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Thread: Why I think SB is underrated

  1. #1

    Why I think SB is underrated

    I might be in the minority, but I believe the stolen base is worth more to run scoring than the sabermetric formulas state. This comes with a caveat. I refer to the understatement of value when a player reaches first base with no other player on base. Here are the reasons for my belief.

    1. Any time a player reaches first base for via single, walk, HBP, or 1-base error, and there are no other runners on base when he gets there, then if he steals second before the next batter completes his plate appearance, it is no different than turning a single into a double. Let's say that Billy Hamilton reaches first base during the year on 193 occasions (what he is on pace for this year with 30 singles and 12 walks, and 2 ROE through 37 games.)

    Let's say that in 131 of 193 times he reaches base, he does so by batting with the bases empty (68% of his PAs this year have come with the bases empty.
    Then, every time Hamilton steals second, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into the equivalent of a double. For every caught stealing, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into an out. He is on pace for 83 SB and 9 CS. Look at how his stats would differ if we take those SB & CS and change his stats to show extra 2b and Outs. While there are times when Hamilton might steal 2nd with a runner on 3rd, most of his stolen base attempts will be with no other batter ahead of him on the basepaths, so just giving 68% of his successful steals as the equivalent of doubles is a gross underestimate. I am going to tweak that number up to 80% to more correctly approximate how many SBs to turn into doubles, since they would come with nobody ahead of him on base and thus stealing second would be the same as hitting a double.

    Hamilton 2017 Pace
    G 149 AB 657 H 166 2b 13 3b 18 HR BB 53 HBP 0 ROE 9 SF 3 Slash 253/307/347

    Hamilton 2017 Stats counting empty base times at 1st with 83 SB & 9 CS

    The 83 SB were turned into doubles by allocating percentage of each type of safe at first event
    Singles: 56 SB into Doubles and 6 CS become outs, removing the hit
    Walks: 23 SB into Doubles and 2 CS become outs, removing the walk
    ROE 4 E into Doubles and 1 CS becomes an out, removing the ROE

    80% of this allocation would be
    45 SB from singles to doubles & 5 CS from singles to outs
    18 SB from walks to doubles & 2 CS from walks to outs
    3 SB from error to doubles & 2 CS from E to outs

    Thus, Hamilton has the equivalent of this stat line
    G 149 AB 682 H 183 2b 79 3b 18 HR 4 BB 33 HBP 0 ROE 4 SF 3 Slash 268/301/455


    He would go from an OPS of 654 to an OPS of 756


    No current metric is in place that would rate Hamilton's SB and CS by the equivalency of 102 points of OPS, yet there is no difference in what he is on pace to do and the way most of his SB are the equivalent of being doubles. His OBP would be a tad lower with a total of 6 additional outs (9 CS with 3 new Times on Base that are not errors), but his SLG would be astronomically higher, with those 79 Doubles.

    2. I don't know if anybody except maybe Baseball Info Solutions has calculated how much different the OPS is for batters batting for the Reds when Hamilton is on 1st base as opposed to when he is not. I do know that Jim Gilliam believed his career was resurrected in the 1960's because he saw many more fastballs with Maury Wills on base. Pitchers and catchers knew that any offspeed pitch made it virtually impossible to catch Wills if he stole, so there were a lot more fastballs. Also, Gilliam believed he saw a lot more pitches on the outside of the plate, and he was able to go the other way with them.

    3. With a Hamilton, Wills, Vince Coleman, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson on 1st, no pitcher can fully concentrate on the batter like he might if an average runner were on 1st. Not only does this cause the pitcher to lose concentration on the batter, all the throws to 1st take a toll on his stamina. Also, all the extra throws are bound to eventually lead to pick-off errors, and these are not factored into the base stealers' records.

    4. There is a positive correlation to uber base stealing and runs scored. It is obvious that gaining a base 83 times and making 9 extra outs leads to considerably more runs, and the weighting never really equates that number of runs. When Wills stole 104 bases, he scored 130 runs. He stole just 40 the next year when LA won the World Series, and his run scoring dropped 36%. It went back up to 92 runs in 1965 when the hitless wonder Dodgers won the World Series again, and Wills stole 94 bases.

