Here’s a fun little game. Go to the top of the page and click on leaderboards, then use the league drop down box to isolate just NL players. Now, click on the advanced tab so that you can get to the two components of our baserunning metric, wSB (stolen base runs) and UBR (baserunning runs besides SB/CS). You’ll see them on the right hand side of the page, between BABIP and wRC.
Now, before you sort by wSB, go to the min PA drop down. Instead of picking a minimum, you need to set this to zero, because the hero of our story doesn’t yet meet the lowest playing time threshold on the drop down box. Now, once you’ve done that, you’ll have a leaderboard consisting of 543 names, because the lack of a minimum playing time requirement means that our net is huge and catches everyone who has appeared as a hitter or runner for an NL team this season.
Now that you’ve done that, click on wSB to make it sort in descending order. You are now looking at the NL leaders in runs added through base stealing. For those who didn’t play along with the instructions, I’ll create the table for you, just without all the other things on the advanced tab:
Our hero, Billy Hamilton, is tied for 8th in the NL in stolen base runs. He made his major league debut two weeks ago. He started his first big league game yesterday. He has come to bat just nine times. And he’s already tied for 8th in the NL in runs added through base stealing. He’s got a pretty good chance at finishing the season in the top five.
Billy Hamilton, man. I don’t know if he’s ever going to hit, or how well he’ll defend center field, but on the base paths, he is something that this sport hasn’t seen in several decades. He might not ever be a star, but he’s going to be one of the most unique players of his time.
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