Breaking Down the Brewers’ Outs on the Bases

Following the Brewers’ series loss in San Francisco, Tom Haudricourt noted that according to Baseball-Reference, the Brewers have run into more outs on the basepaths than any team in baseball. It’s a factoid that’s expected given Ron Roenicke’s attitude when it comes to giving up outs, but like most team statistics, it’s skewed by the contributions of a select few.

So who are the biggest offenders when it comes to getting thrown out taking the extra base? Baseball-Reference makes figuring that out easy, too. Among those who have collected at least 100 plate appearances this year:

Player – Outs on Bases
Rickie Weeks – 10
Nyjer Morgan – 8
Carlos Gomez – 7
Yuniesky Betancourt – 6
Ryan Braun – 5
Casey McGehee – 5
Corey Hart – 4
Jonathan Lucroy – 4
Prince Fielder – 3
Craig Counsell – 0
Mark Kotsay – 0

Of course, just ranking the outs on the bases is misleading — guys like Weeks, Morgan, and Gomez should top the list because they take more chances than guys like Fielder.

While Weeks leads the team in outs on the bases, he also leads the team in extra bases taken, with 15. If we measure his “success rate” like we would his stolen base success rate, he’s converted 15 of the 25 extra-base opportunities he’s taken* — 60%. That’s not great, but it’s not the worst on the team:

Player – Success Rate
Betancourt – 40%
Gomez – 46.2%
Morgan – 46.6%
McGehee – 54.5%
Weeks – 60%
Lucroy – 60%
Braun – 70.6%
Hart – 71.4%
Fielder – 76.9%
Counsell – 100%
Kotsay – 100%

*It should be noted that this isn’t the same as the percentage of time he takes an extra base whenever the opportunity arises, measured as XBT% on baseball-reference. We’re talking strictly success rate when he does choose to go — a less-than-scientific formula of (Bases Taken) / (Bases Taken + Outs on Bases).

This more or less confirms what we already likely felt — guys like Braun and Hart do a good job of picking their spots, and they’re successful more often than not. Guys like Gomez and Morgan have great speed, but have run into a lot of dumb outs in the name of aggression. Roenicke has tried to explain it away by saying they’ll run into outs as they’re “trying to create a different thought process on the bases,” but this is nothing new for Gomez and Morgan. They’ve been known as risky baserunners for awhile. They’re not likely to suddenly improve their decision-making, but at least they’re fast enough to occasionally beat out some of their bad decisions. Perhaps the best we can do is hope they don’t come in critical situations.

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