gerardo Parra has recorded the lowest total of runs from stolen bases, at -2.3.

• Figures from Baseball Reference have been very helpful in the composition of this post.

• A complete spreadsheet of every major-leaguer is available here, provided the author has uploaded the file correctly.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Miami at Atlanta | 19:10 ET
Henderson Alvarez (N/A) faces Julio Teheran (95.1 IP, 96 xFIP-, 1.4 WAR). The former is making his first major-league start of the season after missing three months with a shoulder injury. There’s little information about his velocity, etc., over four rehab starts. Alvarez has averaged ca. 93 mph on his fastball as a major leaguer.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.7.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Donovan Hand* MIL 5 4 5 2 5 WAS Taylor Jordan* 11:05
Ian Kennedy AZ 3 2 4 5 5 NYN Dillon Gee 13:10
Matt Cain SF 6 6 6 3 6 CIN Mike Leake 13:10
Cole Hamels PHI 8 1 7 7 8 PIT Gerrit Cole 13:35
Eric Stults SD 4 7 6 7 7 BOS Allen Webster* 13:35
Zach Britton BAL 0 9 3 1 4 CHA Jose Quintana 14:10
Ubaldo Jimenez CLE 5 8 6 6 6 KC James Shields 14:10
David Phelps NYA 4 4 7 2 12 MIN Kyle Gibson* 14:10
Chris Archer TB 4 10 5 2 6 HOU Jordan Lyles 14:10
Travis Wood CHN 4 5 5 6 6 OAK Dan Straily 16:05
Justin Verlander DET 8 7 6 7 4 TOR Esmil Rogers 19:07
Hen. Alvarez* MIA 8 1 7 8 8 ATL Julio Teheran 19:10
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 8 5 7 3 7 TEX Martin Perez* 20:05
Chris Capuano LAN 4 1 5 9 5 COL Jhoulys Chacin 20:10
A. Wainwright STL 9 4 7 6 7 LAA Joe Blanton 21:05

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

Inline Feedbacks
Well-Beered Englishman
10 years ago

Goodness; I thought Mark Kotsay had retired years ago. I guess the joke’s on me the Padres.

Thanks for this work, Carse. The results do seem intuitively and especially useful.

Replacement player or below
10 years ago

How does he have a job? He must be a GREAT cheerleader in the clubhouse.

Well-Beered Englishman
10 years ago

This, or he well may have very soft lips.

Brian Reinhartmember
10 years ago

Resolution
10 years ago

How do we know you don’t just have a rare case of dissociative identity disorder where each separate identity assumes the same identity?

Jaack
10 years ago

I thought he had retired years ago when I saw him on the ’07 A’s. Dude probably has a ton of secret biogenesis documents that he leaks to Bud Selig slowly as long as he has a job.

easyrichboy
10 years ago

Google for pics of his wife playing ball. MORE than enough reason to keep ol’ Mark on a team!

Well-Beered Englishman
10 years ago

My gosh becuase I know, who I am! Maybe it’s you who is hijacking my identy. Get a life son.

Brian Reinhartmember
10 years ago

I believe I have previously disclosed in these pages that I work as a writer and editor. Bringing this up ‘becuase’ it is part of my ‘identy’.

Are you the same punter who posted as ‘everdiso’?

Well-Beered Englishman
10 years ago

This is getting really weird now. Are you stalking me??

I work in the Dallas area, as I have mentioned before here on these sites. So THIS IS MY ‘IDENTITY’!

Trillage
10 years ago