The fog of glove: how to measure defense?

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There's Zone Rating and Range Factor at espn.com and elsewhere, but this ratings system is new to me:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/rings/discussion/2006_defensive_ratings_through_june_22/

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 23 June 2006 18:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Apparently, Barry Bonds has been a good left fielder this year.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Friday, 23 June 2006 18:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'd like to know how many errors have directly cost the Reds games in the past two years. Cincinnatti's defense is really, really scary. There was some article I read that stated that the Reds defense last year may have statisically been among the worse team D's ever.

David Ross -8
Edwin Encarnacion -17
Felipe Lopez -16
Adam Dunn -32!!!! Wow that looks really bad.
Ken Griffey Jr. -18!!! That seems kind of hard to belive, but you never know.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Friday, 23 June 2006 20:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There are a lot of different defensive metrics out there, but how they rate players varies quite extremely from one to the next. The USSMariner blog has had some pretty good discussions about them, worth searching the archives for if you're into this sort of thing.

ALLAH FROG (Mingus Dew), Saturday, 24 June 2006 00:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I am not geeky enough to have purchased this, I don't care THAT much:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0879462973/sr=8-1/qid=1151279875/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-9155277-8887009?ie=UTF8

milo z (mlp), Sunday, 25 June 2006 22:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

geeky, or curious?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 26 June 2006 12:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Geeky.

milo z (mlp), Monday, 26 June 2006 20:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

omg, Cabrera BEAT JEETZ for Gold Glove!

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 21:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Not Driven enough.

Andy K, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 21:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

What I don't like about attempting to measure defense thusly is that it takes for granted that the player is positioned correctly before the ball is put in play... which with certain players is more than often not the case.

Change Display Name: (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 17:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

the manager makes that call sometimes too tho, no?

The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I am specifically thinking of "Pasta Diving" Jeter here, who calls his own shots.

Change Display Name: (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

so should we throw in the towel and just stick with fielding pct?

There are ways, I'm sure, to take positioning into account. Managers order moves in all aspects of the game, after all.

A Patch on Blazing Saddles (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 24 September 2009 14:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Sheehan on the Gold Gloves:

Franklin Gutierrez did more to keep runs off the board than any non-pitcher in the game, ranking as the best defender by two top-shelf systems, Baseball Info Solutions' +/- and Mitchell Lichtman's Ultimate Zone Rating. He was far and away the best outfielder in the game, but given three slots, the voters couldn't land on the right answer. Ichiro Suzuki was a legitimate winner, but for Torii Hunter and Adam Jones to be awarded was simply a mistake. Hunter won it by reputation, this being his ninth Gold Glove, and his bat, this being his best season at the plate. Jones is the kind of young player these awards often overlook, would have been more qualified in 2008; his 2009 was marked by poor defensive performance, but also a strong offensive season—particularly at the beginning—that launched him onto the All-Star team and put him on the radar for this award. Jones has the skills that would seem to make him a good outfielder, but he did not convert balls in play into outs this year better than 20 other guys did.

Feingold/Kaptur 2012 (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 November 2009 18:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
one year passes...

Neat articles.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 31 August 2011 17:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

A friend wrote a blog entry on this today:

http://begonias.typepad.com/srubio/2011/08/technology-meets-the-new-paradigm.html

clemenza, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 17:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

re that Stark article linked by SBN, I wonder if "There is no such thing as a fastball count" will become an acronym.

incredibly middlebrow (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 17 September 2011 17:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/10/5/2471149/just-how-good-is-curtis-grandersons-defense

There have been numerous ideas put forth trying to explain the discrepancy between Granderson's perceived ability and the results in the advanced metrics. The one that makes the most sense is positioning, as pointed out by the Wall Street Journal's Dan Barbarisi in August: Granderson plays to right-center, rather than straight-center, thanks to the presence of Brett Gardner, one of the more ridiculous left fielders you'll see. Gardner takes balls away from Granderson, and while those lost plays don't exactly count against Granderson, they are plays that simply aren't available for him to make -- something that would hurt his numbers, as the creator of FRAA, Colin Wyers, says:

