Originally Posted by RedsManRick
Aggressive, intelligent base running can lead to additional runs at very little additional financial or talent costs. Furthermore, it can be taught and isn't as talent dependent as most other offensive abilities; it is not merely a function of speed, but of good situational awareness and decision making.
However, mistakes on the base paths can torpedo an offense. Worse than merely making an out at the plate which would have happened anyway based on that player's existing skills, they create additional outs pulling down the value of the player. The run value of a player on base is much greater than a player at the plate and thus outs are that much more costly.
Lastly, the instructional time spent on base-running might not have as large as an impact of other things and, as shown above, might lead to fewer runs rather than more if not implemented properly.
(BTW, love the thread concept TC)
I actually think that's a reason to spend more time on baserunning instruction. Teams that can do it well (the Angels for instance) can take huge advantage of the more plodding defenses and underpowered arms of this power-laden age.
On the SB side of things, the NL average was 75.6% last season, the AL average was 73.2%. If you've got speed, a stolen base has never easier to take or more profitable from an offensive standpoint.
I love the thread concept too.
My pet development theory is not rushing pitchers. It's real simple to show why. Go back over the past 10 years and look at how pitchers perform by age, break it down into one year slices. Year-in, year-out you'll notice starting pitchers at ages 20, 21 and 22 get ripped. All of them are supposed to be prodigies at those ages, but they collectively stink every year. It starts to get better at age 23 and turns the corner in the mid 20s. So what's the rush with a kid arm? It's helping no one to elevate a kid to the majors and have him get his clock cleaned.
What would be useful is to find what separates successful young pitchers from the larger group of batting tees. My guess is it boils down to control and physical maturity more than raw stuff, but it would be instructive to put some organized research into it.