John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™

Who are baseball’s best baserunners this year?

July 23, 2008

In the last three editions of The Bill James Handbook, we introduced a new statistic to measure baserunning.  It’s called Net Baserunning Gain and 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 plus two.  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:


Here are the best and worst baserunners:


For a complete discussion of this new statistic, The Bill James Handbook 2008 has an essay by Bill James that goes into detail.

Source: (through the games of Tuesday, July 22, 2008)

Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™,

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    July 24, 2008   Posted in: John Dewan

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