Bases Gained (BG) is a statistic that I created to determine how well a player puts himself in a good position to score (not necessarily "scoring position," which just means being on second or third base). Bases Gained shows, for lack of better wording, how many bases that player gains on his own, per at-bat. The first component, component 1, depicts how many bases the batter gains in that at-bat. The second component, component 2, illustrates how many opportunities that batter has to get on base.

 

A single is obviously one base gained, a double is two, a triple is three and a home run is four. On any of those hits, that player, player A, is getting to said bases on his own, independent of those around him. Of course, another player, player B, could be on base ahead of him, which would likely prevent player A from stealing, but this stat just focuses on what player A has control of. For this reason, runs scored does not factor into how many bases player A gains. Player A cannot control whether or not player B knocks him in. Similarly, runs batted in is not included, because player A cannot control whether or not there is another runner on base when he gets up. Stolen bases and caught stealing, however, are included, because player A has (disregarding coaching errors), full control over his ability to steal bases. Therefore, a stolen base is +1 base, while caught stealing would be -1.

 

 

The formula for this statistic is:

           (TB+ BB + HBP + SB - CS) 

BG=  -------------------------------------

          (AB + BB + HBP + SH + SF)

where TB is total bases, BB is walks, HBP is times hit by pitch, SB is stolen bases, CS is times caught stealing, AB is at bats, SH is sacrifice hits and SF is sacrifice fly-outs.

 

This can also be determined by:

          (TB+ BB + HBP + SB - CS) 

BG=  -----------------------------------

                            (TPA)

where TPA is total plate appearances.

 

A final output of .500 would mean player A is, on average, gaining one-half of a base every time up to the plate. To put that into perspective, if a player has four plate appearances in a game and goes 1-3 with a single and a walk, that player would have gained two bases in four plate appearances, and would have a final output of .500. Now, that would mean he would have a .333 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage, which are both well above average. Therefore, a final output of .500 is well above average. Of course this will vary, since some players hit for a lower average but hit more home runs, and vice versa.

 

I calculated the Based Gained for every player in the major leagues with a minimum of 400 plate appearances. The top results are a mix of power hitters and speed guys, and tend to favor anyone who gets on base a lot.

 

Here are the top 10 in the National League for 2013:

1. Carlos Gonzalez- .667

2. Paul Goldschmidt- .623

3. Jayson Werth- .602

4. David Wright- .600

5. Carlos Gomez- .595

6. Andrew McCutchen- .593

7. Troy Tulowitzki- .592

8. Joey Votto- .588

9. Yasiel Puig- .588

10. Michael Cuddyer- .581

 

And the American League: 

1. Miguel Cabrera- .692

2. Chris Davis- .676

3. Mike Trout- .661

4. David Ortiz- .622

5. Edwin Encarnacion- .604

6. Brandon Moss- .576

7. Jose Bautista- .572

8. Robinson Cano- .571

9. Josh Donaldson- .560

10. Nelson Cruz- .553

 

Nine players ended up with over a .600. Hanley Ramirez actually ended up at .691, which would put him second in all of baseball, but he did not have the minimum 400 plate appearances to qualify.

 

The biggest surprise here has to be Brandon Moss. Moss quietly went on a tear in the second half of the season, improving his OBP by .026 post-all-star break, and finished the year with 30 home runs. For the NL, Jayson Werth was a bit of a shock. The veteran outfielder posted a stellar .398 OBP to go along with 25 home runs.

 

 

In the National League, the bottom 10 among qualifiers were:

1. Pete Kozma- .330

2. Adeiny Hechavarria- .334

3. Darwin Barney- .354

4. Placido Polanco- .356

5. B.J. Upton- .375

6. Yuniesky Betancourt- .377

7. Brandon Barnes- .382

8. Starlin Castro- .384

9. Juan Lagares- .387

10. Zach Cozart- .395

 

And the worst of the American League:

1. Jeff Keppinger- .340

2. Alcides Escobar- .352

3. J.P. Arencibia- .380

4. Dustin Ackley- .391

5. Pedro Florimon- .397

6. Vernon Wells- .397

7. Ichiro Suzuki- .398

8. J.B. Shuck- .402

9. Mike Moustakas- .403

10. Nick Markakis- .404

 

There were 18 players whose final outputs were under .400 (including Mark Ellis, who had a .398). B.J. Upton is without a doubt the biggest disappointment this year, as he went down from .525 in 2012 to .375 in 2013.

 

 

Of course there are flaws in these calculations. There are aspects of a player's true talent and ability that are left out, and it doesn't take into consideration every specific situation, which is very important in baseball. For example, if there are runners on first and third with one out, sometimes the runner on first will steal second to try to score the runner from third. If he is caught stealing, his total for component 1 will decrease, but he is really helping out the team by allowing the run to score.

 

Still, based on the leaders and guys at the bottom of the list, I think this statistic is a relatively accurate way to determine the type of season a player had.

 

Famed sabermetrician Bill James' Runs Created (RC), which determines how many runs a particular player contributes to his team over the course of a season, is what inspired me to come up with this stat.