Should Teams Try To Steal Bases

In 2019, the team with the least SB were the A’s with only 35 SB. Mallex Smith, an individual player, had more SB than the A’s. And while the league average was 82 SB, a lot of teams were below that. Is that a trend just because players are slower, or should teams be stealing bases at all?

The art of stealing a base has been around for a while. The stolen base was popularized in the Rickey Henderson era, and then revived with Jose Reyes and company. But now, the league leader in SB was Mallex Smith with only 46 SB. Adalberto Mondesi is an up and coming speedster, and Jonathan Villar has been long known to swipe a base.

Only 8 players had more than 30 stolen bases in 2019. As sad as it is, SB are dying out.

Is this the right thing to do though? Should teams try to steal bases? I would say no simply because it’s not worth sacrificing a runner. Recent sabermetrics point to the fact that the odds of scoring decrease whenever a team attempts a steal. And if baseball is a game of scoring then teams shouldn’t steal bases.

2 thoughts on “Should Teams Try To Steal Bases

  1. Tell us more about the saber metrics that tell us that stealing isn’t worth it — there’s a positive effect if it works (having a runner in scoring position) but it isn’t a sure thing. How’s the math work?

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