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Monday, October 23, 2006

2006 American League Gold Glove Winners - As I see it

Defensive data has been and is being refined pretty well these days.  With more and more play-by-play data making it to the mainstream, all of us are stretching the boundaries of what we require from black-box analysts.  With the exception of some park factors, we are discovering that Zone Rating provides a pretty good picture of defense.  Taking the zone rating and accounting for league averages, based on tens of thousands of defensive innings played, we can closely assess the number of runs saved by a defensive players as compared to his peers.

To be sure, even this data could be refined to account for parks better - Fenway’s Green Monster is a tremendous issue - and handedness of batters - NOT handedness of pitchers - to tune the picture a bit better, but the data you will read will be very close to any refined data.  Very close.  The basic methodology for this work is here.

I have tweaked this for chances per inning from the original data, so the chances assumed here may be slightly higher/lower, but if you did the same work from the referenced article, you’d find your results would be within a run or two of what I post.  And really, the most important thing I do here is provide you with the tools to evaluate defense on your own, without me doing the math.  Please note, after this article, I will post some others’ work that even refines what I have done, with a comparison to what I have done.  It should be exciting for you - it is for me.  Most importantly, it broadens the network of individuals accurately creating the defensive evaluations, as well as allows for everyday updates.  Yes, I said *every day*.

Now on with the show.  Here are the leaders and trailers at every position for the American League, with some commentary where necessary.  In general I draw the Gold Glove qualification line at a significant number of innings - usually around 650.  It would be unusual for someone playing only 650 innings to lead the league in anything, but I’m willing to give it a look. 

Catcher

First	LastName	Team	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Ivan	Rodriguz	Det	123	1054.3	9	11
Ramon	Hernandz	Bal	135	1094.3	6	8
Joe	Mauer	        Min	120	1059.3	4	5
Jorge	Posada	        NYY	134	1050.3	4	5
Jose	Molina	        LAA	76	603.3	3	7
Kenji	Johjima	        Sea	144	1173.7	2	3
John	Buck	        KC	112	930.3	2	3
Jason	Kendall	        Oak	141	1254.0	2	2
Rod	Barajas	        Tex	94	825.0	1	1
Mike	Napoli	        LAA	94	716.3	0	1
Jason	Varitek		Bos	99	822.3	-2	-2
A.J.	Przynski	CWS	132	1125.0	-5	-6
Bengie	Molina		Tor	99	842.0	-6	-10
Victor	Martinez	Cle	133	1110.0	-8	-10

Wow, Ivan Rodriguez is the best defensive catcher in the AL.  Who knew?  Mostly there is very little difference between catchers in preventing runs via CS, PB, WP and E.  I-Rod stands out, but mostly, nearly every catcher is the same, give or take a game with a knuckleballer.

First Base

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Chris	Shelton		Det	115	913.0	12	17
Doug	Mntkwicz	KC	90	725.7	7	12
Justin	Morneau		Min	153	1346.3	4	4
Andy	Phillips	NYY	94	533.0	3	8
Travis	Lee		TB	112	865.7	3	5
Mark	Teixeira	Tex	159	1399.0	2	2
Dan	Johnson		Oak	85	715.7	1	2
Lyle	Overbay		Tor	145	1233.0	0	0
Kevin	Youkilis	Bos	127	1030.0	-1	-2
Nick	Swisher		Oak	90	700.0	-2	-5
Ben	Broussrd	Cle/Sea	90	642.7	-2	-5
Kevin	Millar		Bal	98	792.3	-3	-5
Richie	Sexson		Sea	150	1310.3	-6	-6
Paul	Konerko		CWS	140	1182.7	-8	-9
Jason	Giambi		NYY	68	480.0	-8	-23

Shelton only got about 50 more innings as the season drew to a close, but he was outstanding with his glove.  These leaders didn’t change since August, though.  Again, notice there is very little variation between defensive runs.  From Morneau to Millar, these guys are about the same.  Giambi didn’t really qualify for this list, but he was pretty bad, so I thought I’d illustrate his need to DH.

