(For those of you who aren’t Cubs fans, this is a question about MLB player Javier Baez).
As an example, a couple of days ago Javier Baez won a game pretty much single-handedly. He singled, then attempted to steal second. The catcher’s throw went wild and sailed into center field, and he almost nonchalantly cruised into third, while keeping an eye on the ball and the fielders. When the center fielder bobbled the ball, he rounded third and scored. In short, he scored from first on a single stolen base play.
It seems like he makes these sorts of plays all the time. He is a very aggressive base-runner, and constantly seems to pressure defenses into making costly errors. Is there a metric for this? I mean, sure, runs scored covers part of it, but only part. It’s not just that he gets on base and gets driven in by the batters behind him. It’s not even that he steals bases and stretches singles into doubles. He seems to have an uncanny knack for reading throwing angles and body language and knowing when to press and pressure a defense and create errors.
Of course, maybe he’s reckless and he’s just been lucky so far this season. Or maybe my fanboy rose-colored glasses make his actions seem more remarkable than they are.
But is there some sort of metric to measure this sort of thing? Total Bases, Stolen Bases, and Runs Scored don’t really cover the bases he gains from the other teams’ errors, and even if my Cubbie enthusiasm is over-emphasizing his role in “forcing” errors, it seems like at least in theory an aggressive and clever base-runner could use tactics that lead to more opponent errors, and that might be a useful skill to quantify.