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It’s been about a year since Grey gave me my first SAGNOF assignment . Maybe I’ve matured like a good wine and this year will be better than the last. Or maybe I’ve become boxed wine… descending into SAGNOF madness, shouting SAGNOF! at innocent passersby’s from my front porch, and recommending you pick up anybody that plays center field or shortstop with more than two steals in the minors. Since I started writing these there have been some ups…like the time “green light special” Rajai Davis stole seven bases in one week against Boston and Detroit. There have also been some downs… like the time I wrote an entire blurb about Atlanta’s Elliot Johnson thinking he still played for the Royals *shudder*. It’s a new year and a new SAGNOF you. This year Rudy has given us a great new tool we can all use for help in the SAGNOF department. Also, feel free to peruse some of the other offseason SAGNOF posts, like the outfielders preview, infielders preview and the 2013 year in review. Just don’t get your fingerprints on Rajai’s “King of SAGNOF” sceptre while you’re in there. He is extremely touchy about that and he will come at you.

SAGNOF Toolkit

I’m really excited to have a new tool here at Razzball for stolen bases. It’s called SB Rates vs. SP and you can find it under the “Tools” dropdown along with other killer tools like Platoony Tunes and Hitter-Tron. The new SB Rate tool will be especially handy over the course of the season as data is collected on starting pitchers in regards to their stolen base against totals and caught stealing rates. Now, instead of just relying on my weekly posts and red lights/green lights, you can actually look up any pitcher at any time to see how many steals they have allowed and how that compares to his peers. I’ll still be recommending players to pick up or “stream” for steals each week, but this tool gives us that much more of a detailed edge in the stolen base game. A big thank you to Rudy, who of course, developed this tool for the site. I’m not just saying this because I write here, but Razzball has some of the best fantasy tools on the interwebs.

In addition to the daily SB rate tool here at Razzball, I’m going to share with you a spreadsheet with some 2013 stolen base data that is broken down by team and includes starting rotations as well as catchers. Keep in mind that this is basically a 2014 depth chart, but with 2013 stolen base data. I won’t be updating in-season since we have the much cleaner Razzball tool to work with, but I think it is worth looking at as a starting point prior to the 2014 season. I’ve tried to keep the depth charts as updated as possible during the offseason. Starters are listed with their IP/SB rates and catchers by their CS%. Basically, the lower the IP/SB number, the more steals that pitcher gave up.

Team SB Attempts and Success Rates

It’s no secret that steals were down in 2013 compared to the two years prior. The total for MLB in 2013 was 2,693 compared to 3,229 the year before. The average number of stolen base attempts per team went down as well from 146 in 2012 to 124 in 2013. Last, but not least, the average team’s success rate dropped a tick from 73% to 72%. Here are the top and bottom third teams in MLB according to stolen base success rate. It’s general data that may come in handy when looking at players to acquire.

2013 Team SB Attempts and Success Rates
Team SBA SB% Team SBA SB%
Boston 142 87% Arizona 103 60%
Kansas City 185 83% Minnesota 85 61%
New York (A) 146 79% Detroit 55 64%
San Diego 152 78% Houston 171 64%
Colorado 144 78% Chicago (N) 95 66%
New York (N) 149 77% Cincinnati 102 66%
Texas 195 76% Tampa Bay 111 66%
Cleveland 153 76% St. Louis 67 67%
Washington 116 76% Atlanta 95 67%
Milwaukee 192 74% Seattle 72 68%

Note: You could look at this a couple different ways. On one hand Houston attempted a lot of steals, which is what you want, but they also got caught a lot, which is what you don’t want. Personally, I still like the teams like Houston that are aggressive. Sometimes it’s a matter of teaching, experience, or maturity to improve that success rate.

Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss?

One of the big factors in stolen base success is the philosophy of the team and more specifically the team’s manager. So while Detroit has been last or near last in stolen bases over the last few years, new manager Brad Ausmus has made it known through interviews and statements to the media that he is going to be more aggressive on the basepaths. Pair that with a new coach, Omar Vizquel, who knows a thing or two about basestealing and there may be changes brewing. (Thanks to our native Detroit commenters for pointing these out to me.) It’s worth noting that if you own a guy like Austin Jackson, or you are wondering how they’ll use Rajai Davis, the King of SAGNOF. The proof, as always, will be in the pudding, and I’d want to see some 2014 data before jumping to any conclusions. An example of this, from last year, would be John Farrell, whose approach took Boston from below league average in stolen base attempts and success rate to above league average in the span of one year.

