Given free reign to run, Venable excelling

Given free reign to run, Venable excelling

MILWAUKEE -- While Padres outfielder Will Venable doesn't rank in the top five in the National League in stolen bases, he rates very highly as one of the most efficient base-stealers in the league.

Heading into Sunday's game against the Brewers at Miller Park, Venable ranked third in the league with a stolen base success rate of 85.7 percent. He trailed Shane Victorino of the Phillies (88.5 percent) and Drew Stubbs of the Reds (87 percent).

For Venable, who has stolen seven of his team-high 24 bases this month, stealing bases isn't purely a result of unabashed speed. There's a lot more to it than that, said manager Bud Black.

"He gets good, aggressive leads and his initial break is outstanding," Black said. "And, of course, the foot speed is there."

Venable isn't the only member of the Padres who has been efficient on the bases. Chase Headley has 16 steals and has only been caught three times. He ranks fourth in the NL with an 84.2 percent success rate.

The Padres have pushed an aggressive edict on the bases since Jed Hoyer took over as general manager in late October. They implemented the plan in Spring Training -- with nearly everyone being given the green light to run.

"All the good ones are fearless," Black said. "They don't mind the negative results."