Second Base

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Aaron	Hill		Tor	112	912.0	16	24
Placido	Polanco		Det	108	943.0	14	21
Mark	Grudzlnk	KC	132	1111.0	7	9
Mark	Ellis		Oak	123	1070.0	7	8
Brian	Roberts		Bal	137	1168.7	6	7
Jose	Lopez		Sea	150	1322.0	2	2
TadahitoIguchi		CWS	136	1209.3	1	1
RobinsonCano		NYY	118	1009.0	1	1
Luis	Castillo	Min	142	1239.3	-2	-2
Ian	Kinsler		Tex	119	1032.0	-3	-3
Adam	Kennedy		LAA	133	1141.7	-6	-7
Mark	Loretta		Bos	138	1172.0	-6	-7
Ronnie	Belliard	Cle	91	768.3	-9	-17
Jorge	Cantu		TB	103	899.7	-22	-33

Aaron Hill?  Maybe the turf in Toronto helps, considering Orlando Hudson’s slide in Arizona.  Placido Polanco - he’s good.  Well, he has been.  Jorge Cantu is the worst fielder in the majors.  He’s bad all over the field.

Third Base

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Brandon	Inge		Det	159	1392.0	20	20
Mike	Lowell		Bos	153	1299.7	14	15
Adrian	Beltre		Sea	155	1358.0	11	11
Joe	Crede		CWS	149	1260.0	8	8
Nick	Punto		Min	89	766.0	8	13
Hank	Blalock		Tex	122	1063.7	1	1
Eric	Chavez		Oak	134	1166.7	0	0
Maicer	Izturis		LAA	87	707.3	-3	-7
Aaron	Boone		Cle	101	842.0	-4	-7
Melvin	Mora		Bal	154	1323.0	-4	-5
Troy	Glaus		Tor	145	1175.0	-7	-8
Mark	Teahen		KC	109	924.7	-7	-10
Alex	Rodriguz	NYY	151	1288.7	-8	-8

Over the last two months of the season, the BIP distribution tweaked the third base rankings.  A-Rod improved over his last 200 innings and Brandon Inge caught and moved well up on Mike Lowell.  Lowell still finished with a fine season, and Adrain Beltre had a great showing.  Beltre also hit a little this year, so he may not be the worst signing ever.  We’ll look at A-Rod as a total package during the MVP discussions.

Shortstop

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Juan	Uribe		CWS	132	1130.0	14	16
Alex	Gonzalez	Bos	111	966.3	10	14
Jason	Bartlett	Min	99	880.7	10	15
Bobby	Crosby		Oak	95	828.0	7	11
Michael	Young		Tex	155	1356.3	4	4
Carlos	Guillen		Det	145	1235.0	2	3
Julio	Lugo		TB	73	620.3	1	2
John	McDonald	Tor	90	662.7	1	1
Miguel	Tejada		Bal	150	1294.7	0	0
Orlando	Cabrera		LAA	152	1321.7	-3	-3
Jhonny	Peralta		Cle	147	1275.3	-3	-3
Derek	Jeter		NYY	150	1292.3	-5	-6
YunieskyBetancourt	Sea	157	1374.3	-7	-7
Angel	Berroa		KC	131	1117.3	-11	-13

White Sox fans have been wanting to see Uribe at the top of the list.  He’s made it.  Derek Jeter, who is a great bet to win the MVP, has seen his defensive numbers slide from the last two seasons.  Jeter, while not good, wasn’t too bad, and I would describe him as “slightly below average”.  Only Berroa stands out negatively.  Michael Young’s defense really jumped from last season.  That’s odd, but it could be he worked on it.

Left Field

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Emil	Brown		KC	87	719.3	9	17
Carl	Crawford	TB	148	1252.3	8	8
Scott	Podsednk	CWS	135	1087.7	7	9
Reed	Johnson		Tor	100	635.3	5	11
Raul	Ibanez		Sea	157	1397.7	4	4
Nick	Swisher		Oak	79	655.7	4	8
Jason	Michaels	Cle	117	1009.3	3	5
Craig	Monroe		Det	113	927.3	1	2
Garret	Anderson	LAA	94	813.7	-1	-1
Frank	Catlnotto	Tor	101	760.0	-2	-4
Brad	Wilkerson	Tex	80	664.3	-5	-9
Melky	Cabrera		NYY	116	999.7	-6	-9
Manny	Ramirez		Bos	123	1031.3	-32	-42

This offseason, I am going to try to solve the Fenway park factor.  We’ve seen good new research from other people, and I hope to establish a PF for Manny.  The more I read, the more I think Manny may be *average* on defense.  I know, I need to give some demonstration for that.  Otherwise, it is a tight group.  Carl Crawford could get a Gold Glove.  Well, he might if they awarded the GGs for each position, rather than “Outfield”. 

