Originally Posted by thatcoolguy_22
Random fluxations aside. Typical major leaguer reaches base on average 10 times a season because of an error (making up numbers). If the speed causes an increase (for whatever reason) a guy like Rickey Henderson would have been averaged 15 or more times a year. I'm just making up numbers, but with a career by career comparison we should see some movement from the mean.
I think it would be worth someone that is more involved in the world of SABR to come up with some numbers. How often a player A is involved in a play that an error occurs vs player B. The error could be attributed to anything, I just want to see some raw numbers. The whole his speed causes this and that makes sense, but there has to be some way to give it an actual weight.
I don't think you can look at a raw number and come to any sort of conclusion. The reason I say this is because there is a big discrepancy in how many balls each batter puts into play each year due to walks, strikeouts and home runs.
However, I did look at a statistic that could shed some light on this. It is the percentage of times a player reaches base when he hits a ground ball. Over the past five years in the National League there were 155,407 grounders hit. 3,916 runners reached base on error during those ground balls. This works out to 2.52 runners reaching for every 100 balls hit on the ground. This does include pitchers. I would say if you could somehow just get the stats on position players, the number would be a little higher.
Next, I looked at a number of Cincinnati Reds from the year 2000 onward. Here is that chart:
PLAYER GB ROE ROE/100
Heisey 210 9 4.29
Edwin 975 37 3.79
Stubbs 556 19 3.42
Ludwick 749 25 3.34
Freel 768 24 3.13
LaRue 837 25 2.99
Brandon 1870 54 2.89
Rolen 2140 61 2.85
Hanigan 502 13 2.59
Votto 844 21 2.49
Casey 2087 47 2.25
Bruce 684 15 2.19
Dunn 1331 23 1.73
TOT-F 13553 373 2.75
1) The average for these players is 2.75 ROE per 100 ground balls. This is probably close to what you would have if you just looked at position players.
2) Chris Heisey can probably be ignored due to sample size.
3) Some of the faster players are near the top and some of the slower players are near the bottom. It is not definitive by any means.
4) There is not a huge range. Most players hit around 150 grounders a year. The difference between the top and bottom is about 2 grounders per 100. That would extrapolate out to about 3 more times the highest (not fastest) reach base on an error in the course of a season than the lowest.
5) I was looking at the list and wondering why Hanigan would be higher than Votto and Bruce. Dunn and Casey at the bottom of the list, okay. But, surely, Bruce and Votto are faster runners than Ryan Hanigan. And then it struck me that all four of the lefties are at the bottom of the list. This makes sense if you think about it. Lefties are more likely to hit to the right side of the infield. And because it is a shorter throw, fielders have more time to make up for bobbling the baseball. Whereas, if a shortstop or third baseman bobbles the ball they had better react quickly to still record the out. So, maybe, handedness is a more important factor than speed.
Obviously, this is a small sample size to look at. If I get time later I may take 10 random players from each side of the plate and see how that works out.