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How much does baserunning matter to run scoring?

With all the recent hoo-hah about productive outs and the poo-pooing by ESPN talking heads Harold Reynolds and John Kruk about “lumbering sluggers” who “clog up the basepaths” (Kruk, at least, should know a thing or two about that), it’s nice to see someone actually dive into a pile of game data to see what real effect baserunning speed can have on one’s ability to score. Danil is your man for that, having kicked off a multi-part series to investigate the question. His entries so far are here, here, here, and here. I’m definitely looking forward to more. I do feel pretty comfortable in predicting that a slow OBP machine like Mike Hargrove will always be a better leadoff man/run producer than an impatient speedie like Omar “The Outmaker” Moreno, but I could be persuaded that there’s some tradeoff and overlap involved.

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One Comment

  1. William Hughes says:

    I think you’ll find that the all time great speedsters (Cobb, Wills, Brock, and Henderson) will be at the top of the list, however, when a Barry Bonds can go into May with a .682 OBP (that’s what I saw at Fenway Park on Saturday), there’s something to be said for the sluggers as well. Babe Ruth will be interesting, since he also had a high OBP and was deceptively fast.