Friday, September 5, 2008
#705 Juan Samuel
Why this card is awesome: Because it's another Phillie, and another crap photo from Topps. I mean, sure, a closeup of Juan Samuel is nice. But this guy was one of the star players for the then-lowly Philly franchise. Couldn't they give any one of their decent players a decent action-shot card?
Cool stat: In 1990, Samuel had a terrible year stealing bases, getting caught 20 times versus only 38 successful steals. That's one of the worst totals for a guy with 40 or fewer SB over the last 30 years. He shouldn't have been allowed to run. Sabermetric data clearly shows that stealing bases at about 75% success rate is neutral in terms of how much it helps your team score. A guy really needs to be at about 80% for it to be worthwhile (although this ignores the leverage of specific situations.) Anybody on that list above with at least 20 CS had a success rate below 67%. TO be fair, Samuel's 1984 ranks in the other direction. He had one of the lowest CS totals for a guy with at least 70 SB.
By the way, Harold Reynolds' career SB% was a lousy 64%. Even Samuel was at 73%. Rickey Henderson was 80% Lou Brock was 75%.