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And then there's pinch hitter Sammy Solaris.

Mike Trout

But Sammy has problems of his own. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Please enter a valid email address.

Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. How was your experience with this page? Needs Improvement Love it! Just ask Dave Roberts, who is celebrating the tenth anniversary of what is probably the most significant stolen base in the history of baseball—a steal in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series that put the Boston Red Sox on a path to their first World Series win since So what are the keys to a successful stolen base, and is it more art or science?

First, some math. Physicist David Kagan of California State University at Chico has focused on the first half of that equation as a way of turning his passion for baseball into a teachable moment for his classrooms. The distance between first and second base is 90 feet, which Kagan divided into its components—the distance of the lead from first base, the distance the runner slides, and the distance he runs in between.

Every mathematical model is a simplification of reality.

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But to test its accuracy, Kagan needed to examine some real data. When he fit the data to the model, he found the model to be a good predictor of what actually happened—given the technological limitations of using video shot from the nosebleed seats. But the real payoff came when examining the sensitivity of each variable in the model—in other words, how much did each of the five parameters influence the outcome?

The average speed is 3. The second most important variable was the jump.


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From there, things took an unexpected turn. In other words, sliding slows you down, and you want to keep your speed when you hit the bag as high as possible. When running to first, you can run through the bag in foul territory, but doing that at second would result in a sure out. Despite setting world records in the yard dash, Washington was successful on only Aside from the possibility that Washington was not good at getting a jump, that other half of the equation, the pitcher and catcher, have a lot to do with whether or not a steal is successful.

But those who play the game know better. Per Baseball America , the goal for many teams is to have their pitchers deliver a pitch in about 1. A pitcher who takes 1.

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On the other end of the battery, a great catcher will deliver the ball to second base in 1. Looking back to the equation, you can see why a speedster like Billy Hamilton can beat almost everyone other than the quickest pitcher-batter combinations. The handedness of the pitcher also plays a big role— one analysis showed that between and , 66 percent of stolen base attempts were successful against left-handers versus 72 percent against right-handers, since left-handers face a runner leading off first.

Pierzynski told reporters after the game that Trout "makes those catches in the outfield look so good. On August 21, Trout went 2-for-4 in a victory over the Boston Red Sox , raising his batting average to. In winning the award for the fourth time, Trout became the first American League rookie since Ichiro Suzuki in to win Rookie of the Month four times during a single season. Trout became the youngest player ever to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season. Trout scored three runs that day, the tenth time in the season where he scored three or more runs in one game, the most since Sammy Sosa 's 11 games in On September 9, in a game against the Detroit Tigers , Trout became the first player in baseball history under the age of 22 to hit a leadoff home run in back-to-back games.

Trout became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs, steal 45 bases, and score runs in one season. He also set the Angels rookie record for most hits in a season with , passing Wally Joyner. In addition, Trout finished second in the AL in batting average.

Trout led the Angels in batting average, runs scored, hits , triples, stolen bases, total bases , base on balls, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging despite playing in just games. He was tied with Pujols for second place on the team in home runs behind Mark Trumbo and was fourth in runs batted in. Trout became just the 18th Rookie of the Year winner to win the award unanimously. If you want to toss in his slash line, his 62 extra-base hits, his Trout began the season as a left fielder, in order to accommodate for Peter Bourjos in center field.

On April 30, Bourjos injured his hamstring, and Trout was moved back to center field. This decision caused some controversy, as some believed that Trout's successful May was a direct result of his move back to center field. On June 8, with shortstop Erick Aybar struggling at the leadoff spot, Trout began batting leadoff, marking his first time hitting in the leadoff spot since April Trout indeed moved back to left field after Bourjos returned to the Angels' lineup on June He was the leading vote-getter among all AL outfielders and the first Angels position player to start in the All-Star Game since Vladimir Guerrero in According to Baseball-Reference , Trout finished the season with 9.

That figure is the highest ever for a player not yet eligible for salary arbitration. On April 19, , Trout went with four consecutive strikeouts against Max Scherzer , giving him his first golden sombrero after playing in games. He went 2 for 3, with a double, a triple, and two RBIs. Playing in games in , Trout batted. He also struck out a league-high times. In an interview with Ken Rosenthal , Trout attributed his increased strikeouts to a "golf-swing. Further, at the time, he was the fifth-youngest MVP ever, the 17th to win unanimously, and the third in Angels' franchise history, following Vladimir Guerrero in On April 17, , Trout became the youngest player in MLB history to reach home runs and stolen bases.

Trout finished the season with 41 home runs and 90 RBIs. For his offensive performance, Trout won his fourth Silver Slugger Award in as many seasons. In doing so, he became only the second player since Mike Piazza to win four straight Silver Slugger Awards to start off a career.

In June , Sporting News named Trout "baseball's best player" for the season. Mickey Mantle was second with A close contemporary of Trout's, Alex Rodriguez , was seventh. He also had a. He led the American League in power-speed number On May 28, , Trout left the game after spraining his left thumb.

Topps League Story, A:Book Two: Steal That Base! : Book Two: Steal That Base!

Two days later, an MRI revealed that the thumb had a torn ulnar collateral ligament , and was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his major league career. The injury required surgery, and he was ruled out for six to eight weeks. It marked the fourth time in six seasons that Trout had homered on his birthday. On September 6, , versus the Oakland Athletics , Trout drew a walk in his 14th consecutive contest to pass Albie Pearson for the franchise record of 13 set in Trout became the seventh player in history to reach or more home runs before the end of his age season, following Foxx, Matthews, Mantle, Ott, Robinson, Rodriguez, and Pujols.

Prior to the season, Sports Illustrated rated Trout the 1 player in baseball. He also set single-game career highs in doubles, extra base hits four , and total bases Previously, he had collected four hits in a game 13 times. The Angels defeated New York 11—4.

For the season, he batted. Trout's exceptional performance at an early age has drawn comparisons with Ted Williams , [] and his combination of power and speed to the skillset of Hall of Fame center fielder Mickey Mantle. Between and , Trout was first in on-base plus slugging , and was MLB's most productive batter per plate appearance when adjusted for park factors among all batters who had 1, or more plate appearances.

Trout is particularly able to hit pitches that are low in the strike zone , [] [] but in acknowledged a vulnerability against high pitches.

A TOPPS League Book: Book Two: Steal That Base by Kurtis Scaletta

In , Trout recorded the most strikeouts ever during an MVP season, and later expressed a wish to reduce his strikeout rate. Trout has been graded as a roughly average defender across the outfield positions according to ultimate zone rating and he is also a valuable baserunner , stealing bases between and , at a success rate of 83 percent. Trout proposed to longtime girlfriend Jessica Cox in July He adopted the nickname "Millville Meteor" after a prankster edited his Wikipedia article [] and the name caught on.