The best baserunner on the team

Perusing the Bill James Handbook, which has some interesting statistics about baserunning (on hits, not basestealing) this year. Anyway, the Braves’ best baserunner among regulars last year was Marcus Giles, and it isn’t particularly close:

  • He was on first base when a single was hit 16 times, and made it to third 8 times.
  • He was on second when a single was hit 20 times, and scored 14 times.
  • He was on first when a double was hit 9 times, and scored 4 times.
  • He was not thrown out on the bases all year.

His overall percentage of getting the extra base was 58 percent. No other regular player was over 50 percent. Furcal was at 47%, as was Langerhans. Francoeur and Johnson were at 45. Andruw was at 43, Chipper at 42.

Now, Pete Orr was at 60, in fewer chances; given his speed, he might be a better baserunner than Marcus. Might not. Brian Jordan is a legitimately outstanding baserunner, and was at 77 percent last year, including 6-7 in scoring from first on a double, though he too had limited time.

Marcus also was 84 percent in stolen base attempts (Furcal was at 82). And he was second on the team in OBP to Chipper. Just saying.

21 thoughts on “The best baserunner on the team”

  1. Did they count that time he scored from second on a sac bunt? What does that qualify as? I’ve never seen it before, so I don’t know. But that just pretty much confirms what I already knew. The guy is valuable. I really don’t give a flying fart if he doesn’t have all that much power; he’s a good hitter, a good defender, and a good baserunner. Plus he’s fun to watch.

    Off-topic: Is Andruw playing in the WBC, and if so, is he playing for the US or the Netherlands?

  2. This does indeed confirm what we already knew — as Jenny said, other than hitting for power (at which he’s just fine for a 2B), Giles does everything well.

  3. Tell me again why the Braves are uninterested in locking him up long-term? Is it the injury risk, or because he’s maybe too emotional?

  4. Did they count that time he scored from second on a sac bunt? I’ve never seen it before, so I don’t know.

    Willie Mays Hayes did it in the closing moments of the original “Major League,” though Jake Taylor was actually bunting for a hit, as there were two outs.

    Didn’t somebody take two bases on a sacrifice fly against the Braves last year? I forget who the runner or the outfielder was, or maybe I imagined the whole thing.

  5. If the rumors are true and Marcus is unhappy in Atlanta, then maybe the problem is not the Braves’ reluctance to lock him up long-term, but Marcus’s reluctance to do so. I don’t know. I haven’t noticed anything but hearsay that he’s unhappy, so I wouldn’t presume to speculate. But not signing him to a long-term contract because he’s “too emotional” would be ridiculous, IMHO. I won’t go into intangibles because that’ll start an argument, but this team was rather boring to watch until we got all those rookies up in the middle of the year. We need all the emotion we can get.

  6. If I had ot take one guess I woulda said Brian Jordan, just seems like he is always goign after that extra base and he cant keep his helmet on for more than 2 feet when running.

    After Jordan I woulda guessed Francoeur because of his aggresivness, Marcus wouldnt have been too far down the lsit though.

  7. Does that adjust for WHERE the hits were hit when guys were on base? If you have some righty pull hitters hitting behind you i’d be damn hard to go 1st to 3rd. Also we’re dealing with sample sizes small enough that’d i think its possible their could be significant random differences in the kinds of hits guys have hit when theyre on base and they kind of OF arms they face

  8. NMS, these stats obviously assume all singles are the same and all doubles are the same. Stats do not have the ability to adjust for the things you said. That’s why I always like to say it is more important to watch the games than to read stats.

  9. Jenny, I don’t think we need to read too much into Marcus not being happy with the Braves. The main reason why the Braves have not locked up Marcus with a long term contract is because they do not have to do so. Marcus is only entering his second year of arbitration year, and next offseason is probably the right time to discuss long term contract with him.

    You know the way Marcus plays, nobody can tell if Marcus will hurt himself again sometimes next year. In addition, Klesko has been the only exception in all these years that the Braves bought out the arbitration years of their players.

  10. The hitter who hit behind Marcus most often last year was Chipper, who hits it all over the place. After him, it was a righthanded pull hitter, Andruw. I don’t see a context where he got extra chances to advance unless Chipper’s leg problems turned should-have-been doubles into singles.

    Anyway, these stats reinforce my opinion — Marcus is a really good baserunner, and unless you’re worried about losing his power he’d be fine as a leadoff hitter.

  11. Speaking of baserunners . . . have teams stopped talking to Fredi Gonzalez about a managerial position?

  12. “Free agent Rafael Furcal has agreed in principle to a three-year contract with the Dodgers that would make him one of the highest paid shortstops ever, a source close to the negotiations said Saturday. The deal would guarantee Furcal, 28, nearly $40 million.

    “He is expected to take a physical Sunday and a news conference could be held in Dallas on Monday, the first day of baseball’s winter meetings.

    “Furcal, who has played his entire six-year career with the Atlanta Braves, is a fleet switch-hitter with excellent range and a strong arm. He has a .284 lifetime batting average and last season had 46 stolen bases, 31 doubles, 11 triples and 12 home runs. He has averaged 107 runs scored the last four seasons.

    “Furcal chose the Dodgers over the Braves and the Chicago Cubs, who offered slightly less than $50 million over five years. The Braves wouldn’t go higher than $36 million over four years.

    “The $13-million average annual value of the deal is significantly more than the $40-million, four-year deal the Boston Red Sox gave shortstop Edgar Renteria a year ago. Shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees makes nearly $20 million a year and Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles makes $11 million a year.”

  13. Sorry about the login; I didn’t notice, so I must already be cookied.

    Lugo may end up going to the Cubs now, since they still want a leadoff hitter and a shortstop.

  14. Giles is good. Very good in fact. But UZRs and ZRs aside, I just don’t see him as being a steady defensive performer.

    As for the base-running stats, I’d have to see more. How many times were there two outs? How many times did Bobby send him to stay out of the DP with Chipper up? A lot of variables, but I think the big plus is that he never got thrown out on the basepaths all year.

    Hate to see Furky go, but who in their right mind would have matched the Dodgers’ offer.

  15. “NMS, these stats obviously assume all singles are the same and all doubles are the same. Stats do not have the ability to adjust for the things you said. That’s why I always like to say it is more important to watch the games than to read stats.”

    Well, no. there is some PBP data that could give us some insight here. ANd mac, i was asking more about the stats in general, for its applications to other players, i know GIles’ factors.

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