Fangraphs released a new baserunning statistic earlier this week. I’ll let MGL explain:
Base running linear weights or base running runs, or Ultimate Base Running (UBR), is similar to the outfield arm portion of UZR. Whatever credit (positive or negative) is given to an outfielder based on a runner hold, advance, or kill on a batted ball is also given in reverse to the runner (or runners). There are some plays that a runner is given credit (again plus or minus) for that do not involve an outfielder, such as being safe or out going from first to second on a ground ball to the infield, or advancing, remaining, or being thrown out going from second to third on a ground ball to SS or 3B.
Runs are awarded to base runners in the same way they are rewarded to outfielders on “arm” plays. The average run value in terms of the base/out state is subtracted from the actual run value (also in terms of the resultant base/out state) on a particular play where a base runner is involved. The result of the subtraction is the run value awarded to the base runner on that play.
Before delving into the Fangraphs leaderboards, I urge you to read the rest of that post. Much like with UZR, the metric accounts for many more things than you might expect, and questions that you might encounter later may be answered by the post.
Because the sample is incredibly small, I do not think it would be useful to look at this season’s results at this point. Instead, I wanted to highlight the career data for some current and former Yankees, as well as a handful of other players across the league. The data only covers 2002-2011, so we are limited in that regard. Also note that the difference between a good baserunner and a bad one is 15-20 runs, or 1.5 to 2 wins, over a career. That is not meaningless, but it is a pretty small spread and suggests that good baserunning provides marginal benefit to a club.
One thing that this metric confirms is that Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez deserve the accolades they get for being heady baserunners. Jeter has been one of the best baserunners in the league over the 20002-2011 period (+18.6 runs), while A-Rod has been strong as well (+9.5, although he has been slightly below average in the last 3 seasons). Nick Swisher has been +4.5 runs over his career, but is -3.6 runs as a Yankee. The Yankees’ speedy outfielders are pluses on the bases, as Brett Gardner is already at +8.8, a pace that would put him among the top baserunners in the game, and Curtis Granderson is at +12.3. Even Russell Martin is +2.5, which seems pretty solid for a catcher.
That brings us to the lone negatives among the regulars. Mark Teixeira has cost his teams 7.2 runs on the basepaths, including -2.7 as a Yankee. Meanwhile, Jorge Posada is at…..wait for it…..brace yourself….-38.8. Over the last two seasons he cost the Yankees more than one win (11.8 runs, with 10 runs equaling one win) with his slow feet and poor decision-making. It is nice to see a new metric conform perfectly to the observations that any Yankees fan with eyes (which is probably most of them) could have made.
Offered With No Comment
Bernie Williams is a -3.5 in the 5 seasons for which we have data on him. Bernie always struck me as a terrible baserunner, as he had instincts similar to Jorge’s and would sometimes seem to forget where he was. Conversely, I always found Hideki Matsui to be a fairly instinctual runner, and although a -4.6 last season has put him into the red for his career, he was a +4 as a Yankee. That’s a nice number for a pretty slow player.
Johnny Damon is one of the better baserunners in the sport, and his most memorable Yankee moment actually came on the basepaths in the World Series (although UBR would not measure that play, as it does not include stolen bases). He was +9.8 in 4 seasons as a Yankee, and has gained 28 runs above average as a baserunner in his career. Johnny’s good buddy Jason Giambi, on the other hand, grades out as terribly as he looked, with a -26.5 to his credit.
There were two other guys that I wanted to highlight:
Chone Figgins seemed to kill the Yankees for years, always taking the extra base and scoring manufactured runs that made you want to throw something through your television. UBR confirms that Figgins is/was a spectacular baserunner, as he trails only Juan Pierre in this metric over the tracked period (+41.7 runs).
Albert Pujols has a +20.7 UBR. The man can truly do everything.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Christina on Game Thread: Angels versus Yankees, Saturday July 14th
- walkfit platinum reviews on The TYA staff on the Yankees’ television and radio broadcast teams
- essentialtexting.com on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- www25.tok2.com on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- グッチ 財布 on Sunday Links-Joba’s Timetable, Comparing eras, Pineda
- raspberry ketone diet 1200 on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- Free riot codes on Off-Topic
- Fran on The Great Subway Race
- sleeping bag hand Orientation on What about Austin Romine?
- camping stove heat diffuser on What about Austin Romine?
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees