Last Tuesday night, I watched the Royals score 2 runs in the tenth inning to beat the Mariners. The Mariners were actually lucky because 2 Royals were thrown out trying to steal in the tenth inning. The Royals seem to get 1-3 runners thrown out on the base paths during each game (e.g. as I write this Billy Butler gets thrown out making a wide turn at 1st base).
Well, how does the Royals base running compare to the rest of the league. I took all the times a runner was safe at first and was then picked off, caught stealing or thrown out running the bases in a non-force out situation (e.g. trying to go from 1st to 3rd on a single). Some teams will have more chances to get thrown out because they have more base runners so I found the percentage of times a runner was thrown out on a non-force play once the runner was safe at first.
How does the Royals compare to the rest of the league? Here is a list of the worst running teams so far this season (team and percent of time thrown out by a non-force play) :
White Sox 7.9%
Angels – 7.7%
Rays – 7.6%
Rangers – 7.6%
Padres – 7.6%
Royals – 7.5%
Now that base path incompetents have had their 5 seconds of shame, here are the teams that get thrown out the least amount of times on the base paths:
Red Sox – 3.3%
Phillies – 3.6%
Blue Jays – 4.0%
Tigers – 4.2%
Note: Here is a Google Spreadsheet of the all the teams for reference
The Royals are not the league’s worst team, but are not too far off. A few more running errors and they could quickly over take the White Sox.
Unnecessary outs on the base paths are frustrating to deal with as fans. Some of us fans though have to deal with it more than others.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.