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Recently, Nyjer Morgan did something stupid. Maybe you heard about it?

It was a rare fielding gaffe from Morgan, who usually makes most of his boners on the base paths.

Morgan is fast. But he’s not the most savvy base runner.

Last season, Morgan was picked off 9 times, which led the Major Leagues. In addition to the pick-offs, he was thrown out stealing 8 times. That’s a total of 17 times “caught stealing” (9 times picked off + 8 times thrown out), which also led the league.

And still, despite making all those outs on the base paths, his base running was worth 11 runs in 2009. That’s pretty good.

How is that possible?

For starters, despite being thrown out 17 times in 2009, Morgan was successful 42 times, good for a 71 percent success rate. That’s nothing to brag about, but it’s a heck of a lot better than Morgan’s 2010 rate, which is just a tick better than 50 percent (9 out of 17).

As a result of his terrible 2010 stolen base percentage, Morgan’s been worth negative 9 runs on the bases in 2010.

His stolen-base percentage isn’t the only problem, either.┬áHe’s been picked off 3 times so far, and is again leading the league in that category.

Nobody’s debating that Morgan has some serious talent, nor that he’s very fast. You can’t get thrown out stealing 17 times and still be worth 11 runs on the bases without serious wheels.

Certainly, there’s no debating the awesomeness of his alter-ego, Tony Plush.

But somebody’s gotta teach this guy how to better identify a pick-off move.

5 Responses to “Nyjer Morgan is fast, not a great base runner”

  1. Somebody else has to teach him how to react after not making a play either… that was just disgraceful, and I’m amazed he didn’t get pulled immediately after flipping his lid

  2. Riggleman said he wanted to pull him but the bench was already short. Lame.

  3. BTW, the best part about writing this post was that I sent an email to the folks at Bill James Online asking about some of their baserunning stats and got a personal response from Bill James!

  4. Danny O says:

    This should be easy to address – isn’t that what video is for? If the Nats can’t correct his baserunning then that means one of two things: Either Morgan is completely unreceptive to coaching or the Nats coaching staff is asleep at the wheel. Which means they should either start looking for a new home for Nyjer or start looking for some new coaches.

  5. But Danny, despite his crappy base running Morgan is still a valuable player.

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