How Good Were the St. Louis Cardinals at Taking the Extra Base in 2013?

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 St. Louis Cardinals were not particularly fleet of foot. Nonetheless, clever baserunning saw them succeed at taking extra bases at a rate often above the MLB average.

Today, we're going to take a look at how good the Cardinals were in 2013 at taking extra bases once they had already reached base safely. To do so, we will be using the baserunning stats available at Baseball-Reference. I've changed the B-R labels a bit to make them easier to read in the charts. The stats we'll be using are:

  • 1B-S: The number of times a player, team, or league was on first base when the batter hit a single.
  • 1B-S-2B: The number of times a player, team, or league went from first base to second base on a single.
  • 1B-S-2B%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league went from first base to second base on a single.
  • 1B-S-3B: The number of times a player, team, or league went from first base to third base on a single.
  • 1B-S-3B%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league went from first base to third base on a single.
  • 1B-D: The number of times a player, team, or league was on first base when the batter hit a double.
  • 1B-D-3B: The number of times a player, team, or league went from first base to third base on a double.
  • 1B-D-3B%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league went from first base to third base on a double.
  • 1B-D-H: The number of times a player, team, or league safely scored from first base on a double.
  • 1B-D-H%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league safely scored from first base on a double.
  • 2B-S: The number of times a player, team, or league was on second base when the batter hit a single.
  • 2B-S-3B: The number of times a player, team, or league advanced from second base to third base on a single.
  • 2B-S-3B%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league advanced from second base to third base on a single.
  • 2B-S-H: The number of times a player, team, or league safely scored from second base on a single.
  • 2B-S-H%: The percentage share of times a player, team, or league safely scored from second base on a single.

2013: RUNNER OF 1B & THE BATTER SINGLES


2013

1B-S

1B-S-2B

1B-S-2B%

1B-S-3B

1B-S-3B%

MLB

8940

6313

70.62%

2501

27.98%

STL

372

253

68.01%

116

31.18%


The Cardinals were not a speedy team in 2013. Nonetheless, they were opportunistic on the basepaths. Last season, the Redbirds advanced from first to third on singles at a rate higher than the MLB average. The Cards' 31.18% first-to-third rate ranked seventh in the majors last year.

2013

1B-S

1B-S-2B

1B-S-2B%

1B-S-3B

1B-S-3B%

Wong

4

1

25.00%

3

75.00%

Cruz

3

1

33.33%

2

66.67%

Robinson

11

6

54.55%

5

45.45%

WIG

5

3

60.00%

2

40.00%

Carpenter

58

35

60.34%

22

37.93%

Descalso

16

10

62.50%

6

37.50%

Molina

28

18

64.29%

10

35.71%

Jay

40

25

62.50%

14

35.00%

Freese

35

23

65.71%

12

34.29%

Kozma

15

10

66.67%

5

33.33%

Holliday

39

26

66.67%

13

33.33%

STL

372

253

68.01%

116

31.18%

MLB

8940

6313

70.62%

2501

27.98%

Craig

54

40

74.07%

14

25.93%

Beltran

32

24

75.00%

7

21.88%

Adams

17

16

94.12%

1

5.88%

Chambers

2

2

100.00%

0

0.00%


Some of the individual players received so few opportunities to go from first to third on a single that it probably is not fair to use this stat from 2013 as any sort of indicator of their true baserunning talents. That being said, these numbers by and large feel about right. Craig, Beltran, and Adams were below average at moving from first to third on singles. Most interesting to me is Yadier Molina. The youngest of a family infamous for their lack of speed, Molina nonetheless advanced from first to third on singles at a rate very comfortably above average.

We've seen how the Cardinals of 2013 vintage performed when they were on first base and the batter struck a single. Here are the numbers for the Redbirds' offseason acquisitions: Peter Bourjos, Jhonny Peralta, and Mark Ellis.

2013

1B-S

1B-S-2B

1B-S-2B%

1B-S-3B

1B-S-3B%

Bourjos

10

5

50.00%

4

40.00%

Peralta

33

22

66.67%

11

33.33%

STL

372

253

68.01%

116

31.18%

MLB

8940

6313

70.62%

2501

27.98%

Ellis

34

25

73.53%

9

26.47%



Career

1B-S

1B-S-2B

1B-S-2B%

1B-S-3B

1B-S-3B%

Bourjos

45

24

53.33%

19

42.22%

Ellis

298

204

68.46%

93

31.21%

STL ‘13

372

253

68.01%

116

31.18%

MLB ‘13

8940

6313

70.62%

2501

27.98%

Peralta

276

216

78.26%

53

19.20%


If you read the Beyond the Box Score post on Peralta, his career numbers don't surprise you. There is some hope in the fact that the new St. Louis shortstop did a better job of advancing from first to third on a single than he has for his career. The Bourjos and Ellis numbers also aren't very surprising.

2013: RUNNER OF 1B & THE BATTER DOUBLES


2013

1B-D

1B-D-3B

1B-D-3B%

1B-D-H

1B-D-H%

MLB

2476

1411

56.99%

1007

40.67%

STL

102

59

57.84%

40

39.22%


El Birdos were a tick below average in 2013 when it came to scoring from first base on doubles. The club's 39.22% ranked 21st in the big leagues last year ahead of the Tigers, Rangers, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, Astros, Braves, Angels, Indians, Red Sox, Yankees, and White Sox.