Center Field

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Corey	Patterson	Bal	134	1079.7	16	20
Vernon	Wells		Tor	150	1290.3	12	13
Grady	Sizemore	Cle	160	1379.3	7	6
Curtis	Grndersn	Det	157	1312.0	5	6
Johnny	Damon		NYY	131	1087.7	4	5
Brian	Anderson	CWS	134	966.0	3	5
Chone	Figgins		LAA	96	829.0	3	5
Rocco	Baldelli	TB	91	749.3	0	0
Torii	Hunter		Min	143	1232.3	0	0
Joey	Gathright	KC/TB	130	1017.7	-2	-3
Mark	Kotsay		Oak	127	1047.0	-5	-6
Gary	Matthews	Tex	142	1227.0	-8	-9
Coco	Crisp		Bos	103	901.7	-8	-13

Corey Patterson in climbing the charts as one of the top defensive CFs over the last 20 years.  All of these guys can run down fly balls.  Torii Hunter dropped significantly the last two months - was he injured?  Could that have led to the ITPHR in the ALDS?

Right Field

First	LastName	TEAM	GP	INN	RSpt	RS/150
Alex	Rios		Tor	124	953.0	11	16
Milton	Bradley		Oak	94	803.7	7	12
Ichiro	Suzuki		Sea	121	1062.7	7	9
Reggie	Sanders		KC	73	601.0	6	14
Casey	Blake		Cle	93	814.3	4	7
Damon	Hollins		TB	78	464.7	3	7
Mark	DeRosa		Tex	60	512.0	2	6
Trot	Nixon		Bos	110	891.3	0	1
Nick	Markakis	Bal	127	917.3	-2	-3
JermaineDye		CWS	146	1245.0	-2	-2
Magglio	Ordonez		Det	148	1268.0	-2	-2
Bobby	Abreu		NYY	57	447.0	-5	-15
VladimirGuerrero	LAA	126	1090.0	-5	-7
Kevin	Mench		Tex	57	489.7	-6	-16
Bernie	Williams	NYY	58	425.3	-7	-22
Michael	Cuddyer		Min	142	1227.3	-7	-8

Alex Rios is a pretty good fielder.  However, coupled with his very good defensive work in centerfield, I think Ichiro Suzuki should win the Gold Glove.  Pattersona dn Wells should win the other two, but I doubt Patterson will.  +/-7 runs is a tight group around average.  And again, I added two Yankees to the list that I may not have otehrwise.  The Yankees are really struggling in the outfield defensively, and could find that to be a big reason why they couldn’t beat the Tigers.

My Gold Gloves?  Rodriguez, Shelton, Polanco, Inge, Uribe, Crawford, Patterson, Suzuki.  That’s a bunch of Tigers.  Is it really any wonder they led the majors in ERA?  It wasn’t all the pitching.

Chris Dial Posted: October 23, 2006 at 01:07 AM | 114 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#2222284)
Seems that your post was truncated, Chris.
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2222299)
Truncated, and the tables are shifted on some lines.
   3. Jack Keefe Posted: October 23, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2222303)
Which his problem is he did not spell Pierogi right and it got too long for its spot Al.
   4. Bangkok9 eschews 1 from Column A Posted: October 24, 2006 at 04:01 AM (#2222770)
Which way did they go?
Which way did they go?
   5. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 25, 2006 at 11:31 AM (#2223928)
I finished and re-posted. And because the software keeps the "start date", it pushed the article down two slots. Hopefully people can find it.
   6. Poochie Mahoney Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:24 PM (#2223943)
As someone who watched Shelton play first, that kind of baffles me.
   7. Jack Keefe Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:29 PM (#2223945)
Now Pierogi is spelt better close but it will do. Now this Dolly Lama Al thinks most of the Sox are good fielders except Conoco who moves like a heifer out there but where are the pitchers Al I am keeping a spot on my shelf for my Gold Glove for Middle Reliefer and I want proof of the runs I save.
   8. Mushmouth Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:40 PM (#2223954)
That Y. Betancourt rating really flies in the face of most observational evidence and the statistical data I've seen elsewhere. Interesting. I think it's clearly absurd that Mike Young is a "superior" defender.
   9. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:48 PM (#2223957)
Mushmouth,
I don't know of pbp based data that indicates Betancourt is a good fielder. He's slightly below average, which may well be attributed to his expeience in the majors.

