June 18, 2024

Elly De La Cruz is on track to surpass St. Louis Cardinals icon Vince Coleman’s stolen base total.

Elly De La Cruz is on track to surpass St. Louis Cardinals icon Vince Coleman’s stolen base total.

Elly De La Cruz is a top base stealer. With his 6-foot-5 frame and lightning-fast quickness, stealing bags is like snatching sweets from a baby for him. Cruz has 30 stolen bases in 49 games this season, the highest in Major League Baseball. According to Baseball Savant, Cruz is baseball’s third-fastest player, with an average sprint speed of 30 miles per hour.

Why is this important to the St. Louis Cardinals, you may ask? Well, there are two reasons. First, Cruz plays for the team’s division opponent, the Cincinnati Reds. Second, Vince Coleman, a former Cardinal, now holds the record for most stolen bases in a single season by any team in the National League Central division.

Coleman played with the Cardinals from 1985 to 1990, setting records for stolen bases. Coleman led the National League in stolen bases every year he was in St. Louis, and he occasionally led all of baseball. During his debut season in 1985, he stole 110 bags, a record that still stands in the NL Central today. In 1986, he stole 107 bases, followed by 109 in 1987.

 

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The National League Central record for stolen bases is 110, by a significant margin. Omar Moreno of the Pittsburgh Pirates has the division’s second-most swipes (90). He crossed the milestone in 1980. Bill Lange of the Chicago Cubs stole 84 bases in 1896, setting the franchise record. Bob Bescher stole 81 bags for the Cincinnati Reds in 1911, and his total remains the highest in franchise history. Finally, Scott Podsednik of the Milwaukee Brewers stole 70 bases in 2004, a mark that the Brewers have not surpassed since.

Cruz hasn’t stolen a base in his last five games, but he stole four against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 16th. He has the ability to steal many bases in a given game.

With 112 games remaining, Cruz is on pace to steal 98 bases this season. To break Coleman’s record, Cruz would need to steal 81 more bases, which would require him to steal a base in 70% of the team’s remaining games. He’d have to step up to break Coleman’s National League Central record of 110 bags. That is a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time, but it is doable.

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