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  • Art Tornabene

Catcher and Stolen Base Streamers for the Week 5/3-5/9/2021

This week, I will name the column “Stealing Home.” Stealing Home honors the most direct confrontation between the base stealer and the catcher, the confrontation at the plate when the runner is at their cheekiest. And that is the confrontation I face in this article. The runner, making the break, the catcher, reliant on the pitcher’s throw and a good tag, both wanting to smile at the other when the exchange goes their way. This confrontation is at the heart of my articles, please enjoy.


Recapping last week’s streamer suggestions:


Catcher

Kurt Suzuki 2 Hits in 8 At Bats (.250), 1 Run, O Home Runs, 0 Runs Batted In, and No Stolen Bases

Mike Zunino 3 Hits in 12 At Bats (.250), 2 Runs, 1 Home Run, 1 Run Batted In, and No Stolen Bases


With Max Stassi returned, Suzuki has returned to a part-time role and may be dropped. I suggest holding to Zunino, as he is still hitting the ball out of the ballpark, and is managing to keep his batting average above .200 (which is more than I can say for a number of prominent catchers.


Stolen Bases

Nicky Lopez 1 Hit in 13 At Bats (.077), 3 Runs, 0 Home Runs, 0 Runs Batted In, and No Stolen Bases

Sam Haggerty 1 Hit in 16 At Bats (.063), 1 Run, 0 Home Runs, 0 Runs Batted In, and 1 Stolen Base


In case you wondered whether or not I follow the advice I give, I do. I ate that entire Sam Haggerty stat line this past week in TGFBI. On the plus, I have enjoyed a strong Rougned Odor performance, though the batting average could be better, since recommending him and picking him up myself. Lopez should improve.


Stolen Bases


The average Major League team has attempted fifteen stolen bases in 334 opportunities thus far, for a 4.5% stolen base attempt percentage. The team that is most likely to run, that is the team with the highest percentage of stolen base attempts per stolen base opportunity (per baseball-reference.com), is the San Diego Padres who attempt to steal on nearly ten percent of their stolen base opportunities (40 attempts in 402 opportunities). The Kansas City Royals are the next most aggressive team, attempting twenty-eight in their first 295 opportunities. An outlier in attempts per opportunity, as well, at around 9.5% percent.


While San Diego’s nearly ten percent and Kansas City’s nearly nine and a half percent attempt percentage far outpace the league, they are not the only teams driving up the attempt totals. In fact, the top twelve teams in stolen base attempt percentage have only thirty-nine percent of the stolen base opportunities, but they have fifty-eight percent of the stolen bases. These teams are:


San Diego, Kansas City, Texas, Oakland, Miami, Chicago (NL), Philadelphia, Chicago (AL), Seattle, Cleveland, Washington, and Colorado


The least aggressive team on the basepaths is the New York Yankees. They have attempted steals on only one and a half percent of their opportunities. And yes, I am aware that I have already recommended two Yankees as stolen base streamers thus far. This week’s streamer will most certainly NOT be a Yankee, I can promise you that. Please see the chart below for team-by-team information (per baseball-reference.com)


Tm SBO SB CS SB% SB+CS/SBO

SDP 402 33 7 83% 0.099502488

KCR 295 22 6 79% 0.094915254

TEX 325 19 7 73% 0.08

OAK 322 19 5 79% 0.074534161

MIA 337 18 6 75% 0.071216617

CHC 350 16 5 76% 0.06

PHI 315 15 3 83% 0.057142857

CHW 360 16 4 80% 0.055555556

SEA 325 13 4 76% 0.052307692

CLE 289 14 1 93% 0.051903114

WSN 277 8 6 57% 0.050541516

COL 321 11 5 69% 0.049844237

TOR 324 13 2 87% 0.046296296

SFG 329 13 2 87% 0.045592705

LgAvg 334 12 3 77% 0.04491018

MIL 320 11 3 79% 0.04375

TBR 371 9 6 60% 0.040431267

STL 310 7 4 64% 0.035483871

BOS 368 10 2 83% 0.032608696

BAL 310 8 2 80% 0.032258065

PIT 354 8 3 73% 0.031073446

MIN 326 9 1 90% 0.030674847

LAD 404 10 2 83% 0.02970297

HOU 375 9 2 82% 0.029333333

CIN 346 5 5 50% 0.028901734

DET 277 7 1 88% 0.028880866

ARI 398 8 3 73% 0.027638191

NYM 277 3 4 43% 0.025270758

LAA 332 6 1 86% 0.021084337

ATL 340 6 1 86% 0.020588235

NYY 335 4 1 80% 0.014925373

10014 350 104 77%



The Dodgers have been the team that has been run on the most in the first month. The schedule did not help. Each of the first seven series the Dodgers had was against teams in the top twelve list mentioned above. Because of that, it is hard to say concretely that the Dodgers are a team to pick on. Are those teams in the top 12 because they all played the Dodgers? Or are the Dodgers way down because they got creamed in the early schedule? My gut says that it is the latter, but only time will tell.


The other teams who, at this point in the season, have given up more stolen bases than league average are Los Angeles (NL), Seattle, Detroit, Los Angeles (AL), Pittsburgh, Boston, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Atlanta, Chicago (AL), San Diego, and Toronto. If you are looking for a match-up for the rabbit on your bench, these are the opponents you’d most like to target.


Match-ups between poor stolen base prevention teams and strong steals teams the first half of the week include Pittsburgh at San Diego, Los Angeles (NL) at Chicago (NL), Toronto at Oakland, Arizona at Miami, and Atlanta at Washington. The weekend features Pittsburgh at Chicago (NL), Seattle at Texas, Chicago (AL) at Kansas City, and Tampa Bay at Oakland. From this review, it looks like targeting Chicago (NL) and Oakland players will be smart, as they have favorable steals match-ups both during the week and on the weekend.


Leury Garcia CWS (0% rostered)


Receiving regular plate appearances at second base, Garcia is starting to heat up. Over the past seven days, Leury has six hits in eighteen at-bats and has zero home runs, four runs, eight runs batted in, and one stolen base. In that lineup, he is dangerous, and he has the willingness to run and plays on an aggressive baserunning team in Chicago (AL). He is my top pick of the week.


Nicky Lopez KC (20% rostered)