A Chuck Person's Guide to Mark Aguirre (Andy K), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 18:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

As part of the multi-year collaboration beginning with the 2013 season, SABR will develop an expanded statistical resource guide that will accompany the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballots sent to major league-level managers and coaches each year. In addition, SABR will immediately establish a new Fielding Research Committee tasked to develop a proprietary new defensive analytic called the SABR Defensive Index™, or SDI™. The SDI will serve as an “apples-to-apples” metric to help determine the best defensive players in baseball exclusively for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award selection processes. The collaboration also installs SABR as the presenting sponsor of the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award.

“The Rawlings Gold Glove Award is one of the most iconic awards in all of sports, and has continued to evolve throughout its storied history,” said Kurt Hunzeker, senior director of brand marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “By marrying the ‘art of fielding’ with the ‘science of baseball,’ our new collaboration with SABR only cements the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award as the industry standards honoring defensive excellence at the highest level of baseball.”

http://sabr.org/latest/rawlings-gold-glove-award-adds-new-sabermetric-component-sabr

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 23 March 2013 12:23 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Posnanski writes about this today:

http://joeposnanski.blogspot.ca/2013/08/the-new-gold-gloves.html#more

Truth is: I don’t know the answer to these conflicts. And, to be honest, I’m not sure there is a single answer -- things are just more complicated than that...But I now wonder if the truth, as it often does, falls in the middle.

A man after my own Husker Du-ish, black-and-white-is-always-grey heart.

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 August 2013 23:42 (five years ago) Permalink

so yer half sticking with errors and fielding pct, huh?

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 02:41 (five years ago) Permalink

That wasn't the point he was making: "There are things the eye sees that the numbers miss. And there are things in the numbers that the eye cannot possibly follow. What I like so much about the new Gold Gloves voting is that it will use advanced stats AND the eyes of some of the shrewdest people in the game."

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:04 (five years ago) Permalink

I know this has been hashed over to death, but for people in Toronto, it comes back to Roberto Alomar. It's very difficult for anyone who saw him play regularly to accept the idea that he was average defensively.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:06 (five years ago) Permalink

Is it not possible for someone to make amazing plays and still be average defensively?

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:18 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't really see that as contradiction, but for some reason the "ARE YOU SAYING MY EYES ARE LYING CROWD" finds it a complete impossibility.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:19 (five years ago) Permalink

It's possible, I guess--average hitters do spectacular things on occasion. They don't tend to do them consistently, though, and--I think this would be the general feeling in Toronto--Alomar did them consistently, and made all the routine plays, and pretty much did it all. I don't think I'm shouting anything about lying eyes at the top of my lungs. I'm expressing skepticism based on personal experience.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:24 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah I don't know enough about the way the defense is broken down to say why Alomar is rated as average, but defensive metrics are measuring things that might be hard to discern with the naked eye (like whether or not on average a similarly positioned fielder even gets to a ball to make a routine play). Also spectacular or memorable hitting by average dudes happens all the time and some people do try to convince other people that this average hitter is really some secret clutch superstar and ohmigod we better sign him next year, etc.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Also Gold Gloves should be a yearly measure. There is a lot of fluctuation in the defensive statistics (wtf Mike Trout) but I still think that's gotta be a better yardstick than some dude's overall impression of a player's defense based on maybe seeing him a couple of times plus consideration of reputation.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:33 (five years ago) Permalink

Which is exactly Joe's point: advanced metrics, with room for first-hand observation.

I know that range is one of the hidden things that Fielding Average doesn't measure. In terms of Alomar, his range was the precise thing that was so much fun to watch. That play in the '92 Series where he was out in short right field--that was the kind of thing we were accustomed to.

