MLB leaderboard by stolen bases: KC Royals are top-10 in something

The KC Royals offense is one of the MLB's worst this season. But, how does their baserunning help a lackluster lineup?

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One of the most exciting moments in any given baseball game, for me at least, is any stolen base attempt. Some are closer than others, sure, but it is an underrated facet of the game. The anticipation builds as the runner takes off, and the crowd holds its breath. The split-second decision-making and lightning-fast speed required to successfully steal a base add an element of thrill and strategy to the game that keeps fans on the edge of their seats. The winning KC Royals needed every edge they could get en route to the World Series in 2014 and 2015, and stealing bases or stretching a single into a double were ways the Royals closed the gap. In 2023, that gap between the Royals and competitive teams is a canyon, one that no amount of speed can bridge. No matter the deficit, though, the Royals remain active on the basepaths.

The KC Royals leverage their speed to keep up with opponents.

They continue to push the envelope and take risks, looking for any opportunity to gain an advantage. Fans would hope so, as shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is one of the fastest players in baseball. Plus, several young Royals players have sprint speeds well above the league average, according to Baseball Savant. That athleticism has helped keep them a top-10 base-stealing team in the MLB despite not having a strong overall record.

Witt leads the team by a wide margin with 23 steals through June 2023. Maikel Garcia is also in double digits with 11 steals in 48 MLB games. The Royals' ability to steal bases has provided much-needed excitement for their fans, showcasing their team's speed and agility. With Witt and Garcia leading the charge, the Royals have been able to put pressure on opposing pitchers and catchers, creating scoring opportunities and keeping their opponents on their toes. Here is how the entire league ranks by stolen bases so far this season, provided by Baseball-Reference.

1. Tampa Bay Rays - 99
2. Cincinnati Reds - 92
3. Arizona Diamondbacks - 81
4. Oakland Athletics - 81
5. Pittsburgh Pirates - 79
6. San Diego Padres  - 66
7. Kansas City Royals - 65
8. Atlanta Braves - 63
8. Milwaukee Brewers - 63
9. New York Mets - 61
9. Philadelphia Phillies - 61
11. Baltimore Orioles - 60
11. Cleveland Guardians - 60
11. Toronto Blue Jays - 60
14. Chicago Cubs - 59
14. Houston Astros - 59
League Average - 58
16. Miami Marlins - 54
17. St. Louis Cardinals - 53
18. Seattle Mariners - 52
19. Boston Red Sox - 51
19. Los Angeles Dodgers - 51
21. Chicago White Sox - 50
21. New York Yankees - 50
23. Los Angeles Angels - 43
23. Washington Nationals - 43
25. Texas Rangers - 42
26. San Francisco Giants - 39
27. Detroit Tigers - 38
27. Minnesota Twins - 38
30. Colorado Rockies - 32

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