If you’re like me, one of the first things you did when Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the Phillies was posted on FanGraphs, you went right to wOBA and sorted high to low. You probably also glanced at ISO, strikeout and walk rates, and plate appearances for context. Like me, you probably also skipped over the stolen base projections.
Base running is an often overlooked aspect of a player’s offensive game. It doesn’t impact offense nearly as much as a player’s ability to get on base — if the base running stat on FanGraphs is to be believed, the difference between the best base running team and the worst is about 40 runs or four wins. For context, the difference between the best offensive team and the worst in 2013 was nearly 300 runs or 30 wins. Still, four wins is four wins and could ultimately be the difference between playing meaningful baseball in October or scheduling a golf outing.