The Process Versus Coco Crisp and Chris Young | The Process Report

The Process Versus Coco Crisp and Chris Young

Here’s an odd one. Instead of focusing on Coco Crisp and Chris Young’s tendencies at the plate, or their abilities to run down balls in the outfield, let’s focus on what they do when they reach base.

Crisp and Young are practitioners of a different kind of stolen-base attempt. We’ve all seen the scene unfold before where the basestealer takes off right after the pitcher starts his delivery. Not this bunch. These two have shown a willingness to jet before the pitcher goes into his delivery. It takes luck, skill, and plenty of pre-game video work to pull it off, but they do it.

I chronicled Crisp’s stolen-base attempts last season and found out that he went pre-delivery 12 times. So far Young has mimicked his teammate on at least two occasions. When they do it right things look sort of like this. Or this.

So how do you stop them? Last season when Crisp stumbled it was usually because of a left-handed pitcher throwing over when he didn’t expect them to. Of course that’s a little too vague for practical use—besides it’s not like you can ensure a left-handed pitcher is always on the mound when they reach. You don’t want your pitching fidgeting with his mechanics too much, even if they do give Crisp and/or Young a tell. The easiest solution, relative to the problem at hand, is keeping the pair off base. And just hope Jose Lobaton has a little magic remaining in his throwing arm if they do reach, as last season he was the only catcher to nab Crisp.

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