I meant one specific average hitter consistently doing spectacular things, not the whole group--I might not have been clear there.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 03:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm not even sure what a spectacular hit really is anyway. Maybe Juan Pierre hitting a home run.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:54 (five years ago) Permalink

I was thinking of spectacular one-game accomplishments by otherwise undistinguished hitters--Freddie Patek or Dioner Navarro hitting three home runs, Phil Weintraub knocking in 10--but you're right, that's not a very precise analogy to making great plays in the field.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 12:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm looking at Alomar's fielding stats, and he does well in range factor/game...except for his time in Toronto.

With the Padres: 2nd, 2nd, 1st
With Toronto: 5th, --, --, --, 4th
Leaves Toronto: 4th, 3rd, 2nd over the next three seasons

Where he does well in Toronto is in Fielding Pct: 5th, 1st, --, 3rd, 1st.

I give up.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 13:14 (five years ago) Permalink

did he play on turf anywhere else?

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:25 (five years ago) Permalink

As I sat in the dentist's chair this morning, that occurred to me too. Maybe turf boosts fielding average (truer hops) but reduces range factor (ball scoots faster, players are more cautious about diving). Or maybe the Jays had a higher-than-normal strikeout/flyball staff. I honestly don't know--I'm sure people have tried to figure these things out with regards to Alomar.

I wonder if people in L.A. and St. Louis experience the same disconnect with Jim Edmonds, whose dWAR figures seem to be fairly ordinary. I'm someone who only knew Jim Edmonds the Human Highlight Reel.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 14:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Alomar played on grass in Jack Murphy Stadium and (of course) Camden Yards, so maybe there's something there. You'd have to check how the changeover affects other players, and I'm sure many people have.

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

wyers wrote a good thingie on WAR and defense a few months back: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20569

i wanna be a gabbneb baby (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:15 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Might get a glimpse of the Fog of Glove tonight with Ortiz at first base.

clemenza, Saturday, 26 October 2013 14:15 (five years ago) Permalink

OK, Nolan Arenado? I def watched some Rockies this year but he flew under my radar.

http://sabr.org/latest/2013-rawlings-gold-glove-award-winners-announced

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:36 (five years ago) Permalink

i never get to actually watch much baseball, so no idea if these were good calls or not - but Hardy? is he actually that good at D?

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 03:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Neyer:

Hardy was fine, but doesn't have the range of fellow finalist Alcides Escobar, who probably should have won this one.

http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/10/29/5044554/2013-gold-glove-winners-fielding-awards-sabermetrics-statistics

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:12 (five years ago) Permalink

hardy wasn't as good this year as he always is, but he's always good. he actually is a defense-first SS, despite the bombs.

^^ post obviously honoring and supporting Qualcomm (zachlyon), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 23:32 (five years ago) Permalink

which surprised me when we got him. and when i say "good as he always is" i mean "basically flat out incredible, one of the best in baseball." if only he could obp.

^^ post obviously honoring and supporting Qualcomm (zachlyon), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 23:33 (five years ago) Permalink

Minnesota giving up Carlos Gomez to get JJ Hardy then turning around and shipping Hardy after a bad season to B-more for a bag of balls is looking like a double bad deal at this point.

earlnash, Thursday, 31 October 2013 22:50 (five years ago) Permalink

the one you should be ??? about thermo is jones, he's never been more than just acceptable out there and now that the GGs split the OF awards it's especially weird, he keeps taking these awards for CF when CFs have always been the winners. it's like crowning him king of the american league outfield.

