2DAY'S 2 CENTS Minor league stolen base record
Billy Hamilton broke a record on Tuesday about which you might not have been aware: stolen bases in a minor league season.
Hamilton, who plays in the Reds' system, stole four more bases Tuesday night to give him 147 steals this season -- topping Vince Coleman's previous minor league record of 145 set in 1983. It's more, too, of course, than Rickey Henderson's MLB modern-era record of 130 set in 1982
There are a few pretty cool things about this:
• A check of baseball-reference.com, a baseball stats bible, shows there was another Billy Hamilton more than 100 years ago who was one of the all-time greats stealing bases in the majors. He played almost all of his career before 1900 -- before the "modern era" -- and finished with 914 steals, third all-time behind Henderson and Lou Brock. He's also credited with four seasons of at least 100 steals. How crazy is that? They need to get cracking on Field of Dreams II, so the Hamiltons can meet and have a run-off.
• This is not the heyday for base-stealers. The "Moneyball" line of thinking, rooted in admittedly useful advanced statistics, has not been kind to the stolen base. It is considered a risky proposition when preserving outs is sacred -- an overvalued statistic with less payoff than one might imagine. Since the start of the 1990s, no player has stolen more than 78 bases in an MLB season. In 2002, the season glorified in the movie "Moneyball," Luis Castillo led the majors with 48.
• Hamilton is a collision between old treasures (steals) and new treasures (on-base percentage). Plenty of modern speed demons were not great on-base guys. Rickey Henderson (.401 career OBP) and Tim Raines (.385) were exceptions. Vince Coleman, Lou Brock, Maury Willis, Omar Moreno and Ron LeFlore all had seasons with at least 96 steals. None has a career OBP above .343. Hamilton, who has split time between Class A and Class AA, has those 147 steals and can boast of a .417 on-base percentage this season thanks to 80 walks and a .317 batting average.
|Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson||11:35 AM|
|Pittsburgh - J. Gomez|
|Baltimore - K. Gausman||6:07 PM|
|Toronto - B. Morrow|
|Minnesota - S. Diamond||6:08 PM|
|Detroit - R. Porcello|
|Cleveland - Z. McAllister||6:10 PM|
|Boston - R. Dempster|
|LA Angels - J. Blanton||7:10 PM|
|Kansas City - E. Santana|
|San Jose||9:30 PM|
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