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Kris Bryant Baserunning

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Kris Bryant’s baserunning yesterday was one of the keys to the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory. His baserunning was also excellent during the season. He had a Baserunning Gain of +29, meaning he gained about 29 bases on the basepaths more than an average runner (not counting basestealing). From the Bill James Handbook, which was just released this past Tuesday, here is a list of the top baserunners from last season:

Player Baserunning Gain, 2016
Player Baserunning Gain
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels +42
Brett Gardner, New York Yankees +35
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox +33
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs +29
Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds +26
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians +25
Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks +24
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers +22
Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins +22
Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs +22

Three players who played in the 2016 World Series are on the leaderboard for Baserunning Gain—Kris Bryant, Jose Ramirez, and Ben Zobrist. We can see that Kris Bryant is ranked fourth overall (first in the National League) in Baserunning Gain behind Trout, Gardner, and Betts. Fellow Cub and this year’s World Series MVP Ben Zobrist is tied for eighth overall with +22.

With Bryant and Zobrist excelling on the basepaths, let’s see how the Cubs performed as a team. Here is a list of the top baserunning teams during the 2016 season:

Team Baserunning Gain, 2016
Team Baserunning Gain
San Diego Padres +72
Colorado Rockies +69
Chicago Cubs +62
Los Angeles Dodgers +43
Washington Nationals +43
Minnesota Twins +34
New York Yankees +33
Cleveland Indians +33
Arizona Diamondbacks +31
Baltimore Orioles +28

The Cubs finished third in Baserunning Gain in 2016 behind the Padres and Rockies. When excluding basestealing, they netted 29 more bases on the basepaths (+62) than the American League champion Indians (+33). Bryant and Zobrist accounted for 51 of the 62 net bases gained (82 percent).

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