^^ post obviously honoring and supporting Qualcomm (zachlyon), Friday, 1 November 2013 03:04 (five years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

SABR Defensive Index rankings thru mid-Aug:

http://sabr.org/latest/sabr-defensive-index-rankings-released-through-august-17-2014

son of a lewd monk (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 27 August 2014 17:15 (four years ago) Permalink

By the way, fangraphs WAR for these two is Kemp 0.4, Polanco 2.3.

timellison, Thursday, 8 October 2015 23:00 (three years ago) Permalink

there does seem to be more of a disparity between the two than meets the eye initially. but i think you were on the right track before: going by FG's revised zone rating, the two converted outs equally as often for balls in their zone (.888 for kemp and .882 for polanco). that doesn't tell us much though, since balls that are in the zone, especially for outfielders, generally aren't difficult plays and there is not going to be a huge difference between the best and worst players. (kevin kiermaeir, who by some metrics had the best defensive season of anyone in about 10 years, had a revised zone rating of .928, just 3.5 points higher.) so there isn't much to be gained by being really good at catching routine fly balls, since just about anyone can do this. where outfielders can add value is by getting balls out of their zone -- balls that normally shouldn't be caught and would tend to go for doubles and triples. despite seeing significantly less action -- polanco had about 40 fewer balls hit into his zone than did kemp despite comparable innings -- polanco managed to turn 97 balls hit out of his zone into outs, compared to 71 for kemp. so again, on the balls that actually matter -- the ones that would otherwise go for extra bases -- polanco made 26 more outs.

this is obviously a very simplified answer, but it's the basis for advanced fielding stats. other things, like strength of the pitching staff, home field, etc are factored in too

k3vin k., Thursday, 8 October 2015 23:33 (three years ago) Permalink

Do some balls out of the zone fall in front of the outfielders for singles? I agree 26 hits is a lot, but if half of them are singles...

Ultimately, I think you've got quite a long ways to go to pull back 60 points in slugging percentage, 14 more home runs, and 48 more RBIs. I'm not sure that 26 more hits allowed does that. Or even comes close? Of course, it not only has to pull it back enough that they're even, but enough that Polanco ends up with a significantly higher WAR.

timellison, Thursday, 8 October 2015 23:51 (three years ago) Permalink

you gotta stop saying the r-word

kemp was not that much better at the plate. he hit for a .750 OPS to polanco's .701, good for a wRC+ of 109 to polanco's 94. meaning kemp provided 11% more value at the plate than the average hitter, and polanco 6% less. taking into account base running (which favors polanco), kemp was worth 8.1 runs above average offensively to polanco's 1.0. maybe about half a win. polanco was worth about 25 more runs in the field, by FG's calculations. sum those, and you have about a 2-win difference

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 00:08 (three years ago) Permalink

sorry, that should say kemp provided 9% more value than the avg hitter

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 00:09 (three years ago) Permalink

But I cannot see where 25 runs comes from. I can see 26 more hits allowed. Actually, I'm not sure that Kemp allowed 26 more hits. Kemp played about seven more games than Polanco and actually had 22 more putouts total. Maybe those are outs most players make but Kemp was there, recorded the putouts, and that has some value.

Most hits are hits to the outfield and not infield hits. So maybe those 26 hits are average hits. Even if they're not, they don't equate to 25 runs. If they're average hits, they maybe equate to something like ten runs.

As for RBI's, Polanco is a leadoff hitter and it's not a fair comparison. He had 83 runs scored and Kemp had 80. Polanco, with his 52 RBIs, did have good numbers with RISP this year. As did Kemp, as hitters with 100 RBI, you would think, generally do!

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 01:05 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah, i can't exactly explain where the 25 runs came from, that would be a question for dave cameron or somebody. there are more layers and adjustments that go into it than the stuff i mentioned, though that's the main idea/backbone of it. but to answer your original question, errors and putouts are not a good measure to evaluate fielders, because the extent to which they take into account range is limited. as far as these two players go, polanco was marginally worse at the plate (though some of that was mitigated by superior base running), but far better in the field. it's certainly possible that the metrics overvalued his edge on defense, but the fact that both systems came to the same conclusion makes it more likely than not that polanco was a more valuable player overall this year

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 01:19 (three years ago) Permalink

I don't understand wRC, but if you use James' runs created stat, Kemp had eight and a half more runs created than Polanco (80.3 vs. 71.8). So, that's about .85 of a win if we're using ten runs for a win. To account for a 1.9 difference in WAR, then, Polanco has to to make up 2.75 WAR in difference.

