Loading... Please wait...

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

The Best and Worst Baserunners So Far in 2016

Posted by

Who comes to mind when you think of the best baserunner in baseball? Bill James created a statistic to measure baserunning production called Net Gain that takes into account stolen bases (SB Gain) and baserunning advancements on both hits and outs (BR Gain). Using this statistic, we can evaluate who the best and worst baserunners are so far in 2016.

Best Baserunners of 2016
Player Net Gain
Mike Trout, Angels +41
Brett Gardner, Yankees +35
Billy Hamilton, Reds +34
Rajai Davis, Indians +34
Mookie Betts, Red Sox +33
Note: through games of July 20

Mike Trout tops the leaderboard with a Net Gain of +41. Billy Hamilton, who dominated the leaderboard in 2015, is tied with Rajai Davis in third place with +34. He is only trailing Trout by seven despite missing 15 games this year. When we look at Net Gain as a rate statistic to account for the number of times each player was on base, Hamilton leads the way with 0.37 Net Gain per times on base. Note that the same five players are present on both leaderboards.

Net Gain per Times On Base Leaders of 2016
Player Net Gain Times On Base (Min 80) Net Gain per Times On Base
Billy Hamilton, Reds +34 91 0.37
Rajai Davis, Indians +34 108 0.31
Brett Gardner, Yankees +35 145 0.24
Mike Trout, Angels +41 176 0.23
Mookie Betts, Red Sox +33 153 0.22
Note: through games of July 20

The top two players in overall stolen bases this season - Jonathan Villar (34) and Starling Marte (33) - are not on the leaderboard because even though they have stolen more bases, they have not been running the bases as well. All five players listed above are in the top 10 in stolen base percentage among players with at least 10 stolen base attempts. Mike Trout leads Major League Baseball with 94 percent of his attempts being successful (17 out of 18).

The worst baserunners so far in 2016 are as follows:

Worst Baserunners of 2016
Player Net Gain
Yunel Escobar, Angels -21
Cheslor Cuthbert, Royals -21
Brandon Phillips, Reds -19
Jay Bruce, Reds -19
David Ortiz, Red Sox -19
Note: through games of July 20

Yunel Escobar and Cheslor Cuthbert are tied as the worst baserunners so far this season with a Net Gain of -21. The five players above combine for an overall stolen base percentage of 52 percent. They have also done really poorly taking the extra base with a combined advancement rate of 33 percent. David Ortiz, in particular, has an advancement rate of only 14 percent.

No Boots, No Walking

A good friend of “Stat of the Week”, ESPN Chicago radio host Mike Murphy, asked the following question: has a shortstop ever led Major League Baseball in the fewest errors and walks in the same season? This question was inspired by Tim Anderson, rookie shortstop of the Chicago White Sox, who has only one error [...]

Read More »


All-Star Game Starting Lineup vs. Total Runs All-Star Team

After the All-Star Game selections last week, let's see how the fans did in selecting the starting lineups by comparing the All-Star starters to the Total Runs leaders. Total Runs is a statistic created by Baseball Info Solutions that combines offense, pitching, defense, baserunning, and an adjustment that allows for comparison across positions into one [...]

Read More »


Who Will Throw the Next No-Hitter?

Nearing the halfway point of 2016, Jake Arrieta owns the lone no-hitter of the season, a feat he accomplished on April 21 against the Reds. In the mid-2000s, this scarcity of no-hitters would not have seemed strange, but following a total of 12 no-hitters thrown from 2014-15, it stands out. Offense is up [...]

Read More »


The White Sox’s Defensive Decline

The White Sox were the toast of the AL in the first few weeks of the season. Not only did their 16-7 start to the season earn them a three-game lead over the World Series champion Royals in the Central on April 28, it gave them the best record in the league. Only [...]

Read More »


The Best and Worst Defensive Players So Far this Season

Last season, Kevin Kiermaier led all of Major League Baseball saving an estimated 42 runs defensively for the Tampa Bay Rays. That was the most by any player in a given season since Baseball Info Solutions began tracking the data in 2003, and 13 runs ahead of the next ranked player in 2015, Ender Inciarte. [...]

Read More »


Who are the Rookie of the Year candidates?

It has been a great first two months for rookie performances in baseball, but it has not been the rookies many expected. Several elite prospects like Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios have struggled since their debuts and have landed back in the minors, but that has opened the door for some surprising and fun [...]

Read More »


Who’s Hot and Who’s Not…According to Bill James

The first month of the MLB season is already behind us, and as temperatures are heating up across the country, I am reminded of one of my favorite Stats of the Week to write each year: who’s hot and who’s not. Several years ago, Bill James developed a system to measure how hot players [...]

Read More »


Why Shifting Does Work

Renowned Baseball Prospectus researcher Russell Carleton wrote an interesting article earlier this week on Baseball Prospectus that utilized the Baseball Info Solutions shifts data made available by the great folks at FanGraphs and questioned whether defensive shifts are actually an effective technique. However, there are a couple of small flaws in the technique that [...]

Read More »


How Good Have the Cubs Been So Far?

One of our readers, Andrew Berman, shared some research he did where he looked into the best starts to the regular season in major league history, specifically referencing the Chicago Cubs and their 20-game tear to open up 2016. Andrew’s research references Bill James’ Pythagorean Winning Percentage, which uses a team's runs scored and runs allowed to estimate their expected [...]

Read More »



Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates