Will bigger bases bring back the 50-steal era?
The KBO has decided to increase the size of its bases to match Major League Baseball’s starting this season. While Major League Baseball increased the size of its bases from 15 inches across to 18 inches across last year, the KBO has decided to increase the size of its bases in domestic stadiums to 18 inches from this year. In centimeters, this is an increase of 7.6 centimeters from 38.1 centimeters to 45.7 centimeters.
The small size of the bases led to a lot of collisions with defenders on the basepaths, which led to a lot of injuries, so the major leagues made the bases bigger to prevent injuries and encourage aggressive baserunning, which worked in conjunction with pitch clocks and limiting the number of catches. The major leagues had 1.8 stolen bases per game, the most since 2012, 안전놀이터 and a stolen base success rate of 80.2%. The larger bases have helped stolen bases by giving attempted stealers more room to avoid being tagged by the defense.
The KBO also wanted to introduce a pitch clock, but due to opposition from the field, they decided to pilot it in the first half of the season. As the pitch clock was postponed, the number of interceptions was also put on hold.
For now, the bases are bigger. The larger bases alone are expected to help runners.
The number of stolen bases is expected to increase. The total number of stolen bases has dropped below 1,000 since 2015, when it peaked at 1202, and 1058 in 2016. In 2017, it was 778, the lowest total in the 10-team system. This season, they’re back over 1,000. LG’s run-heavy baseball led the way, with 1040 total stolen bases.
We may see a 50-stealer again.
In recent years, most stolen base leaders have had 50 or fewer steals. In some cases, stolen base champions have won the title with less than half of Lee Jong-beom’s record 84 steals (1994).
The last time was in 2016, when Park Hae-min led the league in stolen bases with 52 for the Samsung Lions. In 2018, Park Hae-min became the first player in history to reach 30 stolen bases with 36, and in 2020, KT Wiz’s Shim Woo-jun recorded the lowest number of stolen bases in a season with 35. In 2021, Kim Hye-sung of the Kiwoom Heroes reached the 50-steal mark with 46, 안전한 파워볼사이트 but in 2022, Park Chan-ho of the KIA was the lowest with 42, and last year, Jung Soo-bin of the Doosan Bears led the league with 39.
The enlarged bases certainly give runners more room to avoid being tagged by defenders. In the split-second between a safe and an out, a runner’s quickness can be the difference between a stolen base and a team’s victory.