Prince Fielder and the 7 Most Awkward Baserunners in MLB

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2011

Prince Fielder and the 7 Most Awkward Baserunners in MLB

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 30:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds third base as third baseman Chris Johnson #23 looks on  after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 30, 2011 in Houston, Texas
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    In Major League Baseball, one does not have to be an athlete at peak physical performance to be a good player.

    A number of players have succeeded while hugely overweight, weak or, as in the case of David Wells' no-hitter, hung over.

    This means that fans get to witness high comedy when some of these non-athletes try to run the bases quickly.

    Players like Prince Fielder can hit the ball out of the park easily, but when it comes to rounding second, you never know if you'll see a trip, slip, slide or dive.

Jorge Posada

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    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23:  Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees follows his two RBI homerun against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Image
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Jorge Posada was always slow.  Now that he is too old to play catcher for the Yankees, his baserunning has steadily decreased as well.

    Just the other day, Posada tried to steal second base with two outs in the sixth inning, annoying manager Joe Girardi, according to ESPN.

    Yankees fans have to be wondering what could possess a guy so slow to think he could steal a base—ever—let alone at a crucial point in the game.  Posada was never fast, but his mental lapses keep him among the MLB's worst baserunners.

Yadier Molina

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 22: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts to being called out after attempting to steal second base against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on April 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The catching Molina brothers all could have been on this list.  Bengie Molina has been slow throughout his career, and is well known as one of the worst baserunners in baseball.

    Yadier takes after his older brother.  Despite his 2009 and 2010 stolen base totals,  Molina is slow and makes too many mistakes trying to take an extra base.

    Even so, he makes other baserunners look just as bad as him with some of his throws to get runners out.

Prince Fielder

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after getting hit by a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. All players, coaches and umpires are wearin
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    It's a good thing Prince Fielder hits so many home runs, because when he actually has to run around the bases, it is not a pretty sight.

    Fielder has run out inside-the-park home runs slower than some other players have run around the bases when they hit it out of the park.

    According to Bill James' 2011 handbook, Fielder was so slow going from first to third that by stopping at second, he prevented the hitter from getting a double.

    Fielder remains a valuable asset to any team—any runs he loses on the basepaths, he gets back with power.  But if he had a little more speed, the Brewers would be a significantly more dangerous team.

Chipper Jones

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves during their opening day game against the Philadephia Phillies at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Chipper Jones is getting up there in age.  So far in the 2011 season, he is dead last in the majors in a sabermetric statistic measuring how well player's advance on the basepaths called Equivalent Base Running Runs (EqBRR).

    In his prime, Jones was a threat on the basepaths, stealing 25 bases in 1999.  More than a decade later, Jones' speed has diminished to the point where he is among the league's slowest.  Jones doesn't have much time left in his career, but he is already a liability on the basepaths.

Aramis Ramirez

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03:  (L-R) Second base umpire Dale Scott calls out Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs as Jamey Carroll #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Phot
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    In 13 seasons, Aramis Ramirez has stolen 15 bases.  He has also been caught 15 times.

    While Ramirez might not attempt to steal many bases, he does try to take extra bases and often gets thrown out ahead of the play.

    This season, Ramirez has asked manager Mike Quade to allow him to run more on the basepaths to get more steals.

    The idea of Ramirez running the bases is laughable, according to The Chicago Tribune.

James Loney

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 05:  Second baseman Jose Lopez #22 of the Colorado Rockies and James Loney #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers collide as Lopez turns a double play on a ground ball by Juan Uribe of the Dodgers to third baseman Ty Wigginton of the Rockies  in
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    James Loney looks lost when he runs around the bases.  Whether it is getting caught in rundowns, slowly rounding first or not moving quickly enough from first to third, Loney costs his teams runs while running.

    Recently Loney's struggles at the plate have been making headlines in Los Angeles.  Even if he starts hitting, he will have to get better at the mental part of baserunning before becoming a balanced offensive threat.

Lance Berkman

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 26:  Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals is tagged out attempting to steal second by second baseman Bill Hall #22 of the Houston Astros in the second inning at Minute Maid Park on April 26, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob L
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Lance Berkman has had an outstanding hitting career.  But this picture says it all—the ball is almost always at the base long before Berkman arrives.

    Berkman actually has 82 stolen bases in his career and stole 18 bases in 2008.  These numbers are more by virtue of opportunity than anything else.  Battery combinations don't expect Berkman to steal, so he occasionally takes advantage.

    But as he ages, it becomes even more difficult as speed continues to diminish.

    Berkman is ranked as the fifth worst baserunner in the MLB this season according to EqBRR.