Tag: defensive metrics

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Gold Gloves Changing?


Could the involvement of SABR in the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards make them more relevant, or is it too little too late?

Revisit the posts on Jordy Mercer’s OLIVER defensive rating


In my recent article on Jordy Mercer’s bat, I referenced an article from the past that projected Jordy Mercer’s defense to be outstanding enough to make him very valuable despite the weak bat he was showing at the time. I have since found the article I was talking about and the discussion of it on BucsDugout. Here is the BucsDugout discussion begun by WHYG Zane Smith. Here is the FanGraphs article that he linked to that mentions Jordy Mercer and his OLIVER projection. OK, now I can sleep better knowing I didn’t leave a phantom reference. :)

Plus/Minus Now Available at FanGraphs


FanGraphs continues to dominate the world of baseball information provided. No longer do you have to pay for a Bill James Online account just to have a better view of defense than UZR alone.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick on defensive metrics


Crasnick is surprisingly one of the more progressive baseball people on ESPN, as he regularly cites FanGraphs and defensive metrics in general when doing his list articles. I liked his take, I think it is what most of us believe. We need scouting and metric data to estimate defense, and in the future we may have quantifiable answers to things like "What's the difference between line drives and fly balls?" How much we weigh each data set is what is currently in contention, I suppose.

UZR's (and Most Other Defensive Metrics) Limitation in Year to Year Analysis


Limitation of Using UZR in Year to Year Analysis

"It’ll be neat to find out what the numbers are," said Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Vernon W...


"It’ll be neat to find out what the numbers are," said Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells, who is known for smoothly tracking down deep fly balls. "It can be another tool to help you improve in areas of the game. People will learn about playing defense, which has gone by the wayside as people have cared so much about offense and hitting the ball out of the ballpark." Not that all players welcome the new numbers. A few lockers down, Wells’s teammate Scott Rolen — whose excellent defense and base running would presumably be evidenced by the tracking system — said: "I don’t believe that baseball is a game that can be encapsulated that way. That’s the beauty of the whole game."

From a cool article in the NY Times on Digital Tracking of Hit Location, Speed, Player Position (and more?). Irony At Work: Vernon Wells 2009: UZR: -19.9; Scott Rolen: +2.2 (+15.6 career). [h/t/: billexgordler]

2008 Gold Gloves: Designated Hitter


Is the Designated Hitter's job to prevent runs from being scored? Well, that would be absurd...wouldn't it?

I broached the topic of Ibanez's defense with him and some of the newer metrics that suggest he's a...


I broached the topic of Ibanez's defense with him and some of the newer metrics that suggest he's a poor outfielder.... "I have to say a number of things,'' he said. "Number one, with sabermetrics in general, it's a statistical probability thing,'' he said. "And the way they come up with the defensive measurements, or ratings, is flawed. It's as flawed as the Gold Gloves. One of the reasons is, they don't consider things like ballpark factors, defensive positioning or allignement for certain hitters.... Ibanez added that most of the people taking down the statistics that measure defense are doing so "off a television'' and are "not equipped to assess talent on the baseball field.'' He mentioned a friend of his in Kansas City, who, he said, is deeply into sabermetrics and some of the new-fangled defensive metrics. But, he added, he's not a scout. And when it comes to measuring defensive talent, Ibanez said: "None of these guys has had a baseball background per sei.''

A surprisingly coherent Raul Ibanez, from Geoff Baker's Mariner's Blog

2008 Team Defense Rankings according to PMR


Another post from BtBS analyzing team defense using David Pinto's (of Baseball Musings) Probabilistic Model of Range. A cool variant on a play-by-play defensive evaluation system. Yeah, um, just keep scrolling down to find the Royals. Anyone else think defense isn't that important?

RBI for Fielders and the 2008 Royals


This is an interesting article by Sky Kalkman at Beyond the Box Score. His idea is to understand defensive production on an RBI scale, "which even BBWAA members can understand." That's an excessive optimism, if you ask me, but commendable nonetheless. Kudos to you on your faith in your fellow humans, Sky Kalkman (and compliments on the killer name). I came across it a couple weeks back, but for various reasons held off posting it. Obviously, it doesn't have the season's final stats, but I'm sure things haven't changed dramatically. You can read the details for how he comes about doing it in the post. He is not recommending RBI as a way to evaluate players. Here are some notes of interest for those who follow the Royals, particularly given the well-documented defensive struggles of the team this year. No Royals are on the list of players who "gain" the most "RBI" from their fielding. On the list of those whose RBI are impacted most negatively by their defense: Alex Gordon: -23. The Smirk's defensive struggles have been much-discussed this year. UZR had him as the 3rd best defensive third baseman in the AL in 2007 (Gordon was at +4, Beltre +5, Inge +12). But the problems were real. Hopefully, he's at least somewhere between both seasons. I do think that Gordon will progress enough as a hitter that his bat will be an asset anywhere. Obviously, it would be best for the Royals if he could play 3rd. Ross Gload.: -23. OMG this disproves defensive statistics OMFG!!!111 Just kidding. Fortunately, defense at first doesn't matter that much and G-Load's bat totally carries him.* * Update by Pozterisk! To go along with Royals Review's acclaimed Andy Sisco and Mark Quinn Awards, I propose that Royals Review add a Gload Glove Award, given annually to the player whose primary reason for making the is ostensibly his great defense, but actually isn't good at that, or at the very least can’t possibly still be worth having around (let alone extending). Ross Gload would (naturally) win this year, although TPJ, from most reports, would have had a shot. In most organizations, and probably KC, too, the inevitable veteran catcher brought in will win (e.g., the Law of the Defensive Backup Catcher.), but every once in a while, an exceptional man like Ross Gload comes along and surprises us all. Thoughts? Jose Guillen: -24. Note that neither Adam Dunn nor Pat Burrell make the list. Bobby Abreu, whom Rany thinks the Royals should pursue, leads this list at -47. Kalkman also generates lists of players who, when defense is taken into consideration, are the most underrated and overrated by their RBI totals. On the underrated list: Mike 'Avilanche' Aviles. Was there ever any doubt? I realize that some people on here think that I "hate" Jose Guillen. He sometimes bugs me, but I think that I've also shown that I appreciate JoGui's (limited) offensive abilities and entertainment value. I do think the signing was a mistake. What really gets me going, however, is not JoGui himself but people defending his alleged "leadership," or who say that he's one of the Royals better players this season. Um, no, he's not even close. Every decent stat shows that he's been, at best, the 4th or 5th best hitter on the Royals, and maybe not even one of KC's top 10 players. But he leads the team in RBIs, so that must mean something! Sigh. Whatever. I'm not going to repeat the criticisms of RBI as a measure of offensive skill that go back to at least Branch Rickey. Most people do have at least an understanding of defense, though... With that said, the Royals can be proud that, when Kalkman posted this, one of their own did lead the majors in something. Tied in first (with Ryan Howard) among "MLB Players Most Overrated by their RBI Totals" is the Pride of Kansas City: 2008 All-Star Final Vote Candidate Jose Guillen.

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