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Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The best baserunning team is ... the Mets

By David Schoenfield

In this age of statistical analysis, one aspect of the game that still gets overlooked is baserunning. It's a much less important part of the game than hitting or pitching or defense -- but not insignificant.

Mark Simon has a good post on the Mets' baserunning -- the best in the majors by a wide margin. The Mets don't seem like a fast team on paper and their 68 steals entering Wednesday rank just fifth in the NL, but successfully running the bases includes things like going first to third on a single or avoiding outs on the bases. The Mets have a sizable advantage over the No. 2 team, the Royals, in UBR (from FanGraphs.com).

The top five and bottom five baserunning teams according to UBR:

1. Mets, +15.4 runs better than average
2. Royals, +8.9
3. Indians, +8.0
4. Pirates, +7.6
5. Rockies, _+7.0
5. Giants, +7.0

26. Braves, -8.0
27. Dodgers, -8.7
28. White Sox, -8.9
29. Mariners, -9.1
30. Rangers, -9.3

By the way, here are the top five and bottom five individuals:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: +9.5 runs
2. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays: +8.6
3. Elvis Andrus, Rangers: +7.4 (how bad are the rest of the Rangers?!?)
4. Starling Marte, Pirates: +6.6
5. Mike Trout, Angels: +6.3

1. Paul Konerko, White Sox: -5.9 runs
2. Allen Craig, Cardinals: -5.5
3. Victor Martinez, Tigers: -5.5
4. Todd Helton, Rockies: -4.5
5. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers: -4.1