Looking at 2013 numbers, it is always interesting to look at players who had more than nine steals but had a success rate of less than the famous Bill James "break-even" qualification of 75%. Because there's been a big drop off in stolen base numbers this past year -- due, in my opinion to better pitchers and defense in 2013 than we've seen in a long time -- let's be kind and only look at players below 70%.
-Maybe Texas gave up on Kinsler because of his declining stolen base ability?
-Same for Aoki?
-Russell Martin looked like he rekindled some magic with his stolen base ability last year. Nope! He was just reckless!
-Same goes for Choo. Perhaps he was trying to inflate his numbers for the big payday? Buyer beware...
-Overall, I would avoid any name on this list if you are looking for a "sure thing" in the speed category. Not to say that these numbers are certain harbingers of doom for these runners, but it's certainly a data point that is a red flag.
The best runners in the league, might you ask, amongst those with at least nine stolen bases?
-Yelich surprised me with his efficiency. He is all of the sudden a very intriguing prospect.
-Billy Hamilton is the opposite case. Everyone suspected him to steal every time, and he was still efficient.
-If only Josh Rutledge could get on base more...sigh.
-Craig Gentry was a nice pickup for the A's.
-Rajai Davis was arguably an even better pickup due to his low cost.
-Jack Ells wins the volume+efficiency award, followed by RD, Rios and CarGomez.
-Eric Young and Jean Segura also had high stolen base totals last year but with about 80 percent efficiency, which is good but not elite.
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