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Searching for 20/20: Speed

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Speed kills.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Out of the hundreds of players that played Major League Baseball this year, 127 batting title qualified hitters were brave enough to attempt a steal.  This means, ignoring rookies and nonqualifiers, we have 127 potential 20/20 players in fantasy next year, because I believe once you exhibit a skill, you own it.  With that said, there are some obvious guys who shouldn't warrant any sort of consideration.  Here are some facts that I found while trying to narrow down who could be a 20/20 threat, on the speed end alone.

  • 51 players attempted at least 20 steals
  • The average speed score of all players who recorded one attempt was 4.0894
    • The most average baserunners according to the above stat were: Logan Morrison, Michael Brantley, Russell Martin, and Brett Lawrie
  • At .133 attempts per game, Todd Frazier had the lowest average run rate of any player with over 20 steal attempts, he had 21 attempts
  • Todd Frazier was the 42nd highest steal attempt per game player
  • At .1635 attempts per game, Paul Goldschmidt was the lowest steal rate player to steal 20 bases, he had 21 SB
  • 3 Players had higher steal per game rates, and did not reach 20 steals: Yelich, Adam Eaton, and Austin Jackson
  • At 4.6 Speed score, Paul Goldschmidt was the lowest to reach 20 steals, a 4.5 is considered average. Anyone over 5.5 has above average speed, or they are a mind reader on the bases.

This led me to making up a list of players I wanted to target.  For me to consider you as a potential 20+ SB threat, you either had to have a SPD score of over 5.5, or have over .1635 steal attempts per game.  Essentially making the list a group of fast people, and people that coaches just keep on sending.  This left me with a list that excluded players with over 20 steal attempts, and included players with under 20 attempts.

First let's list some of the notable players who did not make the list

  • Odubel Herrera, his 5.3 speed score and .163 attempts per game both did not make the cut, and his 16 SB in 24 attempts in 146 games seems about right. Throw in his .387 BABIP and 5.2% walk rate this year, and its hard to imagine he'll be on base attempting to run more next year.
  • Alexei Ramirez, his 3.8 speed score seems low for him, but his .155 attempts per game show that he's ageing. I'd imagine a lower total than 17 steals next season
  • Kolten Wong, his 5.3 speed score and .153 attempts per game were both too low. I expect offensive improvements from him next season, so I can see him being a player who breaks my system as more times on first equals more potential attempts.
  • Anthony Rizzo, smart baserunner, slow guy, 17 took everything he had in the tool box, be happy with 10+ going forward, as few 1B ever sniff double digit steals. He's a guy who swipes one when the opportunity arises, or while running behind another faster runner taking third.
  • Jason Kipnis, injuries knocked him down a peg, expect around 20 steals next season despite this year's totals
  • Jimmy Rollins, he's old now
  • Erick Aybar, old again
  • Ian Desmond, nice second half, but skills keep deteriorating
  • Mike Trout, doesn't run, has the speed
  • Andrew McCutchen, will likely return to form, knee injury stopped his run game in 2015
  • Matt Kemp, getting old, happy 31st birthday Matt!

And after that we proceed with the players who do match the criteria of having a speed score over 5.5, or have over .1635 attempts per game.  If you had 20 steals in the past season, I will not be mentioning them, because they obviously have already reached the goal of 20 steals needed to have a 20/20 season, and all of those players met at least one of the above criteria.

