Is Jason Bay really as great a base-runner as his 2009 numbers indicate?

Is Jason Bay really as great a base-runner as his 2009 numbers indicate?

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Is Jason Bay really as great a base-runner as his 2009 numbers indicate?

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Steve Phillips the other night suggested that Jason Bay was a better base-runner than the Red Sox may have initially thought.

Now, I have to admit, it is very difficult to pick up on one’s base-running skills from simply watching the games. When a ball is put in play and it looks to be driven deep into the gap, I am thinking about the ball, and watching it gloriously sail into the space between the outfielders. I am not watching the players round the bases. At least not that often.

If a single is hit to right, I DO recognize when a man takes 3rd, rather than simply settling for 2nd. And if a player steals a base, well, we all recognize that.

Anyway, Bay finished 81st in EQBRR in 2006. And 81st is actually pretty good.

There are a lot of baseball players, my friends.

In 2007, Bay was a below average base-runner, but above average again in 2008.

In 2009, Bay is really running the bases well, apparently. In a month and a half, Bay is third in that “Baseball Prospectus” created stat. Behind only Carl Crawford and Chone Figgins, and ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, who falls in at fourth.

And for of those who don’t know about this metric (and for those that are learning, like me)

Equivalent Base Running Runs. Measures the number of runs contributed by a player’s advancement on the bases, above what would be expected based on the number and quality of the baserunning opportunities with which the player is presented, park-adjusted and based on a multi-year run expectancy table. EqBRR is calculated as the sum of various baserunning components: Equivalent Ground Advancement Runs (EqGAR), Equivalent Stolen Base Runs (EqSBR), Equivalent Air Advancement Runs (EqAAR), Equivalent Hit Advancement Runs (EqHAR) and Equivalent Other Advancement Runs (EqOAR).

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