    5. I won't include the Deadball era, but there were teams then that won pennants with more steals than extra base hits. The SB was an essential part of offense, as teams had to bunt and steal bases to score. Being caught stealing or giving up an out on a SH did not take away as much as it would today, because not getting an extra base or sacrificing meant there was little chance to score, as it would take frequently take 3 hits in an inning to score a run in a time when the league OPS was under .650, even under .600 in the AL in 1908. 3 hits in an inning were rare then.

  2. #2
    Well, during his 104 sb season, Wills got on base at least 261 times. During that 40 sb season, it was 203 times on base.
    So what had the greatest factor in run-scoring, the bases stolen or the times reaching base?

  3. #3
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    The stolen base is underrated...

    I completely agree that the stolen base is underrated by todays sabermaticians. In fact many of them consider stolen base attempts a liability. In support of wes and in response to Iowanic I think some facts and context on the Maury Wills example are in order. Accordingly, I submit the following:

    In 1962 Wills played in 165 games and had an OBP of .347. In 1963 the number was 134 games and the OBP was .355. (31 fewrer games) In the context of fewer games the number of times on base is irrelevant and the OBP is what matters.

    In 1962 Wills stole 104 bases and was caught 13 times for a success rate of 88.9%. In 1963 he stole 40 bases and was caught 19 times for a success rate of 67.7%.

    In 1962 Wills scored 130 runs in 165 games for an average of .79 runs per game. In 1963 Wills scored 83 runs in 134 games for an average of .62 runs per game.

    This data shows a clear correlation between successful steals and runs scored despite a lower OBP. So in response to the question...the answer is...the stolen base.

    I agree with wes and further submit the reason the sabermaticians don't have a reliable stat (that I'm aware of) for measuring it is because it doesn' fit their paradigm.

    Jim
    Last edited by Sunny Jim; 05-16-2017 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Spelling grammar, punctuation and correction
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  4. #4
    I submit there are two factors at least as important as the stolen base total.
    How many times does the player get on base?
    Teams with the highest on base% tend to score the most runs; not the ones with the most stolen bases.

    The second factor is who's hitting behind who and how good on a year are they having? When someone gets on base a lot and the people batting just behind him are having a good year, those lead off men score a lot of runs. Wasn't Wille Davis just tearing it up the season Wills stole all those bases? The batting skill of Davis gave a huge assist to Wills run total.
    Stolen bases can be exciting and they can influence the outcome of games.
    But between getting a base a lot and only stealing a handful of bases and getting on below league average but piling up a bunch of stolen bases; I'll take the guy getting on base.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wes_kahn View Post
    I might be in the minority, but I believe the stolen base is worth more to run scoring than the sabermetric formulas state. This comes with a caveat. I refer to the understatement of value when a player reaches first base with no other player on base. Here are the reasons for my belief.

    1. Any time a player reaches first base for via single, walk, HBP, or 1-base error, and there are no other runners on base when he gets there, then if he steals second before the next batter completes his plate appearance, it is no different than turning a single into a double. Let's say that Billy Hamilton reaches first base during the year on 193 occasions (what he is on pace for this year with 30 singles and 12 walks, and 2 ROE through 37 games.)

    Let's say that in 131 of 193 times he reaches base, he does so by batting with the bases empty (68% of his PAs this year have come with the bases empty.
    Then, every time Hamilton steals second, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into the equivalent of a double. For every caught stealing, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into an out. He is on pace for 83 SB and 9 CS. Look at how his stats would differ if we take those SB & CS and change his stats to show extra 2b and Outs. While there are times when Hamilton might steal 2nd with a runner on 3rd, most of his stolen base attempts will be with no other batter ahead of him on the basepaths, so just giving 68% of his successful steals as the equivalent of doubles is a gross underestimate. I am going to tweak that number up to 80% to more correctly approximate how many SBs to turn into doubles, since they would come with nobody ahead of him on base and thus stealing second would be the same as hitting a double.

