Is Julio Rodríguez the Next Stolen King?

In the course of sports history there are some strong statistical excerpts. From Wilt Chamberlain, who scored an average of 48.5 minutes in the game in the 1961-62 season (there are only 48 minutes in the NBA game), to Wayne Gretzky, who had so many assists that he would be the leader of the NHL career scores even if he has never scored a goal, some stars have set the record straight and to the point that discussing it may seem pointless.

Rickey Henderson, a traveling traveler who frequently returned to Oakland, did so with stolen bases. And like the popular Twitter account Super 70s Sports noted ThursdayHenderson began on May 12, 1982 as MLB leader in robbery – at 35.

It is a number that seems even more absurd when you look at it for a long time. Last year only two players managed to steal a lot of bases all season. In 2019, only five players got there. Henderson, who in 1982 was on the record for stealing 130 times in 172 trials, had an average of more steals per game in mid-May. It was so fast that it removes the mold for any basic discussion that was stolen.

If you can adjust your robbery prospects back to modern reality, however, Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez starts off with an impressive start to his rookie season. He and the Mariners will open the series against first-placed Mets at Citi Stadium from Friday night, and with 10 places leading the major leagues in 11 trials, Rodríguez, 21, is on the verge of becoming the first player with 50 or more. in the season since Dee Strange-Gordon was 60 in 2017.

Could Rodríguez be the future of baseball, as he boldly suggested earlier this season? Absolutely. Could he be the beacon of Henderson and other major game threats? Not if he will continue with his recent series on the plate.

Rodríguez’s transition to university was initially very bad. After failing on April 29, he was hitting .211 with .550 percent on the base as well as slugging. He had reduced those poor results slightly by defensive efforts and by being sharp on the bottom line: Through 19 games, he had nine bases leading the stolen major leagues. Since then, his most recognizable talents on the plate have emerged, with OPS .835 in 12 games – but he has only stolen one base.

It is too early to say what will happen to a young player like Rodríguez. But in the current context, it is not surprising for a player who can hit, especially one who can hit hard like Rodríguez, to focus on that instead of looking for ways to make mistakes through bass theft bases.

In the 1980s, pitcher nightmare was filled with a picture of Tim Raines, Vince Coleman or Henderson taking a long lead from the first base. But in recent years, even players with a mix of speed and mass-stealing skills have gone the other way. With Mike Trout rallying around to showcase his potential until Trea Turner tries to protect his body against wear and tear, the best thieves in the game have avoided the one that used to be a best-selling skill.

In total, the teams have an average of 0.49 matches this season, which is an average result from last year but it will also be the fourth consecutive season with an average of less than 0.5. That’s down from the modern 0.85 game peak in 1987 – the era of Raines, Coleman and Henderson. Over the course of the season, the seemingly small portion may increase. Last season the Kansas City Royals led the MLB by stealing 124 times; in 1987, average the team stole 138 and the Coleman Cardinals climbed the bridge by 248.

Baseball Premier League has identified a lack of theft as a problem. A player who leaves for a second, and sends a shock in the middle of the crowd, makes the game more interesting than running a few times alone with several shots. So MLB, when conducting experiments at sub-league level, has prioritized looking for ways to encourage running such as setting a limit on the number of times a pitcher can leave the ball in one league and require the players to drop the ball before trying to take another.

Despite this, it can sometimes feel as if there will be no other José Reyes, let alone another Henderson. As we wait to see if MLB programs can weaken, it is worth remembering that there is a change in the flow of baseball statistics and that we are not really on the basis of stolen bases.

There have been only six seasons where the average league average of less than 0.3 steals a game, and all six came between 1949 and 1956. In 1957, Washington Senators set a suspicious record, stealing only 13 bases as a team in the entire period. out of 154 games. To make matters worse, they were caught trying to steal 38 times.

A year later, Henderson was born in Chicago and would continue to steal a record of 1,406 bases.

And it wasn’t just Henderson. The resurgence of stolen bases after that low level in the 1950s happened very quickly. In 1958, Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants led the medal by stealing only 31 times. By 1962, the Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers were changing the game – and setting a new modern record – by 104.

Thefts grew so frequent that in 1976, 10 players had 50 or more in one season, and the average number of burglaries increased 0.7 times – a number that would reach 22 consecutive seasons.

In that spirit, a return to the basics of theft may seem impossible at the moment, but what can happen is a player who wants to do so and the team does not tell him to stop. Re-emergence can blossom from there.

If that happens, Henderson will not need to lose sleep over his records.

If Rodríguez, or anyone else, reaches 50 per season, they can repeat that for 28 consecutive seasons and still miss six to tie Henderson. It is not impossible, of course, but like the heroes of Chamberlain and Gretzky, it is a very remarkable record that it is best not to spend too much time contemplating if anyone can threaten it.

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