Comments on: What does XBT% really tell us? This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: What does XBT% really tell us? » Stathead » Blog Archive Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:23:14 +0000 [...] What does XBT% really tell us?: Andy K. of B-R wonders about the significance of XBT%, the percentage of extra bases taken. [...]

By: kds Wed, 27 Apr 2011 21:03:03 +0000 Neil L. @15. When they don't add up it means runner(s) were lost trying to take the extra base. The Twins have lost a triplet of base runners trying to score from 2nd on a single. Part of what we are measuring here is not base running skill but 3rd base coaching skill.

Doug @16. Then we should be able to see a correlation between XBT% and LHB PA%. Maybe the yankees are just too old ,slow and HR oriented for it to show up here.

By: Doug Wed, 27 Apr 2011 20:00:26 +0000 What XBT% may correlate well to is hitting behind the runner. All alse being equal, a runner is most likely to take an extra base (especially 3rd base) on a hit to RF, and progressively less likely to do so on hits to CF and LF.

No idea how to try to measure that but, intuitively, my hunch would be that teams that hit more to right field should also have higher XBT%.

By: Neil L. Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:06:05 +0000 Is there anything to the old saw about putting pressure on the defense or is it just a myth? JA's data on the '80's Cardinals suggest that their XB taken was merely average but they had a bunch of greyhounds at the top of the order.

My brain must be cramping but why is there the odd number missing from the baserunning events? For example why did Oakland have 48 runners on 1B situations but only a total of 47 outcomes? Somebody scored or was doubled at second? I must be tired at work, sneaking on this site......looking over my shoulder!

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:46:49 +0000 You also have to account for the Yankees low % as an EARL WEAVER-type thought process; coaching for the 3 run homer.
The Yankees have 6 guys who can hit 30 HRs.
I'd say caution works to their advantage.

For the small market/small ball theory, I think it makes sense but mostly depends on the manager. Ozzie Guillen has plenty of big bats and a big budget, but the CHISOX steal and sacrifice a ton. I also think the more faith an individual manager places in their bullpen, the less likely they are to try and stretch a 1 or 2 run lead by playing small ball. Ergo, the Yankees may feel less pressure in the eighth inning, up a run, knowing they have Mo.
Who knows.

By: John Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:17:03 +0000 Right - it's the same principle as the stolen base. A team that steals 200 bags isn't doing itself any favors if it gets caught 140 times.

By: BSK Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:03:00 +0000 "Note that XBT% does not do a great job of measuring the gain or loss of a more aggressive base running strategy. There are 2 ways to fail: only advance the minimum of bases on the hit, or to be thrown out trying to gain the extra base. XBT% treats these failures equally, while getting thrown out is obviously much much worse than not advancing."

It also means that a team could be highly aggressive and just bad at it. A team could try for the extra base every time and only succeed 25% of the time. This would be far worse than a team that tries 30% of the time and succeeds 50% of the time when it does try (they'd have an XBT% of 15% but far fewer outs on the basepaths). Ideally, we could break this down to opportunities, attempts, successes, and failures.

By: John Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:02:52 +0000 It'd be a tough thing to prove; I guess my thinking on the matter goes: if you're not stocking your team with guys who are good at the big things (reaching base, slugging), those guys might as well be good at the little things (or they're defensive studs, but defensive studs tend to have some speed by and large, outside of catcher and corner infielders).

By: John Autin Wed, 27 Apr 2011 15:58:13 +0000 @5, John said: "Teams that don't generate a ton of offense are going to be a lot more aggressive on the basepaths, to squeak out more and more runs."

Sounds good in theory, but has it actually been proven? I haven't seen the evidence. Anecdotally, I've seen plenty of low-scoring teams that are also passive on the bases, simply because they don't have the speed or skill to be aggressive.

By: John Autin Wed, 27 Apr 2011 15:54:09 +0000 Out of curiosity, I checked stats on the Cardinals of 1982-87:

SB -- 1st with 200, +51 vs. league avg.
CS -- 1st with 91, +22 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 6th at 69%, +1% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 5th (tie) at 46%, +1% vs. league avg.
R/G -- 5th at 4.23, +0.14 vs. league avg.
HR -- 12th with 67, -41 vs. league avg.

SB -- 1st with 207, +58 vs. league avg.
CS -- 2nd with 89, +16 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 3rd at 70%, +3% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 5th (tie) at 45%, equal to league avg.
R/G -- 5th at 4.19, +0.09 vs. league avg.
HR -- 12th with 83, -34 vs. league avg.

SB -- 1st with 220, +76 vs. league avg.
CS -- 3rd with 71, +7 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 2nd at 76%, +7% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 1st at 51%, +4% vs. league avg.
R/G -- 5th (tie) at 4.02, -0.04 vs. league avg.
HR -- 12th with 75, -32 vs. league avg.

SB -- 1st with 314, +178 vs. league avg.
CS -- 1st with 96, +36 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 2nd at 77%, +7% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 3rd at 47%, +4% vs. league avg.
R/G -- 1st at 4.61, +0.54 vs. league avg.
HR -- 11th with 87, -32 vs. league avg.

SB -- 1st with 262, +108 vs. league avg.
CS -- 4th with 78, +6 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 1st at 77%, +9% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 3rd at 47%, +2% vs. league avg.
R/G -- 12th at 3.73, -0.45 vs. league avg.
HR -- 12th with 58, -69 vs. league avg.

SB -- 1st with 248, +94 vs. league avg.
CS -- 4th with 72, +9 vs. league avg.
SB% -- 2nd at 78%, +7% vs. league avg.
XBT% -- 7th at 45%, -1% vs. league avg.
R/G -- 2nd at 4.93, +0.41 vs. league avg.
HR -- 12th with 94, -58 vs. league avg.

What does it all add up to? I'll let the smart guys explain it.
All I can tell is ... Those Cards teams, as a group, stole far more bases than any other team, and at a good percentage. But their XBT% overall does not immediately mark them as an aggressive baserunning team.