As for Young, players have good seasons. Sometimes with the bat; sometimes with the glove.
   10. AROM Posted: October 25, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2223963)
UZR also has Betencourt as a poor defender. John Dewan's stats will be in the next Bill James handbook, due out next week. Tango Tiger's scouting report for the fans has him at one of the best.

This is either a case where the pbp systems are wrong (though I don't know why they would be) or Betencourt just looks like a better fielder than he really is.
   11. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#2223967)
If Betancourt is as rangy as the scouts say he is, I'd guess it's just a case of a young guy not that great at positioning so far.

The player that surprised me the most when I went over 2006 data was Emil Brown. He did excellent in LF and RF, but isn't he supposed to look awful out there? IIRC, he's done very well in other years, too.

As someone who watched Shelton play first, that kind of baffles me.


Well of course one year of data, especially fielding, can be very flukey, and I'd say it's at least twice as likely for a 1B.
   12. Mushmouth Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#2223968)
As for Young, players have good seasons. Sometimes with the bat; sometimes with the glove.


To some extent, yes, but when you're talking range, the limit will typically be quite small unless the player has some sort of eye problem. It's not like hitting where you may get your swing out of whack or see an inordinate # of great curveballs, or hit a bunch of line drives right at people. Range is a singular ability to recognize the direction and speed of balls off the bat and get yourself in position to field them. It shouldn't vary a lot. Unless you factor in positioning...but that is almost certainly a function of management, not the player and really shouldn't be a source of credit to the player himself. And certainly those of us who've played have all had good years in terms of errors and bad years as well.
   13. Mushmouth Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2223969)
(finishing up last point)...but errors are rarely the determining factors in these fielding ratings.
   14. Mushmouth Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:17 PM (#2223974)
Furthering the point...a player gets credit or demerits for his bat work where the result is out of his control, i.e. balls hit at fielders, bloopers that fall in. But there's really no reason to do this with fielders - crediting the player with getting to more balls where those balls were simply easier to reach than the next guy's. Quantifying it is hell, but unlike hitting, you are not technically measuring the end result (or shouldn't be). You are judging a player's range.
   15. sardonic Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:17 PM (#2223975)
How did Marco Scutaro do? Gassko's Range had the Oakland infield as below average, which doesn't surprise me too much, but is probably based on the premise that Scutaro sucks a lot.
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:19 PM (#2223976)
Further proof that 1b and lf are black holes of suckitude for the orioles.
   17. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2223978)
How did Marco Scutaro do?

1B:
Johnson +1
Kotsay -1
Swisher -3

2B:
Ellis +7
Scutaro +5
Perez -1

3B:
Chavez -1
Perez -0
Scutaro +0

SS:
Crosby +7
Scutaro - 4
Jimenez -1
   18. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2223979)
positioning...is almost certainly a function of management, not the player and really shouldn't be a source of credit to the player himself.

I don't think that's true at all. For instance, Tony La Russa hasn't ordered Ronnie Belliard to play short right field or Jim Edmonds rover camped behind second base.
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:25 PM (#2223980)
If Betancourt is as rangy as the scouts say he is, I'd guess it's just a case of a young guy not that great at positioning so far.


Not just positioning, but adapting to the different sight and sound cues that you have in the majors. The stands are higher and the crowds are louder. It takes a while to hone your reactions to the new environment.

-- MWE
   20. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:28 PM (#2223981)
Shelton's confusing - every time I've looked at his numbers (meaning beyond this year), I've been impressed. When I watch him play, he's so slooooooow.

Emil Brown - I think his deal was (don't know about now) that he takes funny routes to the ball, occasionally really bad ones, but eventually gets to most the balls he needs to. See Matt Diaz.

I think "one year of data, especially fielding, can be very flukey" outweighs "but when you're talking range, the limit will typically be quite small". Smaller sample sizes (especially at first, as Kyle notes) and a more heterogenous set of opportunities.

