Stolen-base Percentage (SB%)

Definition

Stolen-base percentage is determined by the number of steals for a player divided by his total number of attempts. SB% is an essential tool in evaluating base stealers, because the league leaders in stolen bases often get thrown out frequently, too. In that vein, stolen bases are useful -- but only if a base stealer isn't at a high risk of getting thrown out.

Because a caught stealing is much more harmful than a stolen base is helpful, there is plenty of debate in baseball circles as to when it's worth attempting a steal. As a general rule of thumb, a base stealer with an SB% of 75 or higher is typically helping his team by attempting to steal.

Often times, players without great speed or a high number of steals can post high stolen-base percentages. This comes from an understanding of the situation and when it might be a good time to take the risk.

Example

Watch: Billy Hamilton successfully steals a base, raising his stolen-base percentage.

Fantasy advantage

A player with a low stolen-base percentage may be inclined -- or asked by his team -- to attempt fewer steals, thus hurting his fantasy value. Conversely, a player with a high stolen-base percentage -- provided he is active on the bases -- will likely have more latitude to steal in the future.

In A Call

"stealing percentage," "steal percentage"