Tag: Michael Bourn

Catching down

This post suggested there were four positions last year where the Phillies, who were 15th in the NL in walk rate 2012, had a much worse walk rate than they had had in 2007 (in ’07 they had the best walk rate in the league).

At first base and left field they were a whole lot worse. At third and catcher they were worse.

Two recent posts suggests that the declining walk rate for the team doesn’t have a lot to do with longtime Phillies Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Those guys have actually seen their walk rates increase in recent years.

No so much with Carlos Ruiz.

Ruiz comes off the best year of his career. In 2012, Ruiz hit 325/394/540, posting career highs in batting average, doubles, home runs and RBI. Coming into the season he had slugged .393 for his career with an isolated power of .128. In 2012, his isolated power was .215.

What he didn’t do in 2012 was walk. Coming in 2012, Ruiz had walked in 11.7% of his 1,657 plate appearances since the start of 2008. In 2012, he walked 29 times in 421 plate appearances, which is about 6.9%.

Ruiz got about 62% of the plate appearances at catcher for the Phils in ’12. The guys other than him walked in about 6.4% of their plate appearances for the season and the Phils ended the year having walked in about 6.86% of their chances for the year.

Led by Ruiz’s high walk rate, the Phillies walked a lot at the position from ’09 through ’11. In ’12, Ruiz’s walk rate dropped and so did the advantage the Phillies had a the position.

Here’s the total walks by catcher for the Phillies over the last four years and the NL rank for that mark:

Year BB by C NL Rank
2012 45 13
2011 66 3
2010 76 2
2009 73 3

It’s hard to know what Ruiz might do this year after returning from his suspension. His walk rate was down in 2012, though, against both righties and lefties. Here are his numbers against both kinds of pitching for 2012 and for his career before 2012:

Ruiz 2012 Ruiz before 2012
BB rate vs right 6.0 10.7
BB rate vs left 9.2 12.5

If Ruiz walks in 6.0% of his chances against righties, there aren’t going to be enough lefties out there to save him. The good news is that his walk rate against righties has been a lot better than that in recent years — 9.6% in ’11 and over 12% in both 2010 and 2009 (12.2% in ’10 and 12.9% in ’09).

Let’s hope he bounces back, cause Ruiz looks like he’s just about the only hope for the Phils when it comes to drawing walks from the catcher position. Here’s a look at the other five guys who seem to have the best chance to see time at catcher — my guess is that Kratz and Quintero will see the vast majority of PA at the position that don’t go to Ruiz:

Majors Minors
Player PA BB% PA BB%
Quintero 1281 3.2 2984 4.1
Kratz 199 6.5 2892 8.1
Lerud 10 0.0 2583 9.1
Valle 0 - 2045 5.9
Joseph 0 - 1482 6.0

During 2012, NL catchers walked in about 8.9% of their plate appearances overall.

Michael Bourn looks like he’s headed to Cleveland on a four-year, $48 million deal.

Ryan Howard places third on this list of the 15 worst contracts in baseball with an honorable mention going to Papelbon.


Bennie and the jets

The table below shows how Revere’s numbers compare to the numbers of fellow left-handed speedsters Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn in their age 23 and 24 seasons. Also included are the numbers for Pierre and Bourn for their next two years as well as what they did in 2011 and 2012 (Revere’s age 23 and 24 seasons).

Player and age Year PA AVG/OBP/SLG wOBA bWAR fWAR UZR/150 in OF
Revere 23 ’11 481 267/310/309 .278 (-.038) 0.7 2.0 14.4
Revere 24 ’12 553 294/333/342 .300 (-.015) 2.4 3.4 18.6
Pierre 23 ’01 683 327/378/415 .350 (+.023) 2.9 2.6 UKN
Pierre 24 ’02 640 287/332/343 .304 (-.022) 0.4 2.3 15.3
Pierre 25 ’03 747 305/361/373 .328 (+-0) 3.4 4.7 9.1
Pierre 26 ’04 748 326/374/407 .345 (+.015) 3.7 4.4 -4.9
Pierre 33 ’11 711 279/329/327 .296 (-.020) -0.8 -0.5 -10.7
Pierre 34 ’12 439 307/351/371 .320 (+.005) 1.9 1.7 -0.4
Bourn 23 ’06 11 - - - - -
Bourn 24 ’07 133 277/348/378 .320 (-.011) 0.9 1.2 22.9
Bourn 25 ’08 514 229/288/300 .267 (-.061) 0.7 0.2 4.0
Bourn 26 ’09 678 285/354/384 .330 (+.001) 4.7 4.9 9.9
Bourn 28 ’11 722 294/349/386 .325 (+.009) 3.0 4.1 -6.2
Bourn 29 ’12 703 274/348/391 .326 (+.011) 6.0 6.4 22.5