    Hamilton 2017 Pace
    G 149 AB 657 H 166 2b 13 3b 18 HR BB 53 HBP 0 ROE 9 SF 3 Slash 253/307/347

    Hamilton 2017 Stats counting empty base times at 1st with 83 SB & 9 CS

    The 83 SB were turned into doubles by allocating percentage of each type of safe at first event
    Singles: 56 SB into Doubles and 6 CS become outs, removing the hit
    Walks: 23 SB into Doubles and 2 CS become outs, removing the walk
    ROE 4 E into Doubles and 1 CS becomes an out, removing the ROE

    80% of this allocation would be
    45 SB from singles to doubles & 5 CS from singles to outs
    18 SB from walks to doubles & 2 CS from walks to outs
    3 SB from error to doubles & 2 CS from E to outs

    Thus, Hamilton has the equivalent of this stat line
    G 149 AB 682 H 183 2b 79 3b 18 HR 4 BB 33 HBP 0 ROE 4 SF 3 Slash 268/301/455


    He would go from an OPS of 654 to an OPS of 756


    No current metric is in place that would rate Hamilton's SB and CS by the equivalency of 102 points of OPS, yet there is no difference in what he is on pace to do and the way most of his SB are the equivalent of being doubles. His OBP would be a tad lower with a total of 6 additional outs (9 CS with 3 new Times on Base that are not errors), but his SLG would be astronomically higher, with those 79 Doubles.

    2. I don't know if anybody except maybe Baseball Info Solutions has calculated how much different the OPS is for batters batting for the Reds when Hamilton is on 1st base as opposed to when he is not. I do know that Jim Gilliam believed his career was resurrected in the 1960's because he saw many more fastballs with Maury Wills on base. Pitchers and catchers knew that any offspeed pitch made it virtually impossible to catch Wills if he stole, so there were a lot more fastballs. Also, Gilliam believed he saw a lot more pitches on the outside of the plate, and he was able to go the other way with them.

    3. With a Hamilton, Wills, Vince Coleman, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson on 1st, no pitcher can fully concentrate on the batter like he might if an average runner were on 1st. Not only does this cause the pitcher to lose concentration on the batter, all the throws to 1st take a toll on his stamina. Also, all the extra throws are bound to eventually lead to pick-off errors, and these are not factored into the base stealers' records.

    4. There is a positive correlation to uber base stealing and runs scored. It is obvious that gaining a base 83 times and making 9 extra outs leads to considerably more runs, and the weighting never really equates that number of runs. When Wills stole 104 bases, he scored 130 runs. He stole just 40 the next year when LA won the World Series, and his run scoring dropped 36%. It went back up to 92 runs in 1965 when the hitless wonder Dodgers won the World Series again, and Wills stole 94 bases.

    5. I won't include the Deadball era, but there were teams then that won pennants with more steals than extra base hits. The SB was an essential part of offense, as teams had to bunt and steal bases to score. Being caught stealing or giving up an out on a SH did not take away as much as it would today, because not getting an extra base or sacrificing meant there was little chance to score, as it would take frequently take 3 hits in an inning to score a run in a time when the league OPS was under .650, even under .600 in the AL in 1908. 3 hits in an inning were rare then.
    Well hamilton gets more than one baserunning win from WAR every year, that is almost half of his value and probably similar to the ops boost you cited.
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  6. #6
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    But the point is...

    The points are obvious but well taken. Generally speaking the more times a batter reaches base, the more likely it is that he will score...given of course that he has hitters behind him who can drive him in. That was certainly the case in 1962 with Maury Wills and the Dodgers.

    While Willie Davis was on that team, it was Tommy Davis who was tearing it up with a league leading .346 BA. In 163 games he got 230 hits...27 of which were HRS...and he drove in 153 runs.

