The duo of Jarrod Dyson and Alcides Escobar made club history today as they are the first Royals teammates to both steal 30 or more bases since the World Series Champion team of 1985. This season won’t have the same outcome as the 85 season had, but it’s still a nice little accomplishment for the pair of Royals.
There are only four other pairs of teammates to accomplish the feat so far this year. Brewers teammates Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez have 30 and 36 respectively, and Jimmy Rollins and Juan Pierre of Philadelphia, also are a 30 stolen base duo with 37 and 30. In Miami, speedsters, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio both have surpassed 30 stolen bases and the final duo in the AL East are Rays teammates Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton. Norichika Aoki could join his Brewers teammates over the last few days of the season if he can swipe 2 more bags and Jordan Schafer can join his Astros teammate, Jose Altuve, if he can grab 3 more bases.
The most important piece of this puzzle is getting on base, first. No matter how fast a guy is, the old saying stands true that you can’t steal first base. Dyson has an on base percantage of .332 which is 11 points higher than his career on base percentage. Escobar’s career on base percentage is slightly over .300, but this season he’s improved greatly in that category with a .329 on base percentage. Obviously these higher on base percentages are going to result in more opportunities to steal a base, not to mention the big jump in playing time for Dyson as he filled in for the ailing Lorenzo Cain.
Escobar is slightly more efficient this year with a stolen base success rate at 86% by swiping 32 bags and only getting caught 5 times. Dyson has a success rate of 85% as he has stolen 30 bags and has only been caught 5 times as well. However, it’s important to note that Escobar has yet to be picked off and Dyson has been picked off 7 times. In knowing that, the edge definitely goes to Escobar as the most well rounded base stealer on the team.
Most of us knew we were getting a great defensive shortstop in Escy, but we didn’t know we’d get this much production at the plate from him. His base running/stealing is another element of his game that is just adding to his value as a very well rounded shortstop and one of the league’s best. Dyson is a fringy 4th outfielder type, but his ability to capture an extra base when the team needs it most is a very important part of his game. Most teams value having a guy like that on their team and it’s something that could keep Jarrod on the team for next year, at the very least.
Stealing bases can be a huge asset to a team’s success. Teams sacrifice players on the base path all the time by using bunts and situational hitting, but if a player can advance bases solely on his own behalf, that adds tremendous value to his overall game. However, a player can also do more harm than good if he can’t steal bases at a high success rate. This duo was very successful in aiding the team on the base path and hopefully they can continue that success into next season as well.