August 16, 2017

How Rollins’ Rare Feat Stacks Up Historically

July 12, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

If you haven’t been paying attention this year, Jimmy Rollins is having a special year on the base paths.  With just two games remaining before the All-Star break, J-Roll has recorded the fourth most stolen bases without getting caught.  With 22 steals in 22 tries, Rollins needs to make it through two more games to finish behind Vince Coleman (39-for-39 in 1989), Julio Cruz (28-for-28 in 1981) and Mitchell Page (24-for-24 in 1977) to land fourth on the list. 

Of the three that should finish ahead of Rollins, none made it through the second half without getting caught.  Since 1951 — when both leagues started tracking caught stealing as a statistic — Kevin McReynolds (with 21 in 1988) and Paul Molitor (with 20 in 1994) finished an entire season with 20 or more steals without getting caught.  In 2008, only teammate Chase Utley has at least 10 bases without getting caught — he stole #10 last night. 

It’s been nearly a year since Rollins showed up on the caught stealing line of the box score.  On August 31, 2007, Rollins was thrown out by then-Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo on an attempt to steal second.   Since then, Rollins has rattled off 36 consecutive steals without getting caught.  Looking through Baseball-Reference’s Play Index (which accesses data from 1956-Present), that is the longest streak in Phillies’ history during that time.  What was the longest before that?  Jimmy Rollins previously stole 35 consecutive bases without getting caught from May 9, 2001 to August 25, 2001. 

Since 1956, there have been 11 streaks of 35 or longer and Rollins owns two of them:

1.      Vince Coleman, St. Louis Cardinals – 50 (9/16/88 to 7/26/89, 98 games)

2.      Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners – 45 (4/20/2006 to 5/16/07, 180 games)

3.      Tim Raines, Chicago White Sox – 40 (7/23/93 to 9/01/95, 272 games)

4.      Stan Javier, Oakland Athletics/S.F. Giants – 37 (5/31/95 to 6/27/96, 155 games)

5.      Tim Raines, Montreal Expos – 36 (9/23/83 to 7/06/84, 91 games)

6.      Paul Molitor, Toronto Blue Jays – 36 (8/22/93 to 10/01/95, 282 games)

7.      Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies – 36 (9/01/07 to 7/11/08, 98 games)

8.      Davey Lopes, Los Angeles Dodgers – 35 (6/06/75 to 8/23/75, 72 games)

9.      Davey Lopes, Oakland Athletics/Chicago Cubs – 35 (7/11/83 to 5/18/85, 179 games)

10.  Brady Anderson, Baltimore Orioles – 35 (5/14/94 to 7/02/95, 139 games)

11.  Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies – 35 (5/09/01 to 8/25/01, 95 games)

Notice Davey Lopes on the list?  Lopes, the Phillies’ first base coach, has played a big role in Rollins and the team’s success in swiping bases this season.  While Rollins is a perfect 22-for-22, the team is a ridiculous 79-for-89 (88.8%).  The next closest team in the Majors is the Texas Rangers who are 52-for-64 (81.3%).  In Lopes’ first season as first base coach last year, the team was 138-for-157 (87.9%).  Their stolen base percentage was baseball’s best along with a Major League-low 19 times caught.  Is it any surprise that Lopes was a career 83% base stealer?  And the effect that Lopes has had on Rollins is noticeable in the numbers.  Before Lopes arrived, Rollins was 207-for-259 (79.9%) on stolen base attempts.  In the past two seasons, Rollins is 63-for-69 (91.3%) and 82% for his career.

As for Jimmy Rollins and his streak, it could end today and much of this would be for naught.  Under the direction of Lopes, another strike like this could be in Rollins’ future.  Either way, it should be a while before another Phillies’ player approaches Rollins’ team record or another Major Leaguer eclipses the 35 consecutive steals mark.

MOST CONSECUTIVE STOLEN BASES WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT, BY TEAM (1956-2008)

Arizona Diamondbacks – 30, Eric Byrnes (7/05/07 to 9/17/07, 64 games)
Atlanta Braves – 26, Chipper Jones (5/25/96 to 7/06/97, 199 games)
Baltimore Orioles – 35, Brady Anderson (5/14/94 to 7/02/95, 139 games)
Boston Red Sox – 25, Jacoby Ellsbury (6/30/07 to 5/17/08, 72 games)
Chicago Cubs – 34, Eric Young (7/03/00 to 4/14/01, 85 games)
Chicago White Sox – 40, Tim Raines (7/23/93 to 9/01/95, 272 games)
Cleveland Indians – 27, Roberto Alomar (4/15/00 to 8/14/00, 98 games)
Colorado Rockies – 19, Willy Taveras (5/22/07 to 8/01/07, 49 games)
Detroit Tigers – 27, Ron LeFlore (7/13/78 to 8/23/78, 38 games)
Florida Marlins – 17, Chuck Carr (9/30/93 to 5/27/94, 43 games)
Houston Astros – 28, Carlos Beltran (6/25/04 to 10/03/04, 90 games)
Kansas City Royals – 33, Carlos Beltran (9/21/99 to 8/10/01, 127 games)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 22, Gary Pettis (4/09/85 to 5/29/85, 35 games)
Los Angeles Dodgers – 35, Davey Lopes (6/06/75 to 8/23/75, 72 games)
Milwaukee Brewers – 23, Rickie Weeks (5/13/07 to 4/23/08, 106 games) / Scott Posednik (9/23/03 to 5/26/04)
Minnesota Twins – 22, Matt Lawton (6/08/99 to 5/05/00, 93 games)
New York Mets – 33, Kevin McReynolds (6/03/87 to 4/18/89, 265 games)
New York Yankees – 30, Rickey Henderson (9/12/86 to 5/16/87, 52 games)
Oakland Athletics – 28, Stan Javier (5/31/95 to 10/01/95, 100 games)
Philadelphia Phillies – 36, Jimmy Rollins (9/01/07 to PRESENT, 98 games)
Pittsburgh Pirates – 31, Tony Womack (4/05/97 to 7/03/97, 75 games)
San Diego Padres – 27, Jerry Mumphrey (6/03/80 to 8/20/80, 71 games)
San Francisco Giants – 22, Stan Javier (5/11/97 to 9/04/97, 101 games) / Glenallen Hill (5/20/95 to 4/26/96, 131 games)
Seattle Mariners – 45, Ichiro Suzuki (4/20/06 to 5/16/07, 180 games)
St. Louis Cardinals – 50, Vince Coleman (9/16/88 to 7/26/89, 98 games)
Tampa Bay Rays – 18, Carl Crawford (7/11/03 to 8/18/03, 30 games)
Texas Rangers – 22, Ian Kinsler (9/05/07 to 6/13/08, 90 games)
Toronto Blue Jays – 36, Paul Molitor (8/22/93 to 10/01/95, 282 games)
Washington Nationals – 36, Tim Raines (5/09/01 to 8/25/01, 95 games)

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!