By having 26 more putouts.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 02:42 (three years ago) Permalink

Polanco has to make up 2.75 WAR difference in defense, I meant

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 02:43 (three years ago) Permalink

And I'm sorry if I'm being stubborn, I understand that "more layers and adjustments" involves ways of trying to measure all of those outs - maybe how hard they were hit, how much time the fielders had to get to the balls, etc. But, again, there is such a lot of ground to be covered to account for 2.75 WAR given Kemp's better offensive numbers, same defensive numbers on balls in the zone, and maybe not that big of a difference on balls out of the zone.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 02:51 (three years ago) Permalink

Or, sorry, to account for 2.75 WAR just given the defensive differences

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 02:54 (three years ago) Permalink

well the 26 outs are kind of a lot, given that polanco saw much less action in general. the other adjustments could include things like park factors, whether their respective pitching staffs give up a lot of ground balls vs fly balls, idk, other stuff. but if you're going to make an effort to understand the game, you have to be willing to admit that defense is more important -- and more complex -- than previous generations have understood. it's not difficult to envision a situation where two averagish hitters -- which polanco and kemp were this season -- could be separated due to differences in defense and base running. it's really no different than, say, mike trout being worth a couple of more wins than miguel cabrera, even though the two are both great hitters

but again as to why in this specific case it turned out this way, i couldn't tell you the exact reasons. but i do think that skepticism that a case like this could actually happen is grounded in an old-fashioned belief that defense is of negligible importance

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 03:01 (three years ago) Permalink

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/uzr/

here is a decent primer on UZR, the defensive metric FG uses, as well as why we should be using these in the first place

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 03:14 (three years ago) Permalink

I certainly do not believe that. I'm just stating that the difference that I am seeing defensively is 26 outs. Polanco didn't see much less action - 1282 innings vs. 1220. And I'm not sure that matters anyway because Kemp played more, recorded outs, and was therefore valuable in those 62 innings that Polanco didn't play. But again, 26 extra hits for the other team, if they're average hits, should be worth about 10 runs or so. Given Kemp's 8.5 advantage in runs created, Polanco should then beat him by something like 0.15 WAR and not 1.9.

it's not difficult to envision a situation where two averagish hitters -- which polanco and kemp were this season -- could be separated due to differences in defense and base running.

Well, I think they're separated by about something like 0.85 WAR offensively overall (Kemp over Polanco), so that includes base running.

xp

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 03:19 (three years ago) Permalink

I mean, the 0.85 number, as I mentioned, comes from runs created, which is a stat that seems to make sense but maybe even James didn't know why? I don't know why. At least it includes total bases so, presumably, base running.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 03:22 (three years ago) Permalink

when i say he saw less action, i'm referring to the fact that he played the same number of innings but had far fewer balls hit into his zone. (polanco played 1280 innings, not 1220, so they were essentially neck and neck.) this obviously was due to no fault of his own; likely it's due to the fact that his pitchers tend to allow more ground balls. this is a prime example of something that could be adjusted for, which would make polanco look even better in comparison

also, you might be underselling the value of a hit: http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/run_values_of_events/

also, i don't think 10 runs created necessarily = 1 WAR. (this is obvious: kemp "created" 80 runs last season by james' (now-antiquated) method, but he certainly wasn't worth 8 wins on the offensive side.) 10 adjusted runs above average is roughly equal to that, but the two are different things

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 03:35 (three years ago) Permalink

the way we're framing this makes it sound like polanco is some defensive wizard. he's not -- he's thoroughly average, both at the plate and in the field. hence his WAR total of about 2, which is that of an average player. kemp is (or was this year) a marginally above average hitter and an atrocious defender. polanco wasn't 25 runs "better" in the field so much as kemp was 25 runs worse

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 03:41 (three years ago) Permalink

10 adjusted runs above average is roughly equal to that, but the two are different things

this should read above replacement, not average

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 04:12 (three years ago) Permalink

also, i don't think 10 runs created necessarily = 1 WAR.