Mike also writes for TheDynastyGuru. If you’re a tweeter on Twitter he’s @643ball

  1. Count de Monetball says:
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    Mike, I am excited to use the new tool! Thanks to you and Rudy! Is an analysis of worst teams defending against the SB coming up soon?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Count de Monetball: thanks Count. If you click on that spreadsheet mentioned in the post, it breaks itdown by each team’s pitchers and catchers, which should give you an idea. If that’s not what you are looking for, you can always sort most stat tables out there by team and CS%. I tried to go by player this year to make it more detailed since some batteries are better than others even within one team.

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Mike: That spreadsheet is awesome. That answers my questions perfectly, and better than a Greenlight/Redlight team comparisons… Thanks Mikey!

  2. Bill says:
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    the spreadsheet is great!
    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Bill: anytime

  3. Wake Up says:
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    Nice work Mike…
    Thanks for the spreadsheet…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @Wake Up: thanks man…anytime. glad it’s useful

  4. TheNewGuy says:
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    WAY more steal attempts in the AL last year. Shocker!

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Hang on a minute, they arent seperated into AL and NL actually are they. Well I bet AL teams did attempt more, so there!

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @TheNewGuy: I don’t have attempts in front of me but the AL stole 1428 in 2013 while the NL stole 1265

  5. TheNewGuy says:
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    Think Jackson will finally steal as much as he should then (30+ bags)? Might finally be worth something if he does.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      @TheNewGuy: not sure about 30+, but if Ausmus indeed wants to get more aggressive on the basepaths I think 20-25 is possible. He hasn’t stolen 30 yet in the majors (27 his highest) so it makes me a little skeptical he gets there now…but it’s interesting

  6. John says:
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    Is it out of line to try to get Stanton and Choo for Cutch in dynasty?

  7. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: A great tools… First, I’ve ever seen that combines the whole battery. I have saved it.

    I have always looked at catchers than pitchers more closely for 3 reasons. First, they are the ones in control the ball during the better part of the attempt. 2nd, they are in the lineup more of the game – normally. 3rd, there are fewer of them to follow. Really, there is (now was) a 4th reason. That being, I was too lazy to do all the correlating of data on the pitchers. Now, you have done it for me… Whoopee!!!

    Excuse me for sec, Yes, make that a triple caramel frapopolatta today and throw an extra whipping cream cup and a large hot fudge topping on the side with that. And one of each of the lemon bread , the carrot bread and make that 2 pecan hot sticky buns… Wait… Throw a napoleon in there too.. Those look positively scrumptious!… Thanks……. What??? Yes, just put it on my tab… What??? Tell the manager to cool his heels. You know, I’m good for my tab. OK.. Sure, I’ll take care of it tomorrow…$$$$850!!!! WOW!!! Yeah, I’m celebrating… I just got some winning info for my FBB season.. CU.. ****Make a note, “find a new coffee shop by tomorrow”.

    Back now, Mike … Thanks for the good work here… I’m in your debt… You deserve a tip… Why don’t you take out something of the petty cash drawer and get yourself a special treat on me. Would ya? And just throw it on my RazzBall tab… That oughta work…

    I take it, you do know, this stuff was light years better stuff than the Lidless Eye’s evil dream state FFB top 101 of this morning. Personally, I think, the old Lidless one is slipping.. Think, he’s too busy being paranoid these days… He needs a vacation… Wonder, where evil ones like him go to these days – Dubai for shopping – on your saved wages – no doubt???

    One more thing. I’m asking everyone… Where is Jay Wrong? , He’s probably being punished for his greatness?. I just hope and pray, he hasn’t been disappeared too.

    Must be hard to get settled in and relaxed at Razzball Towers. Unless, you are one of the insider ring-bumping Razzwraiths??? YIKES!!!! Scary, that!

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @The Ghost of the Disappeared: Grey sensed that I was threatening him for power. The revolution was delayed, as he left me the reigns to the Razzball land known as Football.

      I accepted. Keep your friends close… keep your enemies closer.

      I’ll still be around here, but less so. Stay strong, and hug a down comforter when you are feeling especially lonely. Or hungry…

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