For wOBA, it’s important to remember that the average wOBA changes from year to year. So, for example, the 2011 wOBA line for Revere means that his actual wOBA for 2011 was .278 and that .278 was .038 lower than the average wOBA for the year of .316.

You can see the constants that FanGraphs uses for calculating wOBA here.

Bourn barely played at all when he was 23 or 24. Pierre was better offensively than Revere in his 23 and 24-year-old seasons, but not as good defensively, at least by UZR/150 in all outfield positions combined.

If you total up the WAR for Revere and Pierre for their age 23 and 24 seasons, Revere is at 3.1 bWAR and Pierre 3.3. By fWAR, Revere tops Pierre 5.4 to 4.9. Important to remember is that Pierre got a lot more chances to play and accumulate WAR in his age 23 and 24 seasons, getting 289 more plate appearances in the two years combined and playing 468 1/3 more innings in the outfield.

Bourn, notably, got just 144 plate appearances through his age 24 seasons and then was terrible in his age 25 season before putting up a big year with the Astros at age 26 (285/354/384 with 61 stolen bases).

Revere has displayed no power to date, even relative to the light-hitting Pierre and Bourn, and almost surely never will.

His isolated power in 2011 was .042. That was 175 of 175 players across both leagues with 450 or more plate appearances. Pierre was 174th on that list at .049.

In 2012, Revere was at .049. That was 114th of 114 players across both leagues with 550 or more plate appearances. Nobody else with 550 or more PA came close to showing that little power last year. Yunel Escobar was 113th of 114 and his isolated power was .091.

If you remove the 2006 season for Bourn in which he got 11 plate appearances, there are 13 seasons between Pierre, Bourn and Revere on the table above. Revere’s best mark for isolated power over the last two seasons is .049. There’s only one season in which either Pierre or Bourn has an isolated power worse than .049 — Pierre put up an .049 in 2011 on his way to a miserable, negative WAR season.

Bourn’s isolated power in 2012 was .117, which is the highest mark for any of the 13 seasons. Between both leagues, there were 148 players who got at least 500 plate appearances in 2012. Bourn’s isolated power of .117 was 122nd best of the 148.

The Phillies traded relievers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla to Texas for Michael Young. The linked article also suggests that the Rangers will pay about $10 million of Young’s 2012 salary, leaving $6 million for the Phillies to pay. It also suggests the Phillies paid Young $1.2 million to waive his no-trade clause and will give him a new no-trade clause.

Young was terrible in 2012. If he’s that bad again in 2013, that’s not going to work out for the Phillies. I like the deal, though, cause he still has upside and willing be playing for his next contract. Linblom’s numbers out of Dodger Stadium were never real impressive.

This article says that after the trade of Worley, the Phillies are looking for a low-risk, high-reward type guy to help fill out the rotation and mentions John Lannan, Dallas Braden, Carlos Zambrano and Roy Oswalt.


It’s not the only reason the Phillies have been getting worse on the bases, but it’s a big piece

Quick — across both leagues, who’s the player who has hurt his team the most on the bases over the past three seasons? Hint: if you’re a Phillies fan, you probably saw him hobbling around the bases quite a bit in 2012.

The bad news is he wasn’t coming off of a major achilles injury in 2010 or 2011.

