This year in my ultra-competitive 7×7 fantasy baseball league (oh great, now I sound like Simmons), we swapped out Stolen Bases in favor of Net Stolen Bases. This means that the stolen base total is net of any instances in which the player is caught stealing. I like it because it adds an additional element of strategy and because it increases downside risk in scoring stolen bases. For instance, I don’t view Lance Berkman’s attempt to steal a base as an “Aw, thanks for trying, Puma!” moment anymore. It’s more a “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING FOOL?” moment when he inevitably gets thrown out.
There are better ways to measure baserunning impact but ESPN doesn’t give me the option to use Equivalent Base Running Runs in fantasy, so for now I’m stuck with Net Stolen Bases. It can still be useful, though. For instance, take a look at Troy Tulowitski’s SB total last year. He stole 20 bases, which is a nice accomplishment, but was caught stealing 11 times, a net of 9. Kosuke Fukudome managed to swipe 6 stolen bases last year, but was caught 10 times, a net of -4. So, I wanted to see how the 2009 Yankees fared in Net Stolen Bases. First though let’s see what the Stolen Base leaderboard looks like, courtesy of ESPN:
1. Derek Jeter—————30 9. Cody Ransom————–2
2. Brett Gardner————-26 10. Mark Teixeira————-2
3. Alex Rodriguez———–14 11. Eric Hinske—————-1
4. Johnny Damon———–12 12. Jorge Posada————–1
5. Melky Cabrera————10 13. Francisco Cervelli———0
6. Robinson Cano———–5 14. Hideki Matsui————-0
7. Ramiro Pena————–4 15. Jerry Hairston Jr———0
8. Freddy Guzman———–4
Now let’s look at the leaderboard while including Caught Stealing and Net Stolen Bases.
1. Derek Jeter————30 SBs, 5 CS, 25 NSB 9. Cody Ransom————2 SBs, 0 CS, 2 NSB
2. Brett Gardner————–26 SBs, 5 CS, 21 NSB 10. Jorge Posada———–1 SBs, 0 CS, 1 NSB
3. Alex Rodriguez————14 SBs, 2 CS, 12 NSB 11. Eric Hinske————-1 SBs, 0 CS, 1 NSB
4. Johnny Damon————12 SBs, 0 CS, 12 NSB 12. Hideki Matsui———-0 SBs, 1 CS, -1 NSB
5. Melky Cabrera————–10 SBs, 2 CS, 8 NSB 13. Jerry Hairston Jr.—–0 SBs, 1 CS, -1 NSB
6. Ramiro Pena—————-4 SBs, 1 CS, 3 NSB 14. Robinson Cano——–5 SBs, 7 CS, -2 NSB
7. Freddy Guzman————-4 SBs, 1 CS, 3 NSB 15. Francisco Cervelli——0 SBs, 3 CS, -3 NSB
8. Mark Teixeira—————2 SBs, 0 CS, 2 NSB
The only significant movement we see is Robinson Cano, who slides down from sixth place to next to last, thanks to a horrific 7 CS in 12 attempts. Above Cano on the Net Stolen Bases leaderboard are Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, both legendary speedsters. So far in 2010, Cano has a Net Stolen Base total of 0, thanks to 2 SBs and 2 CS. The moral of this story is that Cano should just stop trying to steal bases. Please Robby, I’m asking nicely. .