Giants show improvement on basepaths

Giants show improvement on basepaths

SEATTLE -- Though baserunning efficiency has been difficult to measure statistically, a respected sabermetric system affirmed that the Giants rank among the Majors' top clubs in that category so far this season.

According to John Dewan's Stat of the Week, the Giants are third in baserunning net gain, trailing only the top-rated Atlanta Braves and the No. 2 Oakland A's. Baserunning net gain considers a player's opportunities to advance on hits and avoid outs on the basepaths.

This directly reflects the Giants' improved speed, which has been largely provided by outfielders Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco and infielders Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias and Emmanuel Burriss. Ryan Theriot, not known for his speed, has contributed by seizing chances to advance from first to third on singles.

"It's a great way to create offense outside the batter's box," said third-base coach Tim Flannery, who handles much of San Francisco's baserunning instruction.

More traditional stats also demonstrate the Giants' baserunning prowess. They entered Saturday tied for fourth in the National League with 47 stolen bases and ranked third in the Majors with 23 triples, one fewer than their entire 2011 total.

"This has been a whole different style," Flannery said. "Guys are running very aggressively and at the right time."