  • Mookie Betts, he had 27 steal attempts, and had the highest attempt rate of any player who did not reach 20 steals. With another year under his belt, I think he'll be the newest member of the 20SB club
  • Adam Eaton, in a bizarre power filled year for Eaton, he stole only 18 bags in 150 games. Make no mistake, Eaton can blaze down the line. In the minors he peaked at 38 steals, so I think predicting 20 steals next year is safe.
  • Christian Yelich, was on a 20 steal pace before his injury. He played only 126 games, and I see no reason to not expect him to have more total attempts next year. Also, with his present astronomical ground ball percentages, a high rate of his hits will continue to be singles.
  • Justin Upton, the former 1.1 pick remains an above average runner, and steals right at the rate required to be a 20 steal player. Free Agency can send him to a team that limits him on the bases, but the talent is there to move him from 19 to 20 steals.
  • Kevin Kiermaier, the 5th fastest man according to speed score has what it takes to get 20 steals.
  • Alcides Escobar, 2015 was the first time he didn't steal 20 bases since 2010. He's being more selective with his attempts, but he is still well above average in the wheels department.
  • Michael A. Taylor, stole 16 bases in 138 games, many of which he did not start and was replacing injured players on the Nationals, or pinch ran. While the same outfield is returning to Washington, another year on Span and Werth is not likely to keep them on the field more. Zimmerman is a nonfactor in the outfield giving him more of a chance to get in games and run.
  • Chris Owings, very underrated runner. Has to become a better baserunner, not a faster player.
  • Michael Brantley, great baserunner, not a speed demon
  • Gerardo Parra, can really run, needs to stay on one team and actually play. The skills are there for 20 steals.
  • Marcus Semien, fast enough, young enough
  • Brian Dozier, has done it before, had a hip injury this year
  • Chris Coghlan, needs to start on a lesser team
  • David Peralta, the guy came out of nowhere and can do everything
  • Matt Duffy, young and can run
  • Freddy Galvis, burner
  • Brock Holt, lacks the actually baseball skill to play enough and get on, but can run

Above, there is a list of 17 players who are capable of stealing 20, who did not last year.  There are other rookies and notable players who can fly, but currently lack the playing time to accomplish both 20 homers and 20 steals, I thought I should mention a few notable burners who have more than enough in the tank to steal 20 bases next season:

  • Rajai Davis
  • Jose Peraza
  • Aaron Altherr
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Jonathon Villar
  • Melvin Upton
  • Alejandro De Aza
  • Byron Buxton
  • Dalton Pompey
  • Carlos Correa

None of these players qualified on a per at bat basis for the batting title, so they were excluded from my list, but if they played enough, are more than capable of swiping 20.

Picking a future 20/20 player based off of statistical analysis is not going to be easy, but I've already realized I'm going to be narrowing this list down to less than 10 people at the end in order to find the real future threats to 20/20. I am pasting the chart I made to select new potential 20 steal players below.  Feel free to ask about any omissions, and please take a guess at how many 20/20 players you think there will be in 2016 in the poll below.

