Run Rates and Base Moods: Ellsbury's a Happy Guy, Schneider's Not

T KCorrespondent IApril 23, 2008

Earlier today, my brother said to me, "Look at Rickie Weeks, he has more runs than hits! When was the last time someone this far into the season had more runs than hits?"

I didn't have to go back at all to find the answer. This year, Jacoby Ellsbury has 19 runs and only 16 hits. Interestingly enough, teammate Dustin Pedroia has the second most hits in the league (32) yet he only has 13 runs. The two guys who hit in front of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have very different scoring ratios. How weird is that?

Speed, outs circumstance, and batting trends of the following batters are some of the variables that can cause the wide discrepancy. Additionally, there has only been about 20 games this season these samples are relatively small.

Nonetheless, it is still fun to analyze. To see who scores at the highest/lowest rate every time they get on base (which I called the Run Ratio), I chose to include the top 80 players in OBP that have at least 50 plate appearances so far this season. These guys would have more to complain about than those who do not get on-base well.
 Most Frustrated Base Runners
Player Team Run Rate
Brian Schneider NTM 4.3%
Troy Glaus STL 15.6%
Billy Butler KAN 18.8%
Luke Scott BAL 19.4%
Hideki Matsui NYY 20.6%
Lyle Overbay TOR 21.9%
Brad Hawpe COL 22.6%
Nick Johnson WAS 22.6%
Sean Casey BOS 22.7%
Milton Bradley TEX 23.5%

Poor Brian Schneider. He doesn't have any extra base hits yet so he doesn't have too much to gripe about. Still, he's only touched the plate once this year in the 23 times he's gotten to first. And, THEN, he has to sprint to throw on the catcher's pads for the next inning. You gotta feel for the guy.

The biggest surprise when I ran the study was that Chone Figgins finds himself 12th on this list. He's lead off every game for the Angels this year and has a .469 OBP. The slumps of #3 hitter Gary Matthews Jr and #5 hitter Garret Anderson has a lot to do with it. He is 7 for 10 on the basepaths and is the only one in the top 15 that has more than one stolen base. Speed truly does not belong on this list and neither do leadoff hitters.  Figgins is both.
For what it's worth, Dustin Pedroia ranks 27th on this list and has the worst Run Rate of any eligible second baseman.
  Most Satisfied Base Runners 
Player Team Run Rate
Jacoby Ellsbury BOS 61.29%
Conor Jackson ARI 59.38%
Mark Reynolds ARI 59.38%
Carlos Quentin CHW 55.56%
Ryan Church NYM 54.84%
Lance Berkman HOU 52.94%
Ryan Ludwick STL 50.00%
Aramis Ramirez CHC 50.00%
Eric Hinske TAM 50.00%
Derrek Lee CHC 48.72%

The Mets and Cardinals are the only teams that have players on both lists. Ryan Church bats either 2nd, 6th, and 7th whereas Schneider has only bat in front of the pitcher and Jose Reyes. Ludwick, Glaus and Rick Ankiel rotate in and out of the 4th and 5th spots in the line up so Glaus' lack of speed could be a huge factor.

And there's Jacoby at the top of the list. I wouldn't call him lucky since he's so fast. I doubt Jacoby can keep this rate up but he has as good of a chance as any with his speed, place in the lineup, and on-base skills. It's more fun to think that he's just that much faster than Pedroia.