Ben Revere, 50 Steal Seasons, and Historic Efficiency – Phillies Nation
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Ben Revere, 50 Steal Seasons, and Historic Efficiency

Revere has quietly put together one of baseball’s all-time most efficient base-stealing campaigns of all time. Photo AP

Since 1883, six Phillies combined to steal 50 or more bases 14 times. Some of the names are instantly recognizable by novice Phillies fans, like Juan Samuel and Ed Delahanty, some are great players seemingly lost to time, Sherry Magee and Billy Hamilton are examples of this type of player, and then there is the occasional head scratcher, a player that made the most out of his era like Ed Andrews.

With two steals yesterday, Ben Revere is just eight steals away from reaching the 50 steal mark. The last Phillie to reach 50 or more steals was Samuel in 1985, who did so while ranking fourth or higher among Major League second baseman in most statistical categories while simultaneously leading the National League in strikeouts. Revere is on pace for a similarly strange season in his own right: Revere trails the Pirates’ Josh Harrison by just two points headed into today’s game for the NL batting title and is the toughest player in the NL to strikeout but ranks just 40th out of 69 qualifying players in OBP and 52nd out of 69 qualifying players in OPS, one spot ahead of Ryan Howard.

Nevertheless, Revere could put himself in some elite company should he reach the 50 steals mark with the Phillies.

Here is a list of the top seasons in Phillies history in terms of number of steals.

Season Name SB
1891 Billy Hamilton 111
1890 Billy Hamilton 102
1887 Jim Fogarty 102
1889 Jim Fogarty 99
1894 Billy Hamilton 98
1895 Billy Hamilton 97
1984 Juan Samuel 72
1898 Ed Delahanty 58
1888 Jim Fogarty 58
1892 Billy Hamilton 57
1887 Ed Andrews 57
1886 Ed Andrews 56
1906 Sherry Magee 55
1985 Juan Samuel 53
1910 Sherry Magee 49
1905 Sherry Magee 48
1984 Von Hayes 48
2008 Jimmy Rollins 47
1895 Ed Delahanty 46
1907 Sherry Magee 46
1987 Milt Thompson 46
2001 Jimmy Rollins 46
1890 Al Myers 44
1893 Billy Hamilton 43
1887 Joe Mulvey 43
1899 Roy Thomas 42
2014 Ben Revere 42
1986 Juan Samuel 42

Since caught stealing was recorded inconsistently prior to 1950, it is tough to tell how successful some of the turn-of-the-century players were. What we can tell, however, is that there were very few Phillies to accomplish this feat after the early part of the 20th century. In fact, the Phillies went 78 years between Magee stealing 50+ in 1906 to Samuel reaching 50+ in 1984.

Revere’s potential 50 steal season, however, is shaping up to be something special on a different level. Among Phillies players with 40 or more steals since 1984, the end of a 73 year drought of 40+ steal seasons, Revere trails only Jimmy Rollins in steal success percentage:

Season Name SB CS Success Percentage
2008 Jimmy Rollins 47 3 0.94
2014 Ben Revere 42 5 0.893617021
2004 Bobby Abreu 40 5 0.888888889
2007 Jimmy Rollins 41 6 0.872340426
2005 Jimmy Rollins 41 6 0.872340426
2001 Jimmy Rollins 46 8 0.851851852
1984 Juan Samuel 72 15 0.827586207
1987 Milt Thompson 46 10 0.821428571
1984 Von Hayes 48 13 0.786885246
1986 Juan Samuel 42 14 0.75
1985 Juan Samuel 53 19 0.736111111

When narrowed down to 50+ steal seasons, Revere is on pace to be the most successful 50 SB campaign in Phillies’ history:

Season Name SB CS Success Percentage
2014 Ben Revere 42 5 0.893617021
1984 Juan Samuel 72 15 0.827586207
1985 Juan Samuel 53 19 0.736111111

And this season, Revere is among the best in quality and quantity, ranking fourth in steals in baseball with the second-best success rate among players with 25 steals or more:

Season Name SB CS Success Percentage
2014 Dee Gordon 58 15 0.794520548
2014 Billy Hamilton 55 21 0.723684211
2014 Jose Altuve 50 7 0.877192982
2014 Ben Revere 42 5 0.893617021
2014 Jacoby Ellsbury 37 5 0.880952381
2014 Carlos Gomez 29 10 0.743589744
2014 Jimmy Rollins 28 6 0.823529412
2014 Denard Span 27 5 0.84375
2014 Alcides Escobar 27 3 0.9
2014 Starling Marte 25 9 0.735294118

In fact, Revere’s quantity/quality ratio is among the best in history. Revere currently ranks 17th in stolen base success percentage among players with 42 or more steals in a season:

Season Name Team SB CS Success Percentage
2006 Ichiro Suzuki Mariners 45 2 0.957446809
2008 Jimmy Rollins Phillies 47 3 0.94
2004 Carlos Beltran – – – 42 3 0.933333333
2013 Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox 52 4 0.928571429
1978 Davey Lopes Dodgers 45 4 0.918367347
1969 Bobby Bonds Giants 45 4 0.918367347
1979 Davey Lopes Dodgers 44 4 0.916666667
2008 Ichiro Suzuki Mariners 43 4 0.914893617
1965 Jimmy Wynn Astros 43 4 0.914893617
1980 Jerry Mumphrey Padres 52 5 0.912280702
1995 Barry Larkin Reds 51 5 0.910714286
1987 Tim Raines Expos 50 5 0.909090909
2012 Mike Trout Angels 49 5 0.907407407
2008 Willy Taveras Rockies 68 7 0.906666667
1984 Willie Wilson Royals 47 5 0.903846154
1997 Tony Womack Pirates 60 7 0.895522388
2014 Ben Revere Phillies 42 5 0.893617021

While Revere may be putting together one of the emptiest lines for any potential batting champion ever, he is also teetering around the 90% stolen base success mark while forging toward 50 steals. Among players with 50 steals or more, Jacoby Ellsbury leads the pack with a 92.86% in 56 attempts just last season. While Revere likely won’t be able to reach the heights Ellsbury did last season, he could tie the second best percentage of all time should he be able to steal ten more consecutive bases without getting caught:

Season Name Team SB CS Success Percentage
2013 Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox 52 4 0.928571429
1980 Jerry Mumphrey Padres 52 5 0.912280702
1995 Barry Larkin Reds 51 5 0.910714286
1987 Tim Raines Expos 50 5 0.909090909
2008 Willy Taveras Rockies 68 7 0.906666667
1997 Tony Womack Pirates 60 7 0.895522388
2014 Ben Revere Phillies 42 5 0.893617021
1987 Eric Davis Reds 50 6 0.892857143
1962 Maury Wills Dodgers 104 13 0.888888889
1985 Rickey Henderson Yankees 80 10 0.888888889

And that accomplishment would put Revere into some pretty cool base-stealing company.

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