Name

Games

SB

CS

Attempts

A/G

SPD

Dee Gordon

145

58

20

78

0.537931034

7.3

Charlie Blackmon

157

43

13

56

0.356687898

7.4

Jose Altuve

154

38

13

51

0.331168831

5.9

A.J. Pollock

157

39

7

46

0.292993631

7.1

Billy Burns

125

26

8

34

0.272

7.2

Starling Marte

153

30

10

40

0.261437908

5.9

Jose Reyes

116

24

6

30

0.25862069

5.6

Ben Revere

152

31

7

38

0.25

6.9

Lorenzo Cain

140

28

6

34

0.242857143

7.4

Anthony Gose

140

23

11

34

0.242857143

7.5

Gregory Polanco

153

27

10

37

0.241830065

6.3

Ender Inciarte

132

21

10

31

0.234848485

6

Jean Segura

142

25

6

31

0.218309859

6.4

Elvis Andrus

160

25

9

34

0.2125

5.2

Cameron Maybin

141

23

6

29

0.205673759

5.4

Ryan Braun

140

24

4

28

0.2

6.3

Austin Jackson

136

17

10

27

0.198529412

5.2

Mookie Betts

145

21

6

27

0.186206897

6.7

Kevin Pillar

159

25

4

29

0.182389937

5.8

Brandon Phillips

148

23

3

26

0.175675676

5.4

DJ LeMahieu

150

23

3

26

0.173333333

6.4

Dexter Fowler

156

20

7

27

0.173076923

6.6

Manny Machado

162

20

8

28

0.172839506

4.2

Adam Eaton

153

18

8

26

0.169934641

6.5

Jason Heyward

154

23

3

26

0.168831169

6

Christian Yelich

126

16

5

21

0.166666667

4.8

Brett Gardner

151

20

5

25

0.165562914

5.7

Paul Goldschmidt

159

21

5

26

0.163522013

4.6

Odubel Herrera

147

16

8

24

0.163265306

5.3

Justin Upton

150

19

5

24

0.16

5.7

Alexei Ramirez

154

17

7

24

0.155844156

3.8

Kolten Wong

150

15

8

23

0.153333333

5.3

Kevin Kiermaier

151

18

5

23

0.152317881

7.3

Alcides Escobar

148

17

5

22

0.148648649

5.9

Jace Peterson

152

12

10

22

0.144736842

4.6

Anthony Rizzo

160

17

6

23

0.14375

4.9

Jason Kipnis

141

12

8

20

0.141843972

5.3

Jimmy Rollins

144

12

8

20

0.138888889

5.1

Michael Taylor

138

16

3

19

0.137681159

5.3

Chris Owings

147

16

4

20

0.136054422

6.7

Erick Aybar

156

15

6

21

0.134615385

4.6

Todd Frazier

157

13

8

21

0.133757962

3.7

Angel Pagan

133

12

4

16

0.120300752

4.9

Michael Brantley

137

15

1

16

0.116788321

4

Gerardo Parra

155

14

4

18

0.116129032

6.1

Ian Desmond

156

13

5

18

0.115384615

4.5

Mike Trout

159

11

7

18

0.113207547

5

Kris Bryant

151

13

4

17

0.112582781

5.4

Curtis Granderson

157

11

6

17

0.108280255

4.2

Ian Kinsler

154

10

6

16

0.103896104

5.4

Marcus Semien

155

11

5

16

0.103225806

5.5

Brian Dozier

157

12

4

16

0.101910828

5.6

Andrew McCutchen

157

11

5

16

0.101910828

4.2

Avisail Garcia

148

7

7

14

0.094594595

3.6

Matt Kemp

154

12

2

14

0.090909091

5.1

Carlos Santana

154

11

3

14

0.090909091

3.9

Jay Bruce

157

9

5

14

0.089171975

4.4

Joey Votto

158

11

3

14

0.088607595

3.7

Chris Coghlan

148

11

2

13

0.087837838

6.1

Brandon Belt

137

9

3

12

0.087591241

5.3

David Peralta

149

9

4

13

0.087248322

5.6

Logan Forsythe

153

9

4

13

0.08496732

3.9

Logan Morrison

146

8

4

12

0.082191781

4.1

Matt Duffy

149

12

0

12

0.080536913

6

Josh Reddick

149

10

2

12

0.080536913

4.8

Xander Bogaerts

156

10

2

12

0.076923077

4.8

Yoenis Cespedes

159

7

5

12

0.075471698

5.1

Kyle Seager

161

6

6

12

0.074534161

