In 2010 Postmortem: Shortstop, James Kannengieser pointed out that Jose Reyes stole 30 bases this season but was also caught 10 times, a success rate of 75% on the year. I thought it'd be useful to look at those stolen bases over the course of the season and what might have factored into these numbers.
Jose Reyes attempted to steal 40 times in 2010, a very low amount for a season in which he played 133 games and racked up 603 plate appearances. In his careeer, Reyes has attempted a steal once for every 10.2 plate appearances, but in 2010, he attempted one steal per 15.0 plate appearances.
Here's a look at Reyes' stolen bases and times caught stealing on the season broken down by month.
July and September/October stand out immediately because Reyes made very few attempts and was caught stealing more times than he succeeded, a highly unusual occurrence for the Mets shortstop. Reyes had returned from an oblique injury in both of those months, and it certainly appears that the injury hampered his speed as he ran less frequently and less effectively.
It's also important to note that Reyes only got on base at a .321 clip in 2010, down from his career mark of .335. That's also a significant drop from his 2006-2009 OBP of .355, a number from which Reyes barely strayed in any one of those four years. It stands to reason that the fewer times a runner gets on base, the fewer chances he'll have to steal one.
In May, June and August, Reyes had the following OBPs, respectively: .305, .360 and .320. In those three months, Reyes tried 26 stolen bases. In April, July, and September/October, his OBP: .295, .338 and .304. And in those months, Reyes only tried to steal 14 bases. In addition to the effects of the aforementioned oblique injury, Reyes was running less frequently, though not less efficiently, in April as he got back up to speed following his thyroid-induced break from baseball.
As for Jose's stolen base success rate, 75% is less than his career rate, but not by too much. Reyes has stolen bases successfully 79% of the time in his career. For what it's worth -- it's a small sample size and cherry-picked period of time -- Reyes succeeded in 87% of his attempts in April, May, June and August, the months that were seemingly free of oblique injury.
Assuming Reyes stays healthy, he'll most likely continue stealing bases with the same success he's established thus far in his career. It will be interesting to see what 2011 brings: a return to 70-80 stolen base attempts like the past, or a more conservative running game with, as James suggested, 50 or so attempts.