Top Ten Stat Of The Week: Active Career Stolen Base Leaders
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on Twitter)- The game has been moving back towards speed, offense and athleticism since the adaptation of the steroid testing in the MLB. I think we will see a big emphasis on the Stolen Base in the coming years. We have Billy Hamilton coming in the near future and he could actually challenge a 100 Stolen Base in one season. 30 years ago there were several guys challenge or eventually succeed in stealing 100 bases. Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both hit the century mark 3 times, while Ron LeFlore and Tim Raines cracked the 90 SB plateau. Teams used to have several speedsters in their lineup. Jose Reyes has the most stolen bases in one year for the active players with 78 swipes in 2007.
I omitted Luis Castillo from the list because he has not played since 2010, (much to the delight of the New York Mets fans I am sure.) I am sure that Boston Red Sox fans are hopeful that he can regain his stolen base prowess very soon with him being only in the second year of a 7 YR/140 Million Dollar Contract. Johnny Damon also has foraged a great career to be on this list from sheer determination. Out of this top ten , Jose Reyes has the most steals per games played, while Omar Vizquel (who has played 2947 games) has the least amount of steals per game played. I was most surprised by Derek Jeter cracking this list because he has never stolen more than 34 bags in one year. I wonder how many bags Ichiro would have stolen had he arrived in North America earlier? Johnny Damon and Omar Vizquel making this top ten is a test to their long-playing careers. I figured Jimmy Rollins had more steals than what his totals came in as. Bobby Abreu has the most HRs on this list with 286 and Juan Pierre has the least. with 17.
During the steroid era, teams really stayed clear of the stolen bases because of the amount of HRs hit. With HRs dropping since the testing has gone up, manufacturing runs is now on the consciousness of all teams once again. I remember what it was like to watch the 1980’s Cardinals team. These guys would steal about 250 bases a year and really put the pressure on opposing defenses. That club was one of the best franchises of the decade with the likes of speed demons: Vince Coleman, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith. in 1985, Tommy Herr actually drove in 110 RBI on just 8 HRs because of the stolen bases by the #1 and #2 hitters. So when I hear that Billy Hamilton has 125 SB this year in the minors so far, I can’t wait for this guy to come up to the Majors and light up the base-paths.
A Great Fan Created Video on Ichiro’s Speed:
Top 10 Active Stolen Base Leaders as of Aug.06/2012
1. Juan Pierre 581: Juan Pierre is one of the most underrated players in the last decade. He has a .297 Career Average and has only struck out 440 times in 7100 At Bats. At a salary of 800,000 dollars for a one year contract, Pierre has hit .314 with the Phillies this year and stolen 27 bases in 31 Attempts. Pierre is 21st all time in MLB History for steals. An achievable goal would be to reach the top 15 for this category by passing Kenny Lofton at 622 steals by the end of the 2013 season.
2. Ichiro Suzuki 441: Suzuki led the American League with 56 stolen bases in his 1st year in which he was named the Rookie of the year, was named the MVP and whacked 242 hits. Ichiro has consistently stole 30-45 bases a year up until 2010. He has a career SB PCTG rate of 82.1. At 38 years old, it is not likely that Ichiro will steal many more bases but there is no doubt he was one of the quickest base runners out of the batters box of this generation.
3. Carl Crawford 430: Crawford has led the American League on 4 separate occasion in stolen bases. The man has also led the league in triples in 4 different years. I even saw Carl Crawford hit an inside the park home run personally live at US Cellular Field in 2009. It is sad to see the guy struggle so far in Boston. Last year through injuries and struggles, Crawford only stole 18 bases. This year in 18 games he only has 3 swipes.
4. Johnny Damon 408: Damon led the American League in stolen bases in 2000 for the Kansas City Royals with only 46 steals. Those steals helped him score a league leading 136 runs. Damon, Rollins and Crawford are the only 3 active players to have at least 300 Steals, 100 Triples and 100 HRs in their careers. Perhaps the best stolen base ever was in the 2009 World Series when he swiped 2nd and then 3rd when he realized no Phillies player was at 3rd base.
5. Omar Vizquel 403: Vizquel never stole 40 bases until he turned 30 years of age. He is on this list more because of how many games he has played. That doesn’t mean he was not a great base-runner for most of his career. At age 43, Omar swiped 11 bags for the White Sox in 2010. Vizquel also places 3rd in ALL-Time MLB History for Post Season steals with 23 swipes.
6. Bobby Abreu 398:
7. Jose Reyes 397: Jose Reyes has led the National League from 2005-2007 in stolen bases each year. His 162 game average is 56 stolen bases. He has an 80% stolen base success rate. This year he has stolen 27 bags in 108 games. At only 29 years of age, Reyes has a great chance to move up this list and then the ALL-Time list. I could see the guy challenge the top 10 mark of ALL-Time by catching Honus Wagner at 722. This would mean he need 324 stolen bases for the remainder of his career.
8. Jimmy Rollins 390: Rollins led the National League in the 2001 season with 46 swipes. He has since stolen 40 bases on 2 different occasions. Rollins has also led the league in triples 4 different years. His MVP 2007 season, he hit 30 HRs and stole 30 bases. He also had 38 doubles and 20 Triples (1st)-in scoring 139 runs (1).
9. Derek Jeter 346: The Yankee Captain is one of the best baserunners in the Major Leagues. You talk about intangibles and being aware, this is your guy. It is always a pleasure to see him hustle on every single play of a game, Jeter has stolen 30 bases 4 separate times. He is 6th ALL-Time for Post Season Steals with 18.
10. Chone Figgins 337
***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Posted on August 8, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged al mvp, American league, BIlly Hamilton, Bobby Abreu, boston red sox, chone figgins, Chuck Booth, cincinnati reds, derek jeter, fastest 30 ballgames, ichiro suzuki, jimmy rollins, jose reyes, juan pierre, kansas city royals, la angels, luis castillo, national league, new york mets, nl mvp, omar vizquel, ozzie smith, philadelphia phillies, rickey henderson, Ron Leflore, seattle mariners, st louis cardinals, tim raines, tommy herr, top ten stolen base leaders active, twitter, vince coleman, white sox, willie mcgee. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.