    If he didn't get it done then Frank Howard did. In 146 games Frank got 181 hits...including 31 HRs...and had 119 RBIs with a .296 BA.

    But the point is, one cannot compare two seasons in which the number of times a runner is one base and the number of runs scored differs significantly when there is a game differential of 31. One must compare the ability of the runner to reach base and that is done with the "pure" measure of OBP.

    In this case, even though Wills had a higher OBP in '63 he was less successful in stealing bases and therefore didn't score runs at the same rate he did in '62. This makes the point that an "uber base stealer" (or even just a good one) can improve a teams ability to score runs by reaching scoring position on his own and thereby, increasing the probability that the following hitters will drive him in.

    The obvious point is again correct. One must get on a base before one can steal a base. The old baseball proverb "you can't steal 1st base rings true every time. But the point of this thread is that.the stolen base is underrated and I think a convincing argument for that has been made.

    Jim
    Last edited by Sunny Jim; 05-18-2017 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Spelling, grammar, punctuation and re-write
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  7. #7
    Hereís a very simple way to address this. The difference in run value between a runner on first and one on second is .237, .155 and .089, respectively, for 0, 1 and 2 outs. This is from a base-out table. If you assume that the frequencies of these base-out situations are equal, the average difference in run value is .160. In fact, it would be a little lower, because the frequencies of the 1 and 2 out situations are a little greater than that of the 0 out situation.

    The differences in run values are .358, .221 and .108, respectively, for runner on second vs. third. The average is about .230, though again, it would be a little less, because the 1 and 2 out situations are more frequent.

    So if you determine a weighted average of all these differences, including taking into account that third is not stolen as often as second, you will find that advancing one base is worth a little less than .2 runs. A SB is worth exactly .2 runs at FG. So if anything, the SB is given slightly more run value than on average itís worth.

    I didnít read the entire OP, but it seems that for every SB, youíre converting a single into a double, then determining the effect on OPS. But a SB is not equivalent to converting a single into a double. All a SB does is improve the probability that a baserunner will score. A double vs. a single does that, but in addition increases the probability that runners already on base will score. The difference in value between a double and a single is thus worth considerably more than the value of a SB. In fact, currently at FG, a double has a value of .3 run more than a single, 50% more than the value of a SB.
    Last edited by Stolensingle; 05-16-2017 at 05:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stolensingle View Post
    Here’s a very simple way to address this. The difference in run value between a runner on first and one on second is .237, .155 and .089, respectively, for 0, 1 and 2 outs. This is from a base-out table. If you assume that the frequencies of these base-out situations are equal, the average difference in run value is .160. In fact, it would be a little lower, because the frequencies of the 1 and 2 out situations are a little greater than that of the 0 out situation.

    The differences in run values are .358, .221 and .108, respectively, for runner on second vs. third. The average is about .230, though again, it would be a little less, because the 1 and 2 out situations are more frequent.

    So if you determine a weighted average of all these differences, including taking into account that third is not stolen as often as second, you will find that advancing one base is worth a little less than .2 runs. A SB is worth exactly .2 runs at FG. So if anything, the SB is given slightly more run value than on average it’s worth.

    I didn’t read the entire OP, but it seems that for every SB, you’re converting a single into a double, then determining the effect on OPS. But a SB is not equivalent to converting a single into a double. All a SB does is improve the probability that a baserunner will score. A double vs. a single does that, but in addition increases the probability that runners already on base will score. The difference in value between a double and a single is thus worth considerably more than the value of a SB. In fact, currently at FG, a double has a value of .3 run more than a single, 50% more than the value of a SB.
    There you go again with your heretical 5th grade-level voodoo math.
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  9. #9
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    3 points are in order here...

    I'm not sure I'm buying or even following the math here. Maybe someone else can weigh in or offer their insight into the calculations.

    Next...for the purpose of this discussion OPS is completely irrelevant. The caveat in this post was that the batter came to the plate with no one on and no one out. Accordingly, we are not trying to advance anyone or drive anyone in. So for our purposes it doesn't matter if the batter smacks one off the Green Monster and goes into 2nd standing up, or if he bounces one to Steve Sax and takes 2nd when the ball is thrown into the stands. The point is he is in scoring position with nobody on and nobody out.

