Carleton: Why aren’t you running?

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on March 4, 2020:

When last we met, we spoke of speed and baserunning, and found that while we normally associate footspeed with success when running for an extra base, if you want to know how fast a player is – something that we can now directly measure in the StatCast era – it’s best to look at how often he attempts to do some daring baserunning feat. It makes sense if we stop to think about it. A player has to decide to make the attempt first before he actually does the running, and prior to going, he needs to decide whether that’s a good idea. Part of that calculation will be whether he thinks he’s fast enough to make it. So when you see someone trying to stretch things out, it’s someone who has self-selected for “I think I can make it,” and the results show that such baserunners are  pretty good at figuring that out.

In fact, runners are actually really good at figuring out whether they will make it.

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Originally published: March 4, 2020. Last Updated: March 4, 2020.