Here are Ryan Howard’s base running runs above average as calculated by FanGraphs over the past three seasons:

Year Base Running Rank MLB players
2010 -7.1 946 of 948
2011 -9.3 935 of 936
2012 -5.6 952 of 962
’10 to ’12 -22.0 1399 of 1399

Howard’s -5.6 in 2012 was his best mark of the three years, but it’s hard to see that as a mark of much hope. Howard got just 292 plate appearances in ’12 — less than half of what he got in ’10 or ’11. If he accumulated base running runs above (below) average at his 2012 rate over 600 plate appearances, he would have been at about -11.5 for the year.

No doubt about it that Howard was coming off of a major injury in 2012. Less sure about how much that injury could have been impacting him in 2010 and 2011.

Over the last three years, there have only been five players whose total base running runs below average has been worse than -15.8 overall — David Ortiz (-19.7), Billy Butler (-19.7), Prince Fielder (-19.8), Paul Konerko (-21.5) and Howard (-22.0).

Even with only about half a season of plate appearances in 2012, Howard’s base running from 2010 to 2012 is still worse than Phillie-poster-boy-for-bad-on-the-bases Pat Burrell’s horrendous base running during Burrell’s worst years.

Year Base Running Year Base running
Hoawrd 2010 -7.1 Burrell 2005 -8.8
Howard 2011 -9.3 Burrell 2006 -5.3
Howard 2012 -5.6 Burrell 2007 -4.2
Howard ’10 to ’12 -22.0 Burrell ’05 to ’07 -18.3

At the height of his base running suck, 2005 to 2007, Burrell got 1,834 plate appearances with a total base running runs below average of -18.3. Over the last three years, Howard has 1,556 plate appearances and a base running runs below average of -22.0.

There’s not a whole ton of silver lining on the Ryan Howard base running front, but there are guys who have been worse on the bases than he has in recent history. Looking at three-year periods going back to 2000, here’s the player who had the best and worst base running runs above average as calculated by FanGraphs:

Years Worst Best
2010-2012 Howard -22.0 Michael Bourn 28.6
2009-2011 Konerko (tie) -20.7 Bourn 33.9
Carlos Lee (tie) -20.7
2008-2010 Fielder -23.4 Bourn 25.0
2007-2009 Kendry Morales -20.1 Rollins 26.6
2006-2008 Bengie Molina -18.9 Ichiro 28.5
2005-2007 Bengie Molina -19.7 Figgins 29.1
2004-2006 Luis Gonzalez -20.5 Crawford 25.7
2003-2005 Alex Gonzalez -22.5 Beltran 29.5
2002-2004 Alex Gonzalez -22.3 Beltran 30.6
2001-2003 Alex Gonzalez -17.8 Beltran 24.1
2000-2002 Alex Gonzalez -10.0 Jeter 15.4

So from 2008 to 2010, Prince Fielder (-23.4) was worse than Howard (-22.0) ’10 to ’12. Prior to that, you’ve got to go back to Alex Gonzalez (the other one) from ’03 to ’05 to find a three-year period where someone out-worsened Howard’s ’10 to ’12 over a three-year period. Gonzalez also did it ’02 to ’04. Alex Gonzalez had a whole bunch of problems trying to steal bases from 2000 to 2005, playing for five different teams and getting caught 24 times, picked off nine and stealing just 34 bases.

At least Howard doesn’t get caught stealing. He’s got 12 stolen bases for his career and has been caught just four times (picked off three).

On the other side of the table, Jimmy Rollins was the best running in baseball by base running runs above average from 2007 to 2009 with 26.6. And again, Michael Bourn demonstrates that he brings a lot of value with what he does with his defense and on the bases as he appears atop the list for 2008 to 2010, 2009 to 2011 and 2010 to 2012.

From 2008 to 2012, Bourn’s base running runs above average is 44.7. That leads all players across both leagues and nobody else is close. Ian Kinsler is second at 32.5 and Victorino third at 31.0.

Todd Zolecki suggests the chances the Phillies will land Josh Hamilton are pretty slim.

In the same piece, he also suggests the Rangers would have traded young third baseman Mike Olt for Hamels last year, but that he’s not sure they would trade him for Cliff Lee at this point.

The deadline for setting the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule V draft was last night. Matt Gelb speculated on who the Phillies might protect in this article.

