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Buxton Stolen Base Streak

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#1 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 05:37 AM

Back on May 23, 2017 in Baltimore, Byron Buxton led off the third inning with a walk off of Dylan Bundy. After a foul bunt pop-up out (come on Dozier, gotta get that bunt down), Robbie Grossman came to the plate, and Byron duly took off for second. Wellington Castillo threw down to second and JJ Hardy received the throw, but Buxton had already reached the bag safely, as he usually does. Unfortunately, Buxton’s momentum - as it sometimes does - carried him past the bag, and Hardy (as he often does) alertly tagged Buxton out. Now, you can debate whether Buxton should be credited with a stolen base for getting to the base ahead of the throw, but the box score - and the record books - now reflect this as a caught stealing of second base.

Since that moment, Buxton has not been caught stealing again.

In 2017 he went on to steal:

4 more in May
4 in June
3 in July
8 in August
and
5 in September

That totaled 24 consecutive stolen bases without a caught stealing against.

In 2018, as we all know, Buxton had a lost season. Well, that’s not entirely true. He did not, in fact, lose everything that season. He did not lose an out on the base paths due to a caught stealing, nor, therefore, did he lose his consecutive stolen base streak. He stole:

1 bag in March
3 bases in April
and
1 more base in May

It wasn’t much, but it did add five more steals to his totals, bringing his running total up to 29 consecutive bases stolen without being caught.

This year, Byron has started the season is 3 for 3 on the bases. He missed out on nabbing a March steal, but he has notched steals in three different April games - thus far.

So as of today, (April 13, 2019) Byron Buxton has 32 consecutive steals without being caught.

Where does that stack up? Those 32 steals means that he’s already got the Twins record for consecutive steals. In the history of MLB, there are only 8 men who have gotten to 35 consecutive steals, including three who have done it twice (Davey Lopes, Jimmy Rollins, and Tim Raines.). Three have managed 40 or more; Raines (40), Ichiro (45), and the all-time record is held by Vince Coleman, who managed a nice round 50 consecutive stolen bases without being caught.

So just exactly how far Buxton can climb up this list is the question. Or rather, the questions:

—Will he become the ninth player in MLB history to steal 35 straight bases?

—Will he keep the streak alive until May 23, thus going two whole years without getting caught?

—Will he join Raines, Ichiro and Coleman as the fourth all-time to notch 40 consecutive stolen bases?

—Or...will he manage 19 more straight steals, thereby getting to 51 and setting a new MLB record?

Let the countdown begin.
Run, Buxton, Run!

Edited by AlwaysinModeration, 13 April 2019 - 05:59 AM.

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#2 sampleSizeOfOne

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 07:41 AM

Yes!
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#3 Doctor Wu

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:44 AM

We all know that Buxton is very fast ,but the most encouraging part about this streak is that he's not getting caught. At all. Obviously, it's going to come to an end at some point, but it will be fun to watch the streak continue. What do you attribute his stealing success to? It can't only be his speed. Has he become a much smarter base stealer and/or getting better leads off the base? Better knowledge of the pitchers and catchers respective strengths and weaknesses? For all our criticism of Buxton's sometimes reckless way of crashing into center field walls, it seems like he's more aware and astute on the base paths.

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#4 notoriousgod71

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:23 AM

When Buxton inevitably gets hurt it will be quite amazing to see this streak hit four years.

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#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:38 AM

the fast that he has this few is (to me at least) a bigger problem. He doesn't get caught. He should be sent more. 

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#6 jkcarew

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:41 AM

The problem with the stolen base statistic, is that it still doesn't account for getting picked off. Outs on the bases are extremely damaging, and it's pretty weird that base-running statistics still don't (at least prominently) account for instances of getting picked off...(let alone other instances of getting thrown out on the bases trying to advance the extra base). Has Buxton been picked off during this streak? And if not, perhaps he already has the 'truer' record, or is closer to the record than we realize.

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#7 Sconnie

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:41 AM

We all know that Buxton is very fast ,but the most encouraging part about this streak is that he's not getting caught. At all. Obviously, it's going to come to an end at some point, but it will be fun to watch the streak continue. What do you attribute his stealing success to? It can't only be his speed. Has he become a much smarter base stealer and/or getting better leads off the base? Better knowledge of the pitchers and catchers respective strengths and weaknesses? For all our criticism of Buxton's sometimes reckless way of crashing into center field walls, it seems like he's more aware and astute on the base paths.

well put!

he’s clearly a student of base stealing. I’d love to see the same thoughtful aggression in the field.
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#8 jkcarew

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:48 AM

 

the fast that he has this few is (to me at least) a bigger problem. He doesn't get caught. He should be sent more. 

As the old saying goes...it's hard to steal first base.

 

Between injuries and the career .288 OBP...

Anyway, I think he's been reasonably aggressive...but yeah...can push it a bit more probably given the success rate, maybe missing some opportunities by waiting too deep into the counts, etc.


