Measure base running proficiency through equivalent batter runs or extra base running percentage (XBRpct).
Twenty years ago, Bill James devised a set of formulas for measuring batting speed using readily available statistics. If you’re curious, here are the formulas:
SpS1 = ((SB + 3) / (SB + CS + 7) - 0.4) * 20
SpS2 = SQRT ((SB + CS) / ((H - 2B - 3B - HR) + BB + HP)) / 0.07
SpS3 = 3B / (AB–HR - K) / 0.02 * 10
SpS4 = (( R- HR) / (H + BB–HR - HP) - 0.1) / 0.04
SpS5 = (0.055–GDP / (AB–HR - K)) / 0.005
Average of top four speed scores in the list
These measurements are useful, but they don’t take individual situations into account. For example, let’s consider SpS5. On average, a slow runner who follows a batter with a high on-base percentage will hit into fewer double plays than a similar runner who follows a batter with a high on-base percentage.
The Baseball America 2005 Prospect Handbook (Baseball America) has a great essay by James Click on a method for measuring base running. Aside from steals (successful and failed), good statistics aren’t available for measuring how well players run around the bases. In this hack, I explain quickly how to measure this statistic from the play-by-play data.
Click’s measurements are nice because they ...