****

Did anyone catch Steve Phillips' all Web Gem team (not the best play of the year by position, Kruk mishandled that - but either the guy who either made the most great plays or was the best fielder, not sure which one he meant). It included:
C Yadier Molina (NL)
1B Nick    Swisher        Oak    90    700.0    -2    -5
2B Ronnie Belliard    Cle    91    768.3    
-9    -17
3B Brandon Inge        Det    159    1392.0    20    20
SS Derek Jeter        NYY    150    1292.3    
-5    -6
LF Raul    Ibanez        Sea    157    1397.7    4    4 
(not sure it was Ibanezthink it was)
CF Gary    Matthews    Tex    142    1227.0    -8    -9
RF Ryan Freel 
(NL)
 
P Kenny Rogers 


Yuck.
   21. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 25, 2006 at 01:32 PM (#2223983)
Patterson repeating his very impressive 2004. Perhaps his hitting and PR problems carried over to his fielding last year.
   22. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: October 25, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2224006)
Interesting stuff, Dial.

Assuming I did the math right, here's how it works out on a team-by-team basis (for multiteam players, I divvy their total up on a % of where they played, rounded to the nearest integer):

1. Tigers +61
2. Blue Jays +30
3. A's +21
4. Orioles +19
5. White Sox +18
6. Twins +17
7. Royals +12
8. Mariners +8
9. Rangers +2
10. Rays -8
11. Indians -11
12. Angels -12
13. Red Sox -25
14. Yanks -27

Overall, that's +108 runs. I guess the backups & pitchers weren't as good fielders. Wasn't it just last year the Indians were #1 in all baseball?
   23. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: October 25, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#2224009)
Mark Teahen KC 109 924.7 -7 -10

This may cool Garth Sears' enthusiasm about Teahen moving to shortstop.
   24. sardonic Posted: October 25, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2224015)
That's not a great list because some backups, a la the A's Scutaro, got a LOT of PT. I assume he's not the only relevant case.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#2224032)
This offseason, I am going to try to solve the Fenway park factor. We've seen good new research from other people, and I hope to establish a PF for Manny. The more I read, the more I think Manny may be *average* on defense. I know, I need to give some demonstration for that.
I hope you do this - I'd be fascinated to see it.

From my observation, I think *average* is pretty unlikely. Manny is slow, takes bad routes, and doesn't have a good first step. I think his positioning is pretty good, but I doubt that's enough to make up for the other demerits. The question to me is whether Manny is merely a bad defender among many in baseball, or a near Jeremy Giambi, worst outfielder ever type. But who knows - Yuniesky Betancourt looks frickin' brilliant out there to me, too.
   26. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2224035)
White Sox fans have been wanting to see Uribe at the top of the list.

I love watching chunky guys play the infield. That Uribe is so good just makes it better. I'll always remember that chop over the mound in the WS...what a play that was.
   27. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#2224037)
Oh, and speaking of chunky guys in the IF, I caught some of Game 3 in a restaurant and they had closed captioning on. I learned that Belly Yard was playing 2B for the Cards.
   28. Mike Green Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2224041)
Chris, do you have Russ Adams' ratings at short and second?
   29. Dan Posted: October 25, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2224063)
As far as Manny goes, he's obviously below average, but I don't think even the most extreme "Manny is an average player overall because he defense sucks" proponents will claim he's 42 runs below average in LF over a season. I'd probably guess he's around -10 offhand, though maybe closer to -15 runs over 150 games. He looks below average, but he doesn't look "Jeremy Giambi" or "Kevin Millar" bad out there.
   30. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2224072)

Assuming I did the math right, here's how it works out on a team-by-team basis


Here are the full team by team totals.
TM RS
Det 69
Oak 19
Min 18
Bal 14
KC 13
Tor 13
Sea 6
CWS 5
LAA -8
Tex -17
Cle -25
NYY -26
TB -38
Bos -43
AL 0

This doesn't include the Manny/Fenway park factor, which looks to be on the order of 15 runs per season.
   31. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:16 PM (#2224080)
Chris, do you have Russ Adams' ratings at short and second?


I'm not Chris, but these should be close.

Russ Adams:

2B: RSpt:-5, RS/162: -22
SS: RSpt:+2, RS/162: +9
   32. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2224093)
Overall, that's +108 runs. I guess the backups & pitchers weren't as good fielders.

Rob Mackowiak drains half the surplus by himself.
   33. VG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2224095)
Chris, do you have the data to give Brian Anderson's rates at different points in the season? My recollection is that he posted off-the