#9 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:58 PM

The problem with the stolen base statistic, is that it still doesn't account for getting picked off. Outs on the bases are extremely damaging, and it's pretty weird that base-running statistics still don't (at least prominently) account for instances of getting picked off...(let alone other instances of getting thrown out on the bases trying to advance the extra base). Has Buxton been picked off during this streak? And if not, perhaps he already has the 'truer' record, or is closer to the record than we realize.


I think getting picked off does count as a CS.

#10 jkcarew

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 01:55 PM

 

I think getting picked off does count as a CS.

I don't think so. But if you're right...then, never mind :)


#11 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:10 PM

I don't think so. But if you're right...then, never mind :)


Upon further research, it sometimes does, and sometimes doesn't. If the runner has already left for the next base, it counts as a caught stealing. If they haven't, it doesn't.
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#12 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:42 PM

probably the more important question at this point, but at what point does Rocco move him up in the order? He's not off to one of his slow starts, so perhaps getting him a bit higher might be wise.

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#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:44 PM

probably the more important question at this point, but at what point does Rocco move him up in the order? He's not off to one of his slow starts, so perhaps getting him a bit higher might be wise.

I think caution is the word of the day.

And given the depth in this lineup, it’s not like Buxton batting ninth is killing their run-scoring opportunities.

My personal stance is wait until the calendar rolls into May and then make a decision.
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#14 ashbury

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

I think caution is the word of the day.

And given the depth in this lineup, it’s not like Buxton batting ninth is killing their run-scoring opportunities.

The only thing that bothers me is that on days the catcher bats 8th, the base clogging kills Buxton's run-scoring opportu-... oh wait, Castro's the one who hits 8th, and he doesn't clog anything. :)

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#15 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:34 PM

 

I think caution is the word of the day. 

 

I think he is very cautious.He only steals when he knows he will make it.That means very rarely against lefties, and almost never third base, and frankly, not that often in other circumstances.

 

Makes me wonder if he is aware of the streak, and wants to gun for the record.Which...I'm ok with.After he breaks the record, though, I'd like to see him steal third some more (or some).

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#16 Shaitan

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 07:56 PM

 

I think he is very cautious.He only steals when he knows he will make it.That means very rarely against lefties, and almost never third base, and frankly, not that often in other circumstances.

 

Makes me wonder if he is aware of the streak, and wants to gun for the record.Which...I'm ok with.After he breaks the record, though, I'd like to see him steal third some more (or some).

Why? He can score from 2nd on almost any ball put in play.

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#17 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:13 AM

 

I think he is very cautious.He only steals when he knows he will make it.That means very rarely against lefties, and almost never third base, and frankly, not that often in other circumstances.

 

Makes me wonder if he is aware of the streak, and wants to gun for the record.Which...I'm ok with.After he breaks the record, though, I'd like to see him steal third some more (or some).

 

To your first point, I'd somewhat agree. I don't know if it is cautious or what but I also believe that he should be trying to steal second basically every time he gets on first. I realize that's hyperbolic but to me, odds are more often than not, he's going to make it there, I'm all for him having the green light and encouraging him to go for it each time he gets on first.

 

To your second point, I wouldn't mind it but the thing is, he's so fast, he's going to score from second on just about any hit anyway. Would help obviously for sac flies to get him in and wild pitches and such but the upside for him to steal third from second probably isn't as high as it is from first to second


#18 USAFChief

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:22 AM

 

Why? He can score from 2nd on almost any ball put in play.

I think you meant to say he can score from 2nd on almost any hit to the outfield.

 

The value of being on 3rd base, rather than 2nd base, with less than 2 outs is pretty huge...he can score without benefit of a hit.

 

I'm with diehard...the consecutive SB record is nice, but means he's not running enough. He should be stealing more often. If he stole twice as many bases, but got caught around 15 percent of the time, that would be a net positive.

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#19 BrianTrottier

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:23 AM

 

To your first point, I'd somewhat agree. I don't know if it is cautious or what but I also believe that he should be trying to steal second basically every time he gets on first. I realize that's hyperbolic but to me, odds are more often than not, he's going to make it there, I'm all for him having the green light and encouraging him to go for it each time he gets on first.

 

To your second point, I wouldn't mind it but the thing is, he's so fast, he's going to score from second on just about any hit anyway. Would help obviously for sac flies to get him in and wild pitches and such but the upside for him to steal third from second probably isn't as high as it is from first to second

 

I would like to see him swipe third more, but only so that he can then swipe home.

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#20 Shaitan

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 10:00 AM

 

I think you meant to say he can score from 2nd on almost any hit to the outfield.

 

The value of being on 3rd base, rather than 2nd base, with less than 2 outs is pretty huge...he can score without benefit of a hit.

 

I'm with diehard...the consecutive SB record is nice, but means he's not running enough. He should be stealing more often. If he stole twice as many bases, but got caught around 15 percent of the time, that would be a net positive.

Nah, he can score on a hit in the infield too. I'm bad at embeds on this board, but we've all seen the end of Major League:)

 

Of course there are times when stealing 3rd is okay, but I'd rather have a runner on 2nd with 1 out than nobody on base with 2 outs.

 

I think the real reason he doesn't have many steals in his career is because he hasn't hit so far. Let's hope it improves this year, as it has so far.