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. He’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.