    By the same measure it doesn't matter if our hitter drills a solid single up the middle or reaches base on a dropped third strike. The point is he is on 1st base with nobody on and nobody out.

    The value of the stolen base is now divided into essentially three parts. (1). The effect the threat of the steal has. (2). The effect of the actual attempt. (3). And the effect of the successful/unsuccessful steal. These are the things we are trying to value.

    And as pointed out in a previous post we still have to consider the nature of the upcoming htters and their ability to drive in runs when valuing the stolen base as a weapon.

    Jim
    Last edited by Sunny Jim; 05-17-2017 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Spelling, grammar, punctuation and re-write
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
    There you go again with your heretical 5th grade-level voodoo math.

    I volunteer with kids - tain't no way the majority of 5th graders can follow or do this kind of math. It's probably 50/50 at best at freshman level. They may be able to do stand alone equations, but if you make it any kind of word problem or continuity problem like we're discussing, the percentage drops way down.

    Let me put it this way - I'm an engineer, and a higher than you'd think percentage of young engineers have no ability to do word or continuity problems.

    That being said, maybe I'm being influenced by the horrible teaching/learning situation in NE Illinois. Maybe the rest of the country is different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny Jim View Post
    … The value of the stolen base is now divided into essentially three parts. (1). The effect the threat of the steal has. (2). The effect of the actual attempt. (3). And the effect of the successful/unsuccessful steal. These are the things we are trying to value. …
    And let’s not forget something else. What about the effect of runners on the pitcher?
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    Can someone do this to Rickey's numbers? Rickey appreciate
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post
    I volunteer with kids - tain't no way the majority of 5th graders can follow or do this kind of math. It's probably 50/50 at best at freshman level. They may be able to do stand alone equations, but if you make it any kind of word problem or continuity problem like we're discussing, the percentage drops way down.

    Let me put it this way - I'm an engineer, and a higher than you'd think percentage of young engineers have no ability to do word or continuity problems.

    That being said, maybe I'm being influenced by the horrible teaching/learning situation in NE Illinois. Maybe the rest of the country is different.
    I teach 5th graders every day. And what as in the post was finding the mean. Adding and dividing. They can all do that. Now - they would need my help to apply to it the problem (which they wouldnt be able to do on their own) - but they could certainly do the arithmetic involved.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by wes_kahn View Post
    I might be in the minority, but I believe the stolen base is worth more to run scoring than the sabermetric formulas state. This comes with a caveat. I refer to the understatement of value when a player reaches first base with no other player on base. Here are the reasons for my belief.

    1. Any time a player reaches first base for via single, walk, HBP, or 1-base error, and there are no other runners on base when he gets there, then if he steals second before the next batter completes his plate appearance, it is no different than turning a single into a double. Let's say that Billy Hamilton reaches first base during the year on 193 occasions (what he is on pace for this year with 30 singles and 12 walks, and 2 ROE through 37 games.)

    Let's say that in 131 of 193 times he reaches base, he does so by batting with the bases empty (68% of his PAs this year have come with the bases empty.
    Then, every time Hamilton steals second, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into the equivalent of a double. For every caught stealing, he has turned that BB, HBP, Single, or ROE into an out. He is on pace for 83 SB and 9 CS. Look at how his stats would differ if we take those SB & CS and change his stats to show extra 2b and Outs. While there are times when Hamilton might steal 2nd with a runner on 3rd, most of his stolen base attempts will be with no other batter ahead of him on the basepaths, so just giving 68% of his successful steals as the equivalent of doubles is a gross underestimate. I am going to tweak that number up to 80% to more correctly approximate how many SBs to turn into doubles, since they would come with nobody ahead of him on base and thus stealing second would be the same as hitting a double.

