Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Angel’s on the Basepaths

Posted by JD on February 5, 2010

My post the other day only touched briefly on a topic that I’d like to explore further: Angel Pagan’s base running. Questioning his base running skills is a thinly-veiled substitute for questioning his baseball IQ and man, do I think that’s overrated.  James Kannengieser’s post over at Amazin’ Avenue provides a more comprehensive defense than I could and really nailed the overall theme, but I’d like to expand on his comment that “Various baserunning statistics portray Pagan as above average.”

I recently acquired the 2010 Bill James Handbook. One of the unique features of this book is that it contains Bill James base running stats, his attempt to measure how well players run the bases. James creates league averages for base running events (such as advancing to third from first on a single), “sum(s) up all of the positives and negatives from players being above or below average,” and factors in stolen bases. This is a bit of an over-simplification (and I highly recommend purchasing this book), but for our purposes it leaves us with the number of runs above or below average each player generated on the base paths.

Here is a list of the 2009 Net Gain for the current Mets (including Blanco, Coste, and GMJ):

Name Net
Bay 14
Beltran -3
Blanco -8
Castillo 7
Church 1
Cora 5
Coste -8
Francoeur -11
Hernandez -1
GMJ 11
Murphy 7
Pagan 12
Reed -12
Reyes -1
Santos -8
Schneider 3
Sheffield -2
Sullivan -3
Tatis -2
Wright 23

Apparently, David Wright is an awesome base runner. But Angel Pagan was second on the team with a net gain of 12 runs on the base paths (Bay would have been second had he played for the Mets last year). This specific stat shows that Pagan is an above-average baserunner. Maybe we should tone down the criticism a bit?

Name Net
Bay 14
Beltran -3
Blanco -8
Castillo 7
Church 1
Cora 5
Coste -8
Francoeur -11
Hernandez -1
GMJ 11
Murphy 7
Pagan 12
Reed -12
Reyes -1
Santos -8
Schneider 3
Sheffield -2
Sullivan -3
Tatis -2
Wright 23
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3 Responses to “Angel’s on the Basepaths”

  1. Wendy said

    You the man DWright, tough year with the lack of power numbers but the speed numbers don’t lie either. Even with the absurd amount of strikeouts, when Wright got on base, he made things happen, and without Reyes in the mix for most of the season, Wright showed he is a sparkplug to be reckoned with, no doubt.

  2. Joe A. said

    Or maybe we should not believe every stat we read.

    • JD said

      I disagree. The stat isn’t making Angel Pagan out to be Ricky Henderson, it’s showing that he’s a better base runner than common perception indicates. I think that’s valuable.

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