The Phillies added four players to their 40-man roster in advance of the December 6 Rule V draft, including outfielder Zach Collier and pitchers Trevor May, Ethan Martin and Jonathan Pettibone. They now have 38 players on their 40-man roster, including six outfielders, five of which are left-handed.

This suggests the Phillies may have interest in free agent Koji Uehara. The 37-year-old right-handed reliever threw to a 1.75 ERA with an 0.64 ratio for Texas in 2012, striking out 43 in 36 innings. He missed about two months last year with a problem with his right lat. He returned at the end of August and made 17 appearances between that time and the end of the season, throwing to a 1.23 ERA over 14 2/3 innings while striking out 21 and holding opponents to a .160 on-base percentage.


And not just that, some of those guys haven’t even ever been on Hawaii Five-0

More today on eight of the potential center fielders whose names will be thrown about this off-season as the Phillies try to finalize their outfield. The table below shows their Baseball-Reference calculated oWAR per 600 plate appearances over the past three years and over their career as well as their FanGraphs calculated UZR/150 at center for their career and for any of the last three seasons in which they played at least 500 innings in center:

2010-2012 Career Career 2012 2011 2010
oWAR per 600 PA oWAR per 600 PA UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF
Hamilton 5.19 4.51 -9.6 -26.3 <500 <500
Hunter 3.70 2.84 -0.5 <500 <500 -6.4
Upton 3.09 2.81 3.9 -3.2 1.6 1.9
Pagan 2.99 2.65 -0.8 -0.1 -16.1 13.3
Victorino 2.15 2.57 3.1 -2.4 5.7 2.8
Bourn 2.51 2.01 10.7 22.5 -6.2 20.6
Cabrera 3.22 1.97 -7.3 <500 -9.7 -25.2
Mayberry 1.75 1.56 -15.9 <500 <500 <500

Hamilton, Hunter, Cabrera and Mayberry really shouldn’t be getting too many defensive innings in center field.

Hunter has only played 8 2/3 innings in center field since the end of 2010. From 2006 to 2010, he played at least 800 innings in center field for five straight seasons, posting a negative UZR/150 at the position in each of the five seasons.

Hamilton sure can hit, but he’s posted a negative dWAR in four of the last five seasons. His career UZR/150 in left of 8.5 is a whole lot better than his career UZR/150 of -9.6 in center. Last year he put up a -26.3 in 687 innings in center for the Rangers.

Mayberry’s UZR/150 in center last year was -20.7.

Cabrera didn’t play an inning in center field in 2012, making 106 appearances in left for the Giants and 11 in right. He was bad defensively for the Royals in 1,265 2/3 innings in center in 2011 and terrible for the Braves in 385 innings in 2010.

Cabrera’s offensive production over the last three years is a lot better than it has been for his career. 3.22 oWAR per 600 plate appearances for the last three years, 1.97 for his career and 0.98 for his career before the start of the 2010 season. For 2005 to 2009, Cabrera got 2,148 plate appearances in which he combined for a total oWAR of 3.5 ((3.5/2148)*600=0.98).

Hamilton and Hunter could obviously help the Phillies at a corner outfield position, which is a place where the Phillies could use some help. I think that’s really, really unlikely given the combination of how much they are going to cost and the presence of Brown, Ruf, Schierholtz, Mayberry and Nix.

Bourn is the best defensive center fielder of this group by a wide margin. Upton and Victorino are way behind him. Pagan may have the strangest UZR/150 numbers of the group — he was great for the Mets in center in 2010, terrible for the Mets in center in 2011 and then put up a -0.1 for the Giants in 2012.

Compared to the previous post, Upton looks like a much better offensive player than Michael Bourn. The previous post looked at the numbers for four years, 2009 through 2012, while the first oWAR column in the table above reports on three years, 2010 through 2012. In 2009, Bourn hit 285/354/384 in his best offensive season in the last four years while Upton had his worst offensive season of the last four years, posting a 241/313/373 line.

Bourn’s career .201 oWAR per 600 plate appearances is a little frightening. He was just miserable offensively from 2006 to 2008, hitting 237/299/313 over 658 plate appearances for the Phils and Astros. Since the end of 2008, his oWAR per 600 plate appearances has been 2.66 over 2,708 plate appearances.

