Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record caught up with Brett Gardner after yesterday’s game against the Twins at Hammond Field – a game in which Gardner bunted for a single and subsequently outran a pickle between first and second (he got back to first safely) – and, naturally, the conversation the turned to Gardner’s productive base running.
“I don’t like getting out when I’m hitting, but… stealing bases, I take a lot of pride in,” said Gardner. “You don’t want to just go out there and run. You’ve got to know who’s on the mound, know who’s at the plate and try to pick your spots.” While Gardner was referring solely to his love of the stolen base in that comment to Caldera, in general, he was just an effective base runner while on base last year, advancing when he had to on balls on the ground, in the air, past the catcher, etc. Though I have discussed his stellar speed score in the past, another number, Gardner’s EqBRR – a value that measures a player’s base running contributions in runs – is certainly worth noting. Gardner’s EqBRR in 2009 was 4.9, the eleventh best mark in all of baseball. That’s basically half a win (10 runs equal a win). Mind you, Gardner accomplished this feat with very limited playing time, therefore, I expect him to better his EqBRR this season.
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