Angel Baserunning

There’s a great post today over at Beyond The Boxscore about something near and dear to the Angel organization, baserunning.

Mike Scioscia and the Angels talk often about the importance of running the bases well and “pressuring the defense” (specifically going first to third). 

Given the Angels’ reputation as a baserunning-oriented team, it’s a bit surprising to see that they are not nearly as effective on the bases as the top teams in the game (namely the Twins and Mets but also, to an extent, the Rangers). 

Also interesting, Chone Figgins ranks as one of the very best base runners in baseball, comparing favorably with Ichiro, Jose Reyes and Ian Kinsler (who knew?).   

Further, Figgins ranks as one of the better pure baserunners in the game, comparing favorably to the speed guys but also to guys who run the bases well without actually stealing bases. 

Still, we’re surprised by two things about Figgins.  First, he’s just an awful, awful bunter, especially given the motivation that his relative speed should provide to get better.  Second, it’s astonishing that he doesn’t make tough plays closer at first base; given the above information, we can only infer that he just doesn’t get out of the box well.

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