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Articles Tagged Stolen Bases 

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June 15, 2015 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Billy Hamilton

2

J.P. Breen

Is there reason to expect any offensive production besides steals from the Reds center fielder?

It’s an old adage in baseball that speed-centric players should keep the ball on the ground to best access the inherent advantage that speed provides a hitter. Plus-plus speed puts extreme pressure on the infield defense to quicken their fielding motions and their internal clocks, forcing miscues and free bases. Moreover, speed-centric players typically lack usable game power, so it’s a better strategy to put the baseball on the ground—either to find a hole or to leg-out an infield single—rather than hit a harmless flyball that completely negates the speed advantage.

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June 5, 2015 6:00 am

Rubbing Mud: Hustlin' [to Second Base]

2

Matthew Trueblood

Tyson Ross' weak point is exactly what you would expect it to be

Tyson Ross will make his 12th start of the 2015 season tonight in Cincinnati. Through his first 11, he has a 3.79 DRA, which pegs him as roughly league-average: He places 55th of 110 qualifying pitchers (50 or more innings pitched). He’s also made a surprising number of league-average individual appearances: the mean Game Score this season has been 52, and all 11 of Ross’s starts have resulted in Game Scores between 48 and 62.

Do you know how many other pitchers have started a season with a streak of 11 starts in which the Game Scores all fell into that range? None. Do you know how many times a pitcher has ever had 11 consecutive such starts? Never. In fact, even if you widen the parameters to include starts falling between a 45 Game Score and a 65, there have only been four streaks in MLB history longer than the one Ross takes into his face-off with the Reds:

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May 29, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Table-Setting Thieves

2

J.J. Jansons

Dynasty league owners should be taking notice of these leadoff hitters for their future stolen-base potential.

As power numbers have dwindled in recent years, dynasty owners have been focused on adding speed to their rosters in any way possible. Billy Hamilton stole 56 stolen bases in 2014 and finished as a top-50 contributor in virtually all formats, despite hitting .250 and compiling a sub-.300 on-base percentage. Hamilton’s 72 runs scored were not good enough to rank him in the top 60 hitters overall, so the vast majority of his value was tied to one category. Fantasy overlord Bret Sayre ranked Hamilton the 16th-best outfield dynasty commodity this winter, outlining the value that a top-flight base-stealer can add to a dynasty league roster.

As a dynasty owner, finding speed in the minors is often a tricky proposition. A prospect like Garin Cecchini can swipe 51 bases in Low-A ball in 2012 but fail to surpass 15 steals in a season as he’s moved up the latter due to the more advanced ability of pitchers and catchers to control the running game. That’s why it’s always important to listen to the great BP Prospect team to have them tell you who has elite speed and who is feasting on poor battery combinations in the lower minors.

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April 16, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases

5

J.P. Breen

A look at how the six new MLB skippers could impact players' fantasy values with their base-stealing philosophies.

A half-dozen teams have new managers in 2015. While that fact may have already crawled its way out of our collective consciousness in the first couple weeks of the year, new managers do have some impact on fantasy baseball production. Perhaps most directly, changes atop the totem pole in the dugout can lead to strategic differences on the base paths. In other words, the frequency with which a team runs on the basepaths can change with a new manager.

The Detroit Tigers are a prime example of this. In 2013 with Jim Leyland at the helm, the Tigers stole the fewest bases (35) in Major League Baseball. After Leyland retired and Brad Ausmus became skipper, the Tigers ran wild. Their 106 stolen bases a year ago ranked seventh in the league. Coming into Wednesday’s games, they had stolen the second-most bases in baseball. Different managers, different strategies.

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March 27, 2015 6:00 am

The Darkhorses: Steals and Saves

7

BP Fantasy Staff

Unlikely candidates to lead the league in these two fantasy categories.

Previous articles in this series:

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December 10, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: American League Speed Options on the Cheap

0

Keith Cromer

Don't overpay for steals! Instead, put these prolific thieves on your 2015 fantasy squad.

Having had the privilege of competing in the CBS Expert Leagues the past couple of years, I started my auction prep-work around this time each year, since those leagues typically auction in February. Along with my research on relievers, as I referenced in my Fantasy Freestyle article from last week, I also spend quite a bit of time trying to identify speed options that might be undervalued come draft day.

As I headed into the AL-Only 5x5 CBS Expert League auction this past year, I went in with a strategy to get either Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout at my sheet prices, buy Masahiro Tanaka at my sheet price, fill out my MI with fantasy-producing starters, and then figure out the rest as I went along. Well, I got Cabrera and Tanaka early as well as some solid middle infielders, and then focused my energy on getting a couple of speed guys, so I would not have to chase stolen bases later in the auction and overpay. The way the dynamics of the auction room played out, I was able to sit back and grab Rajai Davis, Jarrod Dyson, and Craig Gentry for a combined $5. No, that is not a misprint… that was a $5 investment that resulted in 92 stolen bases and $53 in earnings, or a $48 ROI, and I ran away (no pun intended) with the steals category in the league. For some reason, I have found over the years that there is not a lot love for these “one-trick ponies” despite the value they provide. As such, I always target and snatch these fantasy gems.

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A look at the players who could outperform their PECOTA projections when it comes to swiping bags.

One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer-shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’re taking a look at offense this week and pitching next week. To read the earlier editions in this series, click below:

Batting Average
Home runs
Runs Batted In
Runs




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September 27, 2013 6:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Hypotheses That Require Revisiting

3

Sam Miller

A look back at the great stolen base scare, the Giancarlo Stanton lineup protection debate, the first base drought, and more.

One option would be to just stay quiet for six months, wait until the season is over, and dump 9,000 articles on you all at once. But the other option is to write things with incomplete data, acknowledge the incompleteness, note that that data are interesting, compelling, suggestive or freaky, and revisit it later when you remember.

We try to do the latter. Here are a few things to revisit from the first few weeks of the season or just before the season.

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The staff recounts its fondest memories of players trying to swipe bags and others attempting to stop them.

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The steals they never saw coming.

Last week, David Ortiz stole third base for the first time in his career:

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April 30, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: Explaining Chase Utley's Stolen Base Success

3

Zachary Levine

How did Chase Utley become the best percentage basestealer in baseball?

To understand why Chase Utley, a man who is not very fast or really much of a base-stealer at all, stands alone as the most efficient base-stealer in modern baseball history, you have to look a little bit farther down.

Not much farther down, usually just a spot or occasionally two in the Phillies order. Stop when you get to Ryan Howard. The big first baseman, not any left-hander’s pickoff move or any right arm behind the plate, has been the biggest deterrent to Utley’s steals.

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April 19, 2013 5:00 am

Pebble Hunting: The Search for the Missing Steals

36

Sam Miller

Stolen bases are down so far this season. Why?

There was a time when goliaths roamed the Earth. Runs were plentiful, and with few natural enemies, these behemoths could grow larger and larger, more and more sedentary. They had no need to run, so they lumbered about, leisurely returning home unmolested by predator or foe.

But the metaphor could not last forever. Eventually, offense in baseball went back down to more typical levels, and the game once again welcomed back the singles hitter, the glove man, the productive out. And, as runs went down, stolen bases went up. I gave the following graph, showing leaguewide scoring and stolen base totals by year, a pun title. 

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