Can you guess who the best Cardinals baserunner is? The worst? Answers at the bottom of this post.
I saw Kolten got picked off in my one inning of west coast baseball (I live in MD, thus the mdred.), and I saw Heyward thrown out on the bases in the recap this morning. Seems like we give up a couple of outs on the bases every game recently. I was convinced that we must be the worst baserunners in baseball, so I checked out the stats. According to fangraphs we are only 26th out of 30, and according to BP we are 25th out of 30. Only two teams, the Tigers and Mariners, are below us on both lists, but hey, that's two more teams than I imagined. We are definitely not the worst!
We're not even the worst in the last 30 days, 14 days or 7 days. Small sample size you say? From 2013 to the present, we are 28th of 30. Still better than the White Sox and Tigers. And hey, in 2011 we were 29th, and we all know how that ended.
So when you have visions of another World Series game ending with a pick off, remember that it could be worse. Plus, the Dodgers are pretty close to us on both lists, so it shouldn't be our biggest worry this weekend.
Now, to answer the question of the individual rankings. The top may not surprise you, but it's definitely not the order I was expecting. According to fangraphs, so far this season the Cardinals best baserunners (with 150 PAs) in order with MLB rankings are:
44. Jason Heyward 1.1
58. Matt Adams 0.9
76. Matt Carpenter 0.6
116. Kolten Wong -0.2
150. Yadier Molina -1.0
176. Matt Holliday -1.8
197. Jhonny Peralta -5.4 (Last in all of baseball.)
Lowering the bar for PA you get Bourjos at 0.6, Grichuk at 0.4, Jay at 0.0, and Reynolds at -0.8,
Maybe Peralta is just continuing the legacy of Allen Craig. Maybe this is all somehow Jose Oquendo's fault. I am a bit concerned that Matt Adams was our 2nd best baserunner and that somehow Molina is not the worst.
But whatever, I wouldn't trade any of them for Billy Hamilton. (OK, maybe an injured Matt Adams. It would be cool to have a guy on the bench in the playoffs that did nothing but pinch run.) Run like it's 2011!