2013

1B-D

1B-D-3B

1B-D-3B%

1B-D-H

1B-D-H%

Robinson

1

0

0.00%

1

100.00%

Descalso

3

0

0.00%

3

100.00%

Jay

14

5

35.71%

9

64.29%

Carpenter

8

4

50.00%

4

50.00%

Adams

8

4

50.00%

4

50.00%

Holliday

15

8

53.33%

7

46.67%

Beltran

7

4

57.14%

3

42.86%

MLB

2476

1411

56.99%

1007

40.67%

STL

102

59

57.84%

40

39.22%

Craig

15

7

46.67%

5

33.33%

Molina

10

8

80.00%

2

20.00%

Freese

13

11

84.62%

2

15.38%

Cruz

2

2

100.00%

0

0.00%

Kozma

3

3

100.00%

0

0.00%

Chambers

1

1

100.00%

0

0.00%

Wong

1

1

100.00%

0

0.00%


This list is not particularly surprising. Craig, Molina, and Freese are well below average at scoring from first on a double. One surprise, however, is Adams, who scored from first on doubles at a higher rate than Holliday and at the same rate as Carpenter.

The new 2014 Cardinals did not have many opportunities to scamper from first to home on doubles in 2013.

2013

1B-D

1B-D-3B

1B-D-3B%

1B-D-H

1B-D-H%

MLB

2476

1411

56.99%

1007

40.67%

Peralta

5

3

60.00%

2

40.00%

STL

102

59

57.84%

40

39.22%

Ellis

6

4

66.67%

2

33.33%

Bourjos

0

0

-

0

-



Career

1B-D

1B-D-3B

1B-D-3B%

1B-D-H

1B-D-H%

Bourjos

12

3

25.00%

9

75.00%

Ellis

92

41

44.57%

50

54.35%

MLB ‘13

2476

1411

56.99%

1007

40.67%

STL ‘13

102

59

57.84%

40

39.22%

Peralta

86

55

63.95%

28

32.56%


The trio's career numbers reflect their reputations. Again, Peralta's higher 2013 rate offers some reason for optimism that his baserunning may be improving some with age. On the other hand, Father Time and injuries may be taking a toll on Ellis.

2013: RUNNER ON 2B & THE BATTER SINGLES


2013

2B-S

2B-S-3B

2B-S-3B%

2B-S-H

2B-S-H%

MLB

5269

1918

36.40%

3134

59.48%

STL

238

80

33.61%

153

64.29%


I don't know if Jose Oquendo is to thank for the Cards' solid showing when it comes to scoring from second on singles. The Redbirds were MLB's fourth-best team at scoring from second on singles in 2013. Some individual players put up very high scoring rates in this situation.

2013

2B-S

2B-S-3B

2B-S-3B%

2B-S-H

2B-S-H%

Wong

3

0

0.00%

3

100.00%

WIG

3

0

0.00%

3

100.00%

Chambers

1

0

0.00%

1

100.00%

Jay

22

5

22.73%

17

77.27%

Holliday

33

8

24.24%

24

72.73%

Carpenter

35

10

28.75%

25

71.43%

Beltran

20

6

30.00%

14

70.00%

Kozma

13

4

30.77%

9

69.23%

Craig

18

3

16.67%

12

66.67%

Cruz

3

1

33.33%

2

66.67%

STL

238

80

33.61%

153

64.29%

Descalso

16

6

37.50%

10

62.50%

MLB

5269

1918

36.40%

3134

59.48%

Freese

14

6

42.86%

8

57.14%

Robinson

10

5

50.00%

8

50.00%

Adams

16

8

50.00%

8

50.00%

Molina

23

13

56.62%

9

39.13%


Whatever opportunism Molina is able to use when advancing from first to third on singles and Adams from first to home on doubles was apparently lost when it came to attempting to race home from second on singles. One might be surprised to see Craig with a rate of scoring from second on singles well above average. You should also know that he led the team with eight outs made at the plate. No other Cardinal had more than Molina's four outs at home.

2013

2B-S

2B-S-3B

2B-S-3B%

2B-S-H

2B-S-H%

Bourjos

8

2

25.00%

6

75.00%

STL

238

80

33.61%

153

64.29%

Ellis

13

4

30.77%

8

61.54%

MLB

5269

1918

36.40%

3134

59.48%

Peralta

18

11

61.11%

7

38.89%


Career

2B-S

2B-S-3B

2B-S-3B%

2B-S-H

2B-S-H%

Bourjos

34

8

23.53%

26

76.47%

STL ‘13

238

80

33.61%

153

64.29%

MLB ‘13

5269

1918

36.40%

3134

59.48%

Ellis

209

81

38.76%

122

58.37%

Peralta

176

78

44.32%

91

51.70%


It appears as if Bourjos will fit right in being sent home by Oquendo while Ellis and Peralta might not.

###

In 2013, the Cardinals did not have a lot of raw speed. Nonetheless, smart baserunning allowed them to advance from first to third and from second to home on singles at above-average rates. The club's savvy baserunning was an oft-overlooked skill of the National League champs.
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