2.6

Freddy Galvis

151

10

1

11

0.072847682

5.5

Joc Pederson

151

4

7

11

0.072847682

2.4

Brandon Crawford

143

6

4

10

0.06993007

4.5

Brock Holt

129

8

1

9

0.069767442

5.8

Russell Martin

129

4

5

9

0.069767442

4

Starlin Castro

151

5

5

10

0.066225166

3.1

Jose Bautista

153

8

2

10

0.065359477

4.5

Bryce Harper

153

6

4

10

0.065359477

3.1

Eric Hosmer

158

7

3

10

0.063291139

4.9

Asdrubal Cabrera

143

6

3

9

0.062937063

5

Ben Zobrist

126

3

4

7

0.055555556

3.5

Andrelton Simmons

147

5

3

8

0.054421769

3.6

Didi Gregorius

155

5

3

8

0.051612903

3.5

Robinson Cano

156

2

6

8

0.051282051

2.3

Albert Pujols

157

5

3

8

0.050955414

2.7

Torii Hunter

139

2

5

7

0.050359712

2.3

Addison Russell

142

4

3

7

0.049295775

3.3

Brett Lawrie

149

5

2

7

0.046979866

4

Matt Carpenter

154

4

3

7

0.045454545

3.8

Nolan Arenado

157

2

5

7

0.044585987

3.5

Shin-Soo Choo

149

4

2

6

0.040268456

3.9

Josh Donaldson

158

6

0

6

0.037974684

4.5

Edwin Encarnacion

146

3

2

5

0.034246575

2.4

Derek Norris

147

4

1

5

0.034013605

3.9

Neil Walker

151

4

1

5

0.033112583

3.9

Nelson Cruz

152

3

2

5

0.032894737

2.5

Jhonny Peralta

155

1

4

5

0.032258065

1.8

J.D. Martinez

158

3

2

5

0.03164557

3.1

Kole Calhoun

159

4

1

5

0.031446541

3.4

Chris Davis

160

2

3

5

0.03125

1.9

Daniel Murphy

130

2

2

4

0.030769231

2.7

Yadier Molina

136

3

1

4

0.029411765

2.7

Adam Jones

137

3

1

4

0.02919708

3.8

Yunel Escobar

139

2

2

4

0.028776978

2.5

Alex Rodriguez

151

4

0

4

0.026490066

3.3

Evan Longoria

160

3

1

4

0.025

2.6

Marlon Byrd

135

2

1

3

0.022222222

3.9

Mike Moustakas

147

1

2

3

0.020408163

1.9

Trevor Plouffe

152

2

1

3

0.019736842

3.6

Nick Castellanos

154

0

3

3

0.019480519

2.7

Nick Markakis

156

2

1

3

0.019230769

2.3

Melky Cabrera

158

3

0

3

0.018987342

3.1

Joe Mauer

158

2

1

3

0.018987342

2.8

Miguel Cabrera

119

1

1

2

0.016806723

1.9

Francisco Cervelli

130

1

1

2

0.015384615

3.6

Lucas Duda

135

0

2

2

0.014814815

1.5

Stephen Vogt

136

0

2

2

0.014705882

2.7

Buster Posey

150

2

0

2

0.013333333

2.1

Carlos Gonzalez

153

2

0

2

0.013071895

3.2

Chase Headley

156

0

2

2

0.012820513

2.3

Troy Tulowitzki

128

1

0

1

0.0078125

2.6

Martin Prado

129

1

0

1

0.007751938

2.5

Mitch Moreland

132

1

0

1

0.007575758

1.5

Aramis Ramirez

137

1

0

1

0.00729927

2

Wilmer Flores

137

0

1

1

0.00729927

1.6

Salvador Perez

142

1

0

1

0.007042254

1.7

Adrian Beltre

143

1

0

1

0.006993007

3.6

Brandon Moss

145

0

1

1

0.006896552

2

David Ortiz

146

0

1

1

0.006849315

0.9

Yangervis Solarte

152

1

0

1

0.006578947

3.4

Evan Gattis

153

0

1

1

0.006535948

3.9

Adrian Gonzalez

156

0

1

1

0.006410256

1.2

Jose Abreu

154

0

0

0

0

2.5

Mark Trumbo

142

0

0

0

0

2.5

Kendrys Morales

158

0

0

0

0

2.1

Brian McCann

135

0

0

0

0

2

Billy Butler

151

0

0

0

0

1.8

Ryan Howard

129

0

0

0

0

1.7

Pablo Sandoval

126

0

0

0

0

1.6

Carlos Beltran

133

0

0

0

0

1.5

Adam Lind

149

0

0

0

0

1.3

Prince Fielder

158

0

0

0

0

1

Wilson Ramos

128

0

0

0

0

0.9