Here are the Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs calculations of total WAR for the last three years for each of the eight players:

bWAR ’12 bWAR ’11 bWAR ’10 bWAR ’10-’12 fWAR ’12 fWAR ’11 fWAR ’10 fWAR ’10-12
Hamilton 3.4 3.5 8.4 15.3 4.4 4.1 8.4 16.9
Hunter 5.5 3.4 2.7 11.6 5.3 2.6 3.7 11.6
Upton 2.6 2.8 1.0 6.4 3.3 4.1 4.1 11.5
Pagan 4.0 1.0 5.1 10.1 4.8 0.9 5.4 11.1
Victorino 2.4 5.2 2.8 10.4 3.3 5.9 3.8 13.0
Bourn 6.0 3.0 5.3 14.3 6.4 4.1 4.7 15.2
Cabrera 4.7 4.1 -0.5 8.3 4.6 4.2 -1.1 7.7
Mayberry 0.5 1.6 0.2 2.3 0.4 2.5 0.2 3.1

So here’s how the list of cumulative WAR over the past three seasons for those eight players goes using Baseball-Reference’s calculation:

  1. Hamilton, 15.3
  2. Bourn, 14.3
  3. Hunter, 11.6
  4. Victorino, 10.4
  5. Pagan, 10.1
  6. Cabrera, 8.3
  7. Upton, 6.4
  8. Mayberry, 2.3

And here’s the list using the FanGraphs calculation of WAR:

  1. Hamilton, 16.9
  2. Bourn, 15.2
  3. Victorino, 13.2
  4. Hunter, 11.6
  5. Upton, 11.5
  6. Pagan, 11.1
  7. Cabrera, 7.7
  8. Mayberry, 3.1

Those lists have some things in common:

  • Using both the Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs calculation, Hamilton is first, Bourn is second and Mayberry is eighth of the eight players in combined WAR for 2010-2012. Mayberry obviously played a lot less than the other seven guys, giving him less chances to accumulate WAR, but I think it’s also relevant that top table shows him at the bottom on oWAR per 600 plate appearances for the last three years and for his career and with the worst UZR/150 at center for the group
  • Both have Hunter and Victorino third and fourth, with Baseball-Reference showing Hunter ahead of Victorino and vice-versa for FanGraphs
  • Both lists think Victorino had a monster 2011 — his ’11 season is third-best on the FanGraphs list and fourth-best on the Baseball-Reference list
  • Both have Pagan, Cabrera and Upton in slots 5-7 with the players ordered differently. Pagan, Cabrera, Upton for Baseball-Reference and Upton, Pagan, Cabrera for FanGraphs
  • Both agree that the best of the seasons in the last three years was Hamilton’s 2010 and both agree the worst was Cabrera’s 2010

The bottom line for me is that four of those eight guys, Hamilton, Hunter, Cabrera and Mayberry, need to be disqualified from any search for a center field because they aren’t or shouldn’t be center fielders. That leaves four — Bourn, Upton, Pagan and Victorino. Of those four, WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs suggests that, over the last three years, Bourn has been the best overall player and Victorino has been second-best. The sites disagree about Upton and Pagan — FanGraphs has Upton slightly ahead of Pagan in WAR for the three-year period while Baseball-Reference has Pagan with a big advantage over Upton over the last three seasons.

Biggest thing that came out of the post for me is that Shane Victorino might have been a little better than we thought. Sure, it was a little tough to appreciate his greatness while he was hitting 229/296/333 against righties last year, but maybe it was there.


If it was Upton to me

A brief break from pitcher WAR to talk about free agent center fielders Michael Bourn and BJ Upton, a pair of players some Phillies fans have their sights set on this off-season. Despite their needs in center field, I don’t think the Phils are likely to bring on either player. Just in case, though, I thought it might make sense to look at some of the differences between the two. The highlights:

  • Bourn is left-handed
  • Upton is right-handed
  • Bourn will turn 30 in December
  • Upton turned 28 in August
  • They are very different offensive players — Upton is a low average slugger while Bourn hits for a higher average with less power. Despite the differences in their offensive strengths, though, there is not a huge difference in the amount of offense they have produced over the last four years.
  • Bourn is an outstanding defensive player — in two of the last three seasons, he has been one of the best in the game. Upton is not.

