Re: BA's Updated Reds Top 10 List
I think we do tend to equate plate discipline to the sabremetrician viewpoint and stolen bases to the traditional. My question is, why not use both?
Stolen bases are remarkably similar to walks, IMO, because both are about the balance of patience and aggressiveness.
If you are too patient, you tend to strike out an absolute ton (i.e., 2011 versions of Stubbs and Dunn), thereby harming your team's offense. (As you don't get hits nor do you put the ball in play.) OTOH, a player who's too aggressive tends to really hurt the team offensively if he's not killing the ball (i.e., 2010 Gomes, cleanup Phillips). There's a trade-off there.
The same can be said for the stolen base. A guy who steals bases at around a 70% clip helps the team with his legs. That percentage will go down as teams struggle to score runs. Great runners (Larkin and Eric Davis, for example) really help the team, much like those with great patience do. Hamilton, so far, seems to be firmly in that great runner echelon.
I do agree that many posters on Redszone tend to pooh-pooh the stolen base and its effect on scoring. That's likely (again, IMO) because they've grown up or learned about baseball during a time when runs are as cheap as a ten dollar hooker.
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