Neither do I, I was saying 10 runs more than another player, both above replacement level, would be 1 WAR.

I was using Polanco's numbers in right field only - 1220 innings.

the way we're framing this makes it sound like polanco is some defensive wizard. he's not

I had no intention of framing it this way at all. I was merely comparing their numbers.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 04:27 (three years ago) Permalink

10 "runs created" in the bill james sense also does not = 1.0 r/fWAR, but we're really missing the forest for the trees at this point. bottom line -- it's not hard to understand why an all-bat/no-glove guy can be less valuable than an all-around player, especially when the all-bat guy was roughly an average hitter

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 04:40 (three years ago) Permalink

you might be underselling the value of a hit

The Dodgers this year had .496 runs for every hit, the Cardinals had .467, the Phillies had .456, and the Marlins had .432. Between the four teams, they averaged .462 runs per hit.

So, for 26 hits, that's about 12 runs and not 10.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 04:43 (three years ago) Permalink

I think the forest for the trees might actually be lost in that 0.6 WAR for a guy who was fourth in the league in RBIs but made 26 fewer OOZ putouts than Polanco.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 04:46 (three years ago) Permalink

you really love RBI huh? he was a barely above average hitter, played one of the least demanding positions on the field, and played it very poorly. even the jon heymans of the world can understand that that doesn't exactly scream "valuable player"

i also don't think it's a stretch to assume that the average hit outside an outfielder's zone is going to be worth a little more than the average overall hit

but look, if your aim here has just been about discrediting advanced fielding stats, i'm not gonna play anymore. i figured i'd at least attempt to help you understand

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 04:57 (three years ago) Permalink

I think it's an interesting stat in that it involves actual runs, but I also think I understand all the caveats about the degree to which it's circumstantial.

My main point is that the discrepancy between the two players seems, to me at least, like a ton of mileage to account for given what we see with their offensive and defensive numbers (including the zone stats I brought up).

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 05:43 (three years ago) Permalink

but i do think that skepticism that a case like this could actually happen is grounded in an old-fashioned belief that defense is of negligible importance

People always believed defense was important, but sayings like "defense never goes into a slump" used to be taken as gospel without any supporting evidence. Maybe it's more accurate to say that the value of good defense was well appreciated, at least qualitatively, but the negative value of bad defense was almost completely ignored.

i also don't think it's a stretch to assume that the average hit outside an outfielder's zone is going to be worth a little more than the average overall hit

Yes -- OOZ putouts are likely to be hit to the gaps and would go for extra bases if not caught. The average value of a single is around 0.4-0.5 runs, but I think a double is in the 0.7-0.8 range.

Does charging in on a ball and saving a single count as an in zone putout? If so, then a below average fielder might allow 10-20 balls to fall in front of him for singles per season, but "make up" for them by catching more routine fly balls due to his pitching staff.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 9 October 2015 10:02 (three years ago) Permalink

What do you guys think of this assertion from the FanGraphs UZR Primer page:

"A typical outfield hit is worth around .56 runs and any batted ball out is worth around -.27 runs, so the difference between a hit and an out is worth around .83 runs."

The numbers I had last night showed that a hit for the Dodgers/Cardinals/Phillies/Marlins this year was worth about .46 runs. They're qualifying it by saying "outfield hits," but the number of infield hits expands that by .10? That would mean that infield hits make up 17.9 % of all hits.

And a hit for any of those four teams this year was a hit and not an out, so therefore "the difference between a hit and an out." I don't understand the premise of of subtracting another -.27 runs because it wasn't an out at all.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 16:26 (three years ago) Permalink

you should really take this up with someone with more expertise. suffice it to say that your back of the envelope calculations are less valid than the empirical data gathered by people who do this for a living

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 16:34 (three years ago) Permalink

The numbers I had last night showed that a hit for the Dodgers/Cardinals/Phillies/Marlins this year was worth about .46 runs. They're qualifying it by saying "outfield hits," but the number of infield hits expands that by .10? That would mean that infield hits make up 17.9 % of all hits.