Here’s are the lines for each of them over the last last four seasons, as well as their Baseball-Reference calculated WAR, oWAR and dWAR for each of those years:

Age PA AVG/OBP/SLG WAR oWAR dWAR
Bourn ’12 29 703 274/348/391 6.0 3.2 3.0
Bourn ’11 28 722 294/349/386 3.0 3.2 0.0
Bourn ’10 27 605 265/341/346 5.3 2.1 3.5
Bourn ’09 26 678 285/354/384 4.7 3.5 1.4
Bourn ’09-’12 2708 280/348/378 19.0 12.0 7.9
Upton ’12 27 633 246/298/454 2.6 3.1 -0.2
Upton ’11 26 640 243/331/429 2.8 3.6 -0.4
Upton ’10 25 610 237/322/424 1.0 3.0 -1.6
Upton ’09 24 626 241/313/373 0.8 0.8 0.3
Upton ’09-’12 2509 242/316/420 7.2 10.5 -1.9

Here’s some numbers for the two as calculated by FanGraphs:

Age PA FanGraphs WAR wOBA Innings in CF UZR/150 in CF
Bourn ’12 29 703 6.4 .326 1340.1 22.5
Bourn ’11 28 722 4.1 .325 1359.0 -6.2
Bourn ’10 27 605 4.7 .308 1189.1 20.6
Bourn ’09 26 678 4.9 .330 1326.0 9.9
Upton ’12 27 633 3.3 .323 1254.2 -3.2
Upton ’11 26 640 4.1 .333 1326.1 1.6
Upton ’10 25 610 4.1 .328 1301.2 1.9
Upton ’09 24 626 2.4 .306 1228.2 7.5

If you had asked me who walks more, Bourn or Upton, I would have said Bourn. But I would have been wrong. Upton has walked more over the past four years, walking in about 9.57% of his plate appearances compared to about 9.05% for Bourn. Over their careers, the difference has been even more dramatic. Bourn was walked in about 8.8% of his plate appearances while Upton has walked in about 10.6% of his.

Both of them have a pretty solid walk rate. Across both leagues, hitters walked in about 8.0% of their plate appearances in 2012.

Most people think of Upton as a low on-base percentage guy with good reason. He’s on-based .316 over 2,509 plate appearances over his last four years. It makes it easy to forget he excelled at getting on base earlier in his career — in 2007 and 2008 combined, he on-based .384 over 1,188 plate appearances.

Over the last four years, Bourn has hit for a higher average than Upton and walked less with less power. Bourn has 32 points of on-base percentage on Upton and Upton’s isolated power is eighty points higher than Bourn’s (.178 for Upton and .098 for Bourn).

Bourn’s total oWAR for the last four seasons is 12.0 in 2,708 plate appearances. If you adjust that to give him the same 2,509 plate appearances that Upton has, Bourn comes out at 11.12, a little higher than Upton’s 10.5.

There seems to be a case to be made that Upton has more offensive upside or potential for an explosive offensive season. His career best oWAR is 4.8 in 2007. Bourn has never been above 3.5 (2009). Upton is more than a year younger and has had five seasons with an oWAR better than three. Bourn has posted an oWAR better than three in three seasons.

By wOBA, the two are nearly tied over the past two years, with Bourn up .003 in 2012 and Upton up .008 in 2011. Upton’s wOBA for 2010 was .020 better than Bourn’s and Borun’s .330 in 2009 was .024 better than Upton’s. Over the past three years, two have been near ties and Upton has a sizeable advantage in the other.

But, if you compare their WAR as calculated by Baseball-Reference (bWAR) or FanGraphs (fWAR) over the last four years, it’s not close. Bourn has a huge advantage.

Year bWAR fWAR
2012 Bourn +3.4 Bourn +3.1
2011 Bourn +0.4 Tie
2010 Bourn +4.3 Bourn +0.6
2009 Bourn +3.9 Bourn +2.5

The difference is mostly about defense, not offense. While Bourn and Upton are very different offensive players, the amount of offense they are producing as measured by Baseball-Reference’s oWAR and wOBA are similar.

