Average isn’t quite so average when the alternative is terrible.
Try to tell anyone who saw Gleyber Torres’ two insane sprints from second base on the most recent road trip that the Yankees’ base this season has been just average as the advanced metrics would suggest. A fight would ensue because metrics don’t have memory and therefore don’t account for the fact that the Yankees were the second-worst base-running team in the majors last season.
“It was a stronger focus from day one of spring training,” manager Aaron Boone said Friday, shortly after it was revealed that a series opener against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium was rained out. “These guys really got into it and are very proud of everything – whether it’s stealing a base here or there, but it really starts with their secondary cues of how they make their first move.”
The Yankees are ranked 14th with a score of 0.0 in BsR, which FanGraphs defines as “an all-encompassing base-running statistic that includes stolen bases, caught steals, and other base-running plays in runs above and below average.” transformed”. In the FanGraphs scores, eight is considered great, zero is average, and minus six is terrible.
So what makes these Yankees look like lovers of a lost art? They scored a minus 15.1 in BsR last season. In other words, “terrible” times 150 percent.
“Anytime you can win runs, it’s always tremendous, especially when you’re trying to win a championship,” said midfielder Aaron Hicks, whose 0.9 BsR teamed with pinch-runner extraordinaire Tim Locastro behind Aaron in second place lies Richter (1.1). “That’s what championship teams do.”
For those who prefer the eye test to the metric, Torres has had two crucial runs in his last eight games without letting the ball reach the outfield.
Torres scored in the eighth inning of a win over the White Sox in the 12-2 win over the Orioles.
“Gleyber always had this aggressive streak on the bases,” Boone said. “He learned to use some of that aggressiveness at the big league level, but he has those instincts and that fearlessness on the grassroots paths that often serves him well.”
Torres notched an infield single from Hicks from first base last season. But the highlight was outweighed by the many times the Yankees got into a double play, an out at home plate (22), or a loss. These errors led to less aggressiveness and a station-to-station dependency, with the additional base on hits at the third-lowest rate in MLB.
Those Yankees? The slugging giants don’t look as lumbering, according to Baseball Reference, as the fourth most bases (42) have been hit with flyballs and pitcher-catcher miscues.
“It’s different just because of the things that we’ve focused on,” Hicks said. “Base stealing is key, number one, but also an opportunity to speed up your leads or get home from first to third or first. Now we have a team built around all of that, and that’s pretty nice. We have a good coaching staff that teaches us exactly how to maximize the opportunities we have.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/20/yankees-made-it-a-point-of-emphasis-to-fix-base-running/ Yankees made it a “focus” on fixing base running