Tracking Picks

Picks have always been one of those crazy nebulous things for scorers and statisticians because they’re not part of the “OFFICIAL SCORE REPORT” required in the rules, but every team seems to keeps track of them to some degree.

As seen below, as the rules go, a pick is really something that pertains to a runner, but more often than not its something tracked for pitchers, and if successful is also something tracked for fielders, but only in the form of POs and Assts, and sometimes errors. In the end, a pick is only the description of a play, like a double play or a ground ball.

I’m a bit different than most amateur ball scorers because I’ve tracked throws to bases with runners as pickoff attempts. I originally did it to see if what I was PERCIEVING as the number of throws was true, but its become a “normal” stat for me. But when I made my stat program into a scoring program that does stats, I had to think a little bit more about what was going on. Counting POTs (Pick-Off Throws) is pretty simple. Every time a throw is made to a base with a runner on it, I count it as a POT. That’s even easy with a scoresheet and a pencil. But a pick-off is something different.

I count a pick-off as when a runner is caught off base by a throw. It really doesn’t matter if the runner was just caught off base, or of he’d taken off because of a hit-and-run or trying to steal a base. The pick-off is the act of catching the runner off base. But what gets a tad confusing is what can happen once the runner has in fact been picked. The way I figgered out how to make my program count them, is to draw a matrix.

There end up being 3 different kinds of POs. A straight PO where the runner is caught off base and tagged out trying to get back. I call it a POX. Then there’s a POCS, which happens when the runner is picked but tries to advance to the next base, and is in the rules to be marked as a caught stealing on the runner. There’s also a POSB, which is when the runner gets picked, but tries to advance and makes it safely, and is to be marked as a stolen base in the rules.


By counting them using that matrix, I feel I get a more accurate picture of what’s going on than scores get who don’t count a PO if the runners makes it to the next base safely, or that don’t count the PO if the runner takes off at all.

Any thoughts on it?

[b]OBR - 10.07© When a runner, attempting to steal, or after being picked off base, evades being put out in a run-down play and advances to the next base without the aid of an error, the official scorer shall credit the runner with a stolen base. If another runner also advances on the play, the official scorer shall credit both runners with stolen bases. If a runner advances while another runner, attempting to steal, evades being put out in a run-down play and returns safely, without the aid of an error, to the base he originally occupied, the official scorer shall credit a stolen base to the runner who advances.

10.07(h) The official scorer shall charge a runner as “caught stealing” if such runner is put out, or would have been put out by errorless play, when such runner
(2) is picked off a base and tries to advance (any move toward the next base shall be considered an attempt to advance); or[/b]

In my score book, I just write on the base path CS2-6 for the standard catcher throwing to the SS to gun down a runner. When they are caught stealing via a pick-off throw, I just write CS1-3 on that base path.
For additional throws, they just get tacked onto the end. CS1-3-6, etc and so on.

On the catcher’s stat sheet for the day a bench player records the blocks, passed balls, stolen bases attempted, and the number caught stealing as well as the number of advances due to passed balls and defensive indifference to get an idea of how good a catcher is at preventing advancements in non-batted ball situations.