Bourn is an elite defensive player. Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs agree he was exceptional defensively in both 2010 and 2012. In 2012, his Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR was third-best across both leagues. In 2010 his dWAR of 3.5 was second.

Looking at the dWAR in the top table of the post, Bourn’s cumulative dWAR over the past four years is 7.9 and Upton’s is -1.9.

In 2012, Bourn’s UZR/150 was first among the 24 players who played at least 700 innings in center field. Upton’s was 18th of 24.

In 2010, Bourn’s 20.6 was second of 23 and Upton’s 1.9 was 13th.

Finally, while UZR/150 suggests that Bourn was an elite defender in 2012, Upton’s numbers suggest his defense has taken a dive over the past few years. From 2007 to 2009, Upton’s UZR/150 at center field ranged from 7.0 (2007) to 8.4 (’08). They have been below two every year since 2009, finally going negative in 2012 at -3.2. 2012 was also the third straight season in which Upton had posted a negative dWAR.


Never slow down, never grow old and losing Bourn and Werth probably won’t help much either

In yesterday’s post I pointed out that the number of bases the Phillies have been stealing has dropped off in recent years. In 2011, for the fourth straight year, the Phillies stole fewer bases than they had in the previous season. In three of those four years, their safe rate also went down from the previous year.

In 2007, the Phils were second in the NL in stolen bases with 138. In 2008 they were third with 136. Last year they stole 96, which was eleventh in the league.

So where did all the stolen bases go? Here’s who stole the bases for the Phils in 2007, 2008 and 2011:

Year

Player

SB

CS

Safe

2007

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Michael Bourn
Chase Utley
Jayson Werth
Carlos Ruiz
Aaron Rowand
Tadahito Iguchi
Greg Dobbs
Abraham Nunez
Chris Roberson
Ryan Howard
Rod Barajas
Total

41
37
18
9
7
6
6
6
3
2
2
1
0
138

6
4
1
1
1
1
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
19

87.2%
90.2%
94.7%
90.0%
87.5%
85.7%
66.7%
85.7%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
0.0%
87.9%

2008

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Jayson Werth
Chase Utley
Eric Bruntlett
Greg Dobbs
So Taguchi
Carlos Ruiz
Ryan Howard
Geoff Jenkins
Greg Golson
Chris Coste
Total

47
36
20
14
9
3
3
1
1
1
1
0
136

3
11
1
2
2
1
0
2
1
1
0
1
25

94.0%
76.6%
95.2%
87.5%
81.8%
75.0%
100.0%
33.3%
50.0%
50.0%
100.0%
0.0%
84.5%

2011

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Chase Utley
John Mayberry
Ben Francisco
Placido Polanco
Wilson Valdez
Michael Martinez
Domonic Brown
Pete Orr
Raul Ibanez
Carlos Ruiz
Ryan Howard
Hunter Pence
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Total

30
19
14
8
4
3
3
3
3
3
2
1
1
1
1
0
96

8
3
0
3
4
0
3
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
24

78.9%
86.4%
100.0%
72.7%
50.0%
100.0%
50.0%
100.0%
75.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
50.0%
100.0%
0.0%
80.0%

It sure seems like getting older should be the answer, and it probably is. Notably, though, Chase Utley’s stolen bases haven’t slowed since ’07 and ’08. Utley got 159 fewer plate appearances in 2011 than he got in either of 2007 or 2008, but still managed to steal 14 bags, as many as he swiped in ’08 and more than ’07.

The guys that are dramatically down are Rollins and Victorino. In 2007, they combined to steal 78 bases and in 2008 they combined to steal 83. In 2011, they combined to steal 49. In 2001, when the Phils led the NL with 153 stolen bases, they combined to steal 46 with Victorino not on the team. He was busy hitting 283/344/400 (and stealing 47 bases) for the Wilmington Waves in the Dodger organization.

Finally, during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the Phillies also benefited significantly from the stolen base efforts of Michael Bourn and Jayson Werth. Bourn stole 18 bases for the Phils in 2007 and was caught just once. Between 2007 and 2008, Jayson Werth stole 27 bases and was caught twice.


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