    Hamilton 2017 Pace
    G 149 AB 657 H 166 2b 13 3b 18 HR BB 53 HBP 0 ROE 9 SF 3 Slash 253/307/347

    Hamilton 2017 Stats counting empty base times at 1st with 83 SB & 9 CS

    The 83 SB were turned into doubles by allocating percentage of each type of safe at first event
    Singles: 56 SB into Doubles and 6 CS become outs, removing the hit
    Walks: 23 SB into Doubles and 2 CS become outs, removing the walk
    ROE 4 E into Doubles and 1 CS becomes an out, removing the ROE

    80% of this allocation would be
    45 SB from singles to doubles & 5 CS from singles to outs
    18 SB from walks to doubles & 2 CS from walks to outs
    3 SB from error to doubles & 2 CS from E to outs

    Thus, Hamilton has the equivalent of this stat line
    G 149 AB 682 H 183 2b 79 3b 18 HR 4 BB 33 HBP 0 ROE 4 SF 3 Slash 268/301/455


    He would go from an OPS of 654 to an OPS of 756


    No current metric is in place that would rate Hamilton's SB and CS by the equivalency of 102 points of OPS, yet there is no difference in what he is on pace to do and the way most of his SB are the equivalent of being doubles. His OBP would be a tad lower with a total of 6 additional outs (9 CS with 3 new Times on Base that are not errors), but his SLG would be astronomically higher, with those 79 Doubles.

    2. I don't know if anybody except maybe Baseball Info Solutions has calculated how much different the OPS is for batters batting for the Reds when Hamilton is on 1st base as opposed to when he is not. I do know that Jim Gilliam believed his career was resurrected in the 1960's because he saw many more fastballs with Maury Wills on base. Pitchers and catchers knew that any offspeed pitch made it virtually impossible to catch Wills if he stole, so there were a lot more fastballs. Also, Gilliam believed he saw a lot more pitches on the outside of the plate, and he was able to go the other way with them.

    3. With a Hamilton, Wills, Vince Coleman, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson on 1st, no pitcher can fully concentrate on the batter like he might if an average runner were on 1st. Not only does this cause the pitcher to lose concentration on the batter, all the throws to 1st take a toll on his stamina. Also, all the extra throws are bound to eventually lead to pick-off errors, and these are not factored into the base stealers' records.

    4. There is a positive correlation to uber base stealing and runs scored. It is obvious that gaining a base 83 times and making 9 extra outs leads to considerably more runs, and the weighting never really equates that number of runs. When Wills stole 104 bases, he scored 130 runs. He stole just 40 the next year when LA won the World Series, and his run scoring dropped 36%. It went back up to 92 runs in 1965 when the hitless wonder Dodgers won the World Series again, and Wills stole 94 bases.

    5. I won't include the Deadball era, but there were teams then that won pennants with more steals than extra base hits. The SB was an essential part of offense, as teams had to bunt and steal bases to score. Being caught stealing or giving up an out on a SH did not take away as much as it would today, because not getting an extra base or sacrificing meant there was little chance to score, as it would take frequently take 3 hits in an inning to score a run in a time when the league OPS was under .650, even under .600 in the AL in 1908. 3 hits in an inning were rare then.
    Problem 1 with your analysis is that doubles with the bases empty are worth less than random doubles. They happen to be worth virtually the same in sabermetric models as a walk plus a stolen base, so what you are saying is that a typical stolen base is like turning a single into one of the set of less valuable doubles, not typical doubles.

    You could just as easily argue that a walk is worth a single because some walks are worth the same as some singles.

    Now I think there are other issues. Do base stealers affect the pitcher (yes) and the fielders (yes).

