During the 2022-2023 offseason, there were some new rules put in place that have drastically changed the way that baseball is being played. The MLB added a pitch clock and a three pickoff limit for pitchers.
These two rules have led to pitchers being much easier to read, time, and steal bases off of. In fact, stolen bases across the league have been incredibly higher than the last few years. In 2022, Jon Berti led the MLB in steals with 41. As of today, there are already two players, Ronald Acuna and Esteury Ruiz, that have recorded at least 41 stolen bases.
Through 88 games, the Reds have already recorded 106 stolen bases, almost double their 2022 total of 58 swiped bags. Actually, the Reds haven't recorded over 100 stolen bases in quite a while.
When was the last time the Reds recorded 100 stolen bases in a year?
The last time the Reds eclipsed the century mark in swiped bags was in 2017, six years ago. That season, they stole 120 bases, led by the speedy Billy Hamilton with 59 steals. The 2023 Reds have reached 100 stolen bases by a committee of players stealing bases. They have eight players that have recorded at least six stolen bases so far. Their team leader only has 16, compared to Hamilton's 59.
In comparison, the 2017 Reds had just Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza, who stole 23 bases, as their only two players with at least six stolen bases on the season. The two teams achieved the feat in much different ways, but they both were able to get to the number.
The Reds actually swiped at least 100 bags in four consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2017, largely due to Billy Hamilton's incredible speed. 2023 is the first time the Reds have had a player to match Hamilton's incredible speed, with the blazing Elly De La Cruz.
The 2023 Cincinnati Reds will likely steamroll through the 2017 Reds 120 stolen bases. If they're able to reach 150 stolen bases on the year, it would be the first time the franchise has reached that number in the 21st century.