...no...

a hit into the outfield is going to do more damage than a hit through the infield. it's not a 1:1 relationship

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 16:36 (three years ago) Permalink

but again, look, if it makes you feel better, you're right. kemp was the more valuable player because he had a lot of RBIs. defense doesn't matter that much. you win

k3vin k., Friday, 9 October 2015 16:37 (three years ago) Permalink

I was skeptical about the defensive difference between Kemp and Polanco being worth something like 27.5 runs over the season based on the numbers. That is all.

timellison, Friday, 9 October 2015 16:47 (three years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

this has been bothering me (although i love adam eaton)

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/adam-eatons-year-for-the-ages

doesn't really inspire me to believe in current defensive metrics tho

mookieproof, Tuesday, 9 August 2016 00:52 (two years ago) Permalink

no one is comparing him to Clemente yet

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 August 2016 14:57 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

have we all seen this?

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catch_probability_leaderboard

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 18 August 2017 19:15 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

IsBrittonInYet:
When evaluating outfield defense, how much stock do you put in Statcast’s numbers (ex. outs above average, number of 5 star catches) compared to DRS/UZR? Kevin Pillar had a DRS/UZR of 15/6 in 2017 but was -2 outs above average with no 5 star catches in 34 chances.

Dave Cameron:
It’s not about “stock”; it’s about what the information is telling you. So, for instance, Pillar’s value could come from positioning, which would mean that he doesn’t make as many plays where he has to run a long way in a short amount of time, but he’s still catching balls other worse-positioned CFs wouldn’t get to.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Statcast is just measuring range right now, so you don’t want to compare that measure to total DRS/UZR, which include errors and throwing arm.

If you just look at the range portion of UZR, Pillar is at +1; his +6 came from throwing and not making many errors.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 16 November 2017 20:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton won the 2017 Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, presented by SABR. The winners were unveiled on Friday, November 10 during the 2017 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony, where the game's defensive stars accepted their hardware from some of baseball's greatest legends.

This is the first Rawlings Platinum Glove Award for both Arenado and Buxton. Arenado is the first infielder to start his career with five straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Buxton is the first Twins center fielder to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award since Torii Hunter in 2007.

The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners are determined by combining votes based on an adjusted SABR Defensive Index™ for each of the nine Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners in each League and the votes from baseball fans worldwide.

Based on the final SABR Defensive Index, Buxton was second in the American League with a 20.0 SDI, and Arenado was second in the National League with an 11.0 SDI.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 November 2017 22:13 (one year ago) Permalink

I just skimmed this. The mere fact he's writing about baseball is encouraging enough--he mostly writes about the Cleveland Browns these days.

http://joeposnanski.com/dwar-to-end-all-wars/

clemenza, Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:13 (one year ago) Permalink

(Love seeing Devon White's name on the CF list.)

clemenza, Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:13 (one year ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

1) I totally buy the idea that players can bring significant value via defense.

2) I have not seen every Cubs game this year, so maybe I'm missing something.

3) I stand by my years-old contention that publicly available defensive metrics are crap when this is what they tell me. pic.twitter.com/6yo6AuoWyV

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 5, 2018

mookieproof, Thursday, 5 July 2018 21:47 (five months ago) Permalink

Pio:

DRS thinks Machado is a historically bad shortstop and UZR thinks he’s just regular bad. Which one do you think is closer to the truth?


Jay Jaffe:

In general, I tend to prefer DRS to UZR because of the additional observational input beyond just batted ball type (both of which do have their biases, admittedly). But I think a good strategy when viewing defensive metrics is to be wary of the outliers, and DRS tends to have more than UZR does — the spread from top to bottom is generally wider. So I’ll go with garden-variety bad instead of historically bad.

