Crazy crap analytics can prove

So never mind that award. When you watch Liverpool, know you're watching the best player in the world. -- Adrian Melville, ESPN Insider


Colin Kaepernick can't handle the heat
No one disputes that Kaepernick is one of the most exciting young QBs in football, but when it comes to staying cool under the heat of a pass rush, no one struggled more than the Niners signal-caller did last season.

When he was under pressure, his completion percentage fell from 63.3 percent to 42.9 percent, a figure of futility beaten only by Geno Smith and Andy Dalton. And in those spots, Kaepernick's accuracy, a measure that accounts for throwaways, spikes and drops, was 54.6 percent, dead last in football. Compounding his issues, he doesn't get rid of the ball quickly enough. It took him an average of 3.11 seconds to release under pressure, the 29th-slowest rate in the NFL.

Not coincidentally, he was sacked on 20.2 percent of those snaps, the fourth-worst percentage among starters. Add it all up and he suffered a 35-point drop in passer rating, to 62.5, in pressure spots.

Yes, he makes up for some of those deficiencies with his feet; his 524 regular-season rushing yards ranked fourth among QBs. But when he's forced to make a play with his arm, no QB fares worse than Kaep. --Sam Monson


Carlos Beltran is the best base stealer in baseball history
Last season, at age 36, Beltran stole his 307th and 308th bases, leaving him just 1,098 behind Rickey Henderson for the all-time record. So okay, the Yankees' newest outfielder is far from the greatest base stealer in terms of volume. But in terms of efficiency, there's never been anyone better.

Consider: Of the 160 players in MLB history to swipe at least 300 bases, Beltran is the only one to have a career conversion rate above 85 percent. Consider also that he's one of just 11 players since 1951 to swipe 30 bases in four consecutive seasons at an 80 percent clip. In fact, his 90.85 percent success rate from 2001 through '04, when he swiped 149 bags, ranks as the greatest stretch of base-stealing efficiency in history. Add it all up and, over the course of his 16-year career, Beltran has contributed nearly four Wins Above Replacement to his teams with his base-stealing alone. On top of his 358 home runs, numerous postseason heroics and three Gold Gloves, it might just be enough for Beltran to steal his way into Cooperstown. --Paul Swydan

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