Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Best Players At Advancing Runners Since 1950

This a continuation of my series on runner advancement statistics for batters.  Other posts are listed below:
In this piece, I'll look at advancement for batters since 1950, the first complete year of the retrosheet database.  The columns in the tables below are as follows:
  • OPP - Runners on base in batters plate appearances excluding neutral results (i.e. no base runner advancement and no outs on play).
  • ADV - Base runners advanced.
  • ADV% - Percentage of base runners advanced.
  • ADVAA - Base runners Advanced Above Average.
Table 1 shows that the highest advancement percentage was by Giants outfielder Barry Bonds in 2004 when he advanced 211 of 313 runners for a .674 ADV%.  It's no wonder why he was intentionally walked 232 times that year.  He was more than eight percentage points higher than the runner-up - Rockies first baseman Todd Helton at .591 in 2000.

Table 2 tells us that Bonds also posted the highest single-season ADVAA in 2004 when he was 83 runs above average.

Table 1: Singe-season Advance Percentage Leaders, 1950-2012

Player
Team
Year
OPP
ADV
ADV%
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
2004
313
211
.674
Todd Helton
Colorado
2000
462
273
.591
Ted Williams
Boston
1950
284
167
.588
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
2002
302
177
.586
Roberto Alomar
Cleveland
2001
375
218
.581
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
2003
293
170
.580
Bob Abreu
Philadelphia
2006
252
146
.579
George Brett
Kansas City
1980
323
187
.579
Rod Carew
Minnesota
1977
403
233
.578
Mike Hargrove
Cleveland
1981
225
130
.578
Ted Williams
Boston
1957
276
159
.576
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
1996
387
222
.574
Pete Rose
Cincinnati
1969
302
173
.573
Ted Williams
Boston
1951
475
272
.573
Derek Jeter
New York
2006
420
239
.569
Rusty Greer
Texas
1999
398
226
.568
Rod Carew
California
1979
284
161
.567
Roberto Alomar
Cleveland
1999
468
263
.562
Rickey Henderson
Oakland
1995
226
127
.562
Mark McLemore
Texas
1998
331
186
.562


Table 2: Single-season Advances Above Average Leaders, 1950-2012

Player
Team
Year
OPP
ADV
ADVAA
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
2004
313
211
83
Todd Helton
Colorado
2000
462
273
76
Ted Williams
Boston
1951
475
272
71
Rod Carew
Minnesota
1977
403
233
66
Roberto Alomar
Cleveland
1999
468
263
65
Derek Jeter
New York
2006
420
239
62
Joe Morgan
Cincinnati
1972
369
204
62
Roberto Alomar
Cleveland
2001
375
218
61
Tom Herr
St. Louis
1985
417
228
59
Barry Bonds
San Francisco
1996
387
222
59
Rusty Greer
Texas
1999
398
226
58
Gus Bell
Cincinnati
1954
435
233
57
David Ortiz
Boston
2005
479
255
57
Rod Carew
Minnesota
1974
389
212
57
Billy Williams
Chicago
1972
357
193
55
Tony Gwynn
San Diego
1997
399
222
55
Mickey Vernon
Washington
1953
500
260
55
Jason Giambi
Oakland
2000
424
238
55
Pete Rose
Cincinnati
1969
302
173
54
Roberto Clemente
Pittsburgh
1967
381
201
54


Table 3 lists Ted Williams with the best career ADV% since 1950 with .543.  Current Twins catcher Joe Mauer is second at .513.  The best thing about lists like this is the surprises.  Braves long-time pitching great Tommy Glavine is tied for seventh with Bonds at .502.  Whereas Bonds advanced runners with power, Glavine did it more with sacrifice bunts.  Players like first baseman Ferris Fain (.508) and shortstop Johnny Pesky (.505) who rarely struck out and consistently put the ball in play also excelled at advancement.

Finally, Table 4 shows the career ADVAA leaders starting with Barry Bonds (590).  

Table 3: Career Advancement Percentage Leaders, 1950-2012

Player
OPP
ADV
ADV%
Ted Williams
2849
1547
.543
Joe Mauer
2570
1319
.513
Tony Gwynn
5469
2785
.509
Ferris Fain
1713
871
.508
Joey Votto
1631
826
.506
Johnny Pesky
1078
544
.505
Tom Glavine
1060
532
.502
Barry Bonds
6693
3358
.502
Rod Carew
5824
2910
.500
Joe Cunningham
2281
1132
.496
Mike Hargrove
3741
1845
.493
Bob Abreu
5699
2797
.491
Manny Mota
2677
1309
.489
Todd Helton
5177
2529
.489
Elvis Andrus
1330
648
.487
Chipper Jones
6433
3131
.487
Kevin Seitzer
3255
1584
.487
Lyman Bostock
1377
669
.486
Mark Grace
5383
2615
.486
Denard Span
1310
630
.481


Table 4: Career Advances Above Average Percentage, 1950-2012

Player
OPP
ADV
ADVAA
Barry Bonds
6693
3358
590
Rod Carew
5824
2910
580
Tony Gwynn
5469
2785
535
Carl Yastrzemski
8311
3818
513
Pete Rose
6904
3226
483
Chipper Jones
6433
3131
473
Bob Abreu
5699
2797
443
Rusty Staub
6912
3164
411
Todd Helton
5177
2529
396
Mark Grace
5383
2615
385
Wade Boggs
5719
2727
371
Roberto Clemente
5597
2557
367
Mickey Mantle
5608
2636
367
Derek Jeter
6390
3027
365
Roberto Alomar
5675
2727
364
Joe Morgan
5892
2714
363
Ted Williams
2849
1547
361
Billy Williams
6014
2721
359
George Brett
6631
3059
351
Nellie Fox
5428
2569
340


The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.  Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at Retrosheet.org. 

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