It's been debated here and elsewhere throughout the year as to whom are the Cubs best baserunners. Looking at today's Phil Rogers (yes, I know, Phil Rogers) notes column, he cites the 2009 Bill James Handbook to try and quantify some of the Cubs' best and worse base runners.
From the article:
James assigns a plus-minus number based on how often players went from first to third on singles, second to home on singles and first to home on doubles, among other things. Among the Phillies' ratings were Jimmy Rollins' plus-46, Shane Victorino's plus-34, Jayson Werth's plus-28 and Chase Utley's plus-21.
Compare that to these regulars with the Cubs: Kosuke Fukudome plus-25, Mark DeRosa plus-13, Alfonso Soriano plus-12, Mike Fontenot plus-12, Ryan Theriot plus-7, Aramis Ramirez plus-7, Derrek Lee minus-9 and Geovany Soto minus-9.
Found this interesting, especially as some of the merits of potential lead off hitters are discussed in the offseason. Now, it doesn't solve everything, obviously, but the numbers do reinforce some opinions and shed some light into one the Cubs perceived weaknesses.
Plus, it beats talking about Rich Hill's 19 walks in 19.1 innings in Venezuela.