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny Jim View Post

    The value of the stolen base is now divided into essentially three parts. (1). The effect the threat of the steal has. (2). The effect of the actual attempt. (3). And the effect of the successful/unsuccessful steal. These are the things we are trying to value.
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    And let’s not forget something else. What about the effect of runners on the pitcher?
    It's fine to speculate on these, but in the absence of actual quantitative evidence, it remains just speculation. We had this discussion before, when someone, it might have been Sultan based on his post here, argued that the true value of all of Henderson's SB was underestimated, because of the way he affected pitchers. In principle, this could be addressed. E.g., one might look at the wOBA of the batter following Rickey when the latter was on base vs. when he wasn't. But it gets complicated, because different batters may be involved, and certainly different pitchers are being faced. It's a little bit like the pitch-framing problem, which involved some fairly heavy duty algorithms.

    The one conclusion that is supported by a large body of evidence is that on average most batters most of the time hit the same whether runners are on base or not--this is the rationale for making the value of hits context-independent. Some of those times runners are on base they are SB specialists, but they don't seem to increase the likelihood that the batter gets a hit or walk. Maybe the effect is small, and is obscured by the large number of times slow men are on base, or the base ahead of a speedster is already occupied, etc. But at the least we can say that the evidence for context-independence doesn't support an effect of base stealing beyond the actual value of advancing one base.
    Last edited by Stolensingle; 05-18-2017 at 04:37 PM.

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    A few clarifications...

    Scorekeepers point is correct and I may have expressed myself poorly. I meant the total effect on the game et all. For the defense that includes the pitcher, the catcher, the infielders, (to a lesser extent) the outfielders, and even the manager. That means pitch selection,, coverage, positioning, strategy and anything else that might be considered.

    For the offense that might mean whether the batter swings or takes, tries to protect the runner by hitting behind him or tries to go the other way.

    Put as simply as I can...the threat of a stolen base and indeed the effect of a stolen base, changes the dynamic of the game. Can it be qualified? Can it be quantified? Can it be measured? Can it be valued? At some point does it become a tangible thing or must it always remain intangible?

    With regard to Brett's point, once again I think we might be getting a little far afield here. For purposes of our analysis I don't think it matters how the runner reaches second. Any attempt to correlate SLG, OPS+ or any other metric or measure clouds the issue and obscures the original question. We are attempting to determine the value of the stolen base and not compare it to an extra base it or an error or any other scenario.

    That may sound odd but what difference does it make if the batter doubles or if God miracles him to second? What we want to know is how how valuable is our "uber base stealer" while (a) he is on base as a threat to steal. Simple examples can include but are not limited to; does the next batter going to get a fastball instead of a breaking pitch? (b). How valuable is he while attempting to steal? Simple examples can include but are not limited to; an infielder moving to cover and thereby opening a hole for the batter. (c). And finally how valuable is he when he has stolen the base? Simple example can include but is not limited to, ball 1 with a runner in scoring position.

    With all that said, how about a little food for thought; Has anyone ever asked this question and done a simple comparison? Is a person more likely to score if he (a) reaches scoring position on a "batted ball" he, himself has batted or (b) reaches scoring position by stealing a base?

    Jim
    Last edited by Sunny Jim; 05-20-2017 at 11:00 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.". Leo Durocher

  17. #17
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    Guess what anti-analytics people of the world...

    The effect on SB on fielders and pitchers is not an intangible. It is is largely quantifiable and I would be shocked if several haven't already looked into it.
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  18. #18
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    Well, the impact depends on many variables. The inning
    and score, who is the runner, who is the batter; even who is the catcher.

    The pitcher's level of concern with the runner stealing all depends on these things, as it will impact everything from not only pitch selection but also rushing to the plate.
    "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
    Guess what anti-analytics people of the world...

    The effect on SB on fielders and pitchers is not an intangible. It is is largely quantifiable and I would be shocked if several haven't already looked into it.
    That is the effect of SB, which actually is going to be in the WPA anyway since the steal value is determined by what happens afterwards. The effect of having a potential base stealer on first is also quantifiable, but not currently in WAR.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    That is the effect of SB, which actually is going to be in the WPA anyway since the steal value is determined by what happens afterwards. The effect of having a potential base stealer on first is also quantifiable, but not currently in WAR.
    Right - WPA should be able to take care of most of the factors.
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    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

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