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Thread: Who are the smartest base stealers ever?

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    I always thought that Davey Lopes was a smart and good baserunner
    3and2 fastball's post about Ricky made me think exactly the same thing.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Blog Entries
    Paul Molitor was a superb between-the bases base runner. In 1987 he played only 118 games yet lead the A.L. with 114 runs scored! Yowsa!

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    north shore of boston
    Pretty compelling case for Coco Crisp - from an article in Baseball Prospectus :

    Painting the Black
    The Unimaginable Base-Stealing Genius of Coco Crisp
    by R.J. Anderson

    When Coco Crisp stepped to the plate last season, his walk-up song was “Who Gon Stop Me." The chorus served as a legitimate question once Crisp reached base. Not many have showed the ability to stop Crisp in recent seasons. He went 39-for-43 on stolen base attempts in 2012, pushing his three-year total to 120 steals in 136 attempts. That’s an 88 percent success rate on 45 attempts per season. None of the six other players with at least 45 attempts since 2010 succeeded more than 83 percent of the time. Rickey Henderson never had a three-year rate of more than 86 percent throughout his career.

    The highest levels of baseball performance tend to have impressive streaks built in. Crisp’s basestealing in recent years has two worth noting. From July 10, 2011, until June 21, 2012, Crisp stole 36 consecutive bases without failure. Ignore pickoffs and Crisp’s streak creeps into August 2012 and encompasses another 15 steals. (The only catcher to stop Crisp in 2012 was Jose Lobaton.) Those high levels of performance leave us bewildered and curious. How is it that Crisp—who had a career 74 percent success rate prior to 2010—has turned into the league’s most efficient and prolific thief? Is it with Billy Hamilton-like speed, or Henderson-like wits and hubris*, or something else?

    I watched each of Crisp’s stolen base attempts in 2012 in an effort to find out. My initial plan was to write descriptions of each attempt while timing the pitcher and catcher, then to assign blame to the slow one in the battery. Yet by the time I finished reviewing Crisp’s final 10 stolen bases on the year (I worked backward), it was clear that the catcher was rarely at fault. Opposing backstops managed throws on just three of those final 10 steals, leaving Crisp to swipe seven bags without a challenge. On the season, Crisp stole 20 of his 39 bases without a throw, including four double-steal situations.

    As part of the review process, I kept track of a few variables along with the throw. Most notably, I reported the trigger on each attempt. If Crisp took off before the pitcher started his delivery, it was typically after a glance or two, so I recorded it as Crisp running on the look. If the pitcher had begun his delivery by the time Crisp took off, then it went down as Crisp running on the move. Here are the results in full:
    ''A sport without black people ain't a sport. That's just a game!... That's like me saying, 'Ooh, I got the highest SAT score in the whole world, but no Asians took the test.' What kind of crap is that? 'I just won the marathon. No Kenyans could run, though!'''
    Chris Rock

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    Did some playing around with PBP files and this is what I found for 1965.

    In 1965 there were 15 situations in which Willie Mays hit a single with McCovey on deck and less than 2 outs. In those 15 situations Willie ended up stealing second base while McCovey was batting 4 times. McCovey hit into a double play twice, forced out Mays another time, and was walked twice despite having Willie on base. In the 4 times that McCovey made an out without removing Mays Willie did not steal a base though there was one situation in which he got picked off first base but in the ensuing run down an error was committed and Mays ended up on third.

    If Willie was holding up at first to let Willie bat then why did he steal a base over 25% of the time when McCovey was up? Why did he never attempt to steal a base when McCovey failed to get on base?
    Does this not include when Mays walked?

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Second Base
    Vince Coleman's first 3 years in bigs (1985-1987) his SB/CS numbers were: 110/25, 107/14, 109/22. That's 84% success, and he ended up at 81% (752/177) for his career. He was amazing fast! I was at the game when he notched his 50th straight steal without being caught. Led the NL in SB the first 6 years of his career (also led in CS 3 of his first 4 years). Smartest base stealer? No clue, but he was certainly an amazing one for quite a while.
    Last edited by Herr28; 01-09-2013 at 11:46 AM. Reason: 6 years not 7
    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by yankillaz View Post
    I remember that McReynolds season. It was in 1988, when he stole 21 bases without getting caught, a record for a season. Lot of potential there. Was it due to his smarts?
    This was the first thing that came to mind for me too. McReynolds was by no means slow, though far from blazing too. I watched a lot of Mets games that year. He picked his spots very well.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Blog Entries
    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    Does this not include when Mays walked?
    It does not include when Mays walked.

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