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Friday, 6 July 2018 15:00 (five months ago) Permalink

the response to passan about schwarber's defense is that he has average-ish range and a good arm; passan's response was that that's reasonable in a vacuum, but is he really a better defender than almora or heyward? because that's what the stats are saying

mookieproof, Friday, 6 July 2018 15:55 (five months ago) Permalink

is Schwarber particularly good at positioning or something? also i guess this might make sense if he's being strictly compared to other LFers, who are a pretty slow-footed and weak-armed lot to an extent.

omar little, Friday, 6 July 2018 16:11 (five months ago) Permalink

https://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/def/

sounds like they're being compared to others in the same position AND others in other positions?

na (NA), Friday, 6 July 2018 16:38 (five months ago) Permalink

he's got a high UZR so i think that means he does well compared to other LFers ... i am not great at reading stats though

na (NA), Friday, 6 July 2018 16:42 (five months ago) Permalink

is Schwarber particularly good at positioning or something

that might be a factor. dexter fowler's outfield defense was poor before and after he played for the cubs (esp after). whoever is shifting the OF in chicago around seems to be doing a good job of making the most out of mediocre defenders.

Karl Malone, Friday, 6 July 2018 16:53 (five months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

fewer BIPs, less significance for defense

Unfortunately, data before 2003 is unavailable, but the stark drop in balls in play over time should make it clear that defense has become relatively less important—perhaps ground balls and hits on the infield were less prominent and this is just a shift back in the aggregate, but the increased rate of extra-base hits would lead us to believe the contrary, that infield defense was even more important in the last millennium.

In addition to fewer balls in play, though, teams have also moved to shift far more often. As Jeff Zimmerman outlined in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2014, shifting is in vogue. It makes sense, after all, since between 57 and 60 percent of pulled balls result in ground balls compared to 40 to 43 percent on balls hit to center and 22 to 27 percent on balls taken the opposite way. With advanced scouting and more data available, teams can better identify hitter tendencies and adjust with less risk. The fact that 24 hitters pulled at least 200 balls in play this year makes it even easier to do for the high-pull hitters (as Zimmerman notes, the top-20 players hitting into a shift accounted for over 2,500 plays in 2013, dropping their collective BABIP by 37 points in those situations).

https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/infield-defense-changes-with-three-true-outcomes/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 10 August 2018 15:38 (four months ago) Permalink

Best fielders in baseball per DRS:
1. Matt Chapman
2. Harrison Bader
3. JaCoby Jones
t4. Nick Ahmed/Lorenzo Cain/Miguel Rojas/Andrelton Simmons

Worst:
1. Charlie Blackmon
2. Adam Jones
3. Asdrubal Cabrera
4. Amed Rosario/Eduardo Núñez/Nick Castellanos/Miguel Andújar

— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) August 16, 2018

mookieproof, Thursday, 16 August 2018 21:07 (three months ago) Permalink

Amed Rosario may be a terrible fielder but at least he has a 636 OPS. -1.1 bWAR this year

Screamin' Jay Gould (The Yellow Kid), Thursday, 16 August 2018 21:29 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

directional outs above average: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/directional_outs_above_average

kinda wonder if bader's numbers toward LF are skewed by marcell ozuna's shoulder injury -- recently saw bader come wayyy into left to take a sac fly attempt

mookieproof, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 16:26 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Athletics vs Yankees at 3rd Base

Matt Chapman: 29 Defensive Runs Saved (most at 3B in MLB)

Miguel Andjuar: -25 Defensive Runs Saved (fewest in MLB)

This image shows difference in how often Athletics/Yankees get outs on grounders near 3B pic.twitter.com/5xGiQwdSti

— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) October 3, 2018

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 17:51 (two months ago) Permalink

this seems like a more relatable, easier to understand way to communicate defensive stats

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 3 October 2018 17:51 (two months ago) Permalink


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