First Look at College Baserunning Numbers
May 06, 2010
Yesterday we put our play-by-play database to work breaking even more new ground in evaluating the college game. We've got ourselves some baserunning stats.
Our calculations follow the same basic patterns as the stats devised and published by Dan Fox and Sean Smith. We take into account the usual stuff (SB, CS, pickoffs) as well as just about every type of base advance or non-advance, from wild pitches and passed balls to getting nabbed off base on a line drive double play. We're also looking at double play avoidance and reaching on errors.
Consider this a work in progress. For now, we compare everyone in Division One to the same average, and that probably isn't right. An awful lot of guys from the lower rungs of D-1 show up near the top, and that could be because the defense is much worse at that level. (It's easier to go from first to third on a single if nobody's hitting a cut-off man!)
Plus, since we're only looking at the 40 to 50 games so far, there's some luck baked into the numbers. We'll check back soon with more information on year-to-year persistence so we'll have a better idea of how much is skill and how much is luck.
We're guessing you don't care much as we do about that. On to the numbers!
At the very top of the list is a name you might be familiar with: Tyler Holt (Florida State). He's been worth an impressive six runs above average. There might be something in the water the Seminoles are drinking, as teammate Stephen Cardullo is fifth overall, at roughly +5.
Another familiar name shows up in the top 50: LSU's Leon Landry is +3. Oddly, he loses almost a full run because he so rarely reaches on errors. Some of that may be luck; it also may be due to the high quality of his competition.
Other faves in the vicinity of +3 are Anthony Rendon, Stephen Perez (Miami), Kendall Bolt (Navy), small-college slugger Chad Salem (Manhattan), Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech), and Kolbrin Vitek (Ball State).
It surprised us to find big names at the bottom of the list, too. Both Joey Terdoslavich and Michael Kvasnicka are in the bottom 25, between -4 and -5. Christian Colon is another surprise to find below average, but by virtually never hitting into double plays, he keeps his number at -1.
Stay tuned as we tweak and expand these numbers to show you yet another aspect of your favorite draft prospects.