MLB's blundering baserunners
Puig leads list of most mistake-prone players on the basepaths
In our article on the improving Houston Astros from a week ago, we highlighted the developments Jose Altuve has made on the basepaths this season. The obvious one is his jump in stolen bases. With more than a month left in the season, Altuve is already 11 stolen bases ahead of his previous career high, which he set last year. This season, Altuve is tied for second in all of baseball with 46 steals. Altuve's more important improvement is less easily measured. He has dramatically reduced his mistakes on the basepaths this season. His gain in stolen base success rate -- from 73 percent last year to 87 percent this year -- hints at that turnaround, but Altuve's progress extends to all baserunning situations.
Since the start of 2013, Baseball Info Solutions has tracked good and bad baserunning plays. These are similar in design to our good fielding plays and defensive misplays but cover unexpected positive events on the basepaths, such as taking an extra base and avoiding a tag, and unexpected negative events such as failing to advance on a bad pitch and being picked off by the catcher. Altuve remains tied for the second most bad baserunning plays over the past two seasons, though he did the majority of his damage in 2013 when he made 12 of his 19 total bad baserunning plays.
Unfortunately, not all of the leaders in bad baserunning plays have made the strides Altuve has. Let's take a look at five such players who have continued to struggle in this area.
To read Scott Spratt's full story on the most mistake-prone baserunners in MLB, sign up for Insider today.
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Eliminating defensive shifts is a really bad idea.