June 19, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) rounds the bases on his way to scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pittsburgh Pirates Lead Major League Baseball in UBR

"Like drunken sailors on shore leave....."

The Pittsburgh Pirates have continually talked about being aggressive on the basepaths through recent seasons.  It’s finally starting to happen.

One of our favorite quotes from skipper Clint Hurdle talking about being aggressive, was we are going to be “like drunken sailors on shore leave.”

God, we love that.

You all have seen the Pirates do stupid things on the bases as recently as last night, like Neil Walker getting picked off second base.  Remember when Andrew McCutchen would get signs from the bench when to steal last season?  Yeah, it has stung being a Buccos fan in recent years…

If you missed our article on the Pirates historically bad base running, here it is:

 

But set that aside.  The Ultimate Base Runs stat shows them as being the best in the Majors.  UBR grades a team’s skill in categories like hustling out an extra base or advancing on ground outs, fly outs, passed balls and wild pitches—without getting caught, of course (the stat doesn’t include stolen bases).

Under Clint Hurdle, the Pirates haven’t been great at running the bases, but the UBR metric from FanGraphs, and highlighted in today’s Trib shows that is changing for the Bucs too.

 

Top teams in Major League Baseball:  Team UBR

Pirates +7.9

Braves +6.0

Blue Jays +5.2

Rockies +3.8

Rays +3.7

Pittsburgh Pirates individual leaders:  Player UBR

Neil Walker +2.3

Andrew McCutchen +2.2

Alex Presley +1.8

Pedro Alvarez +1.6

Josh Harrison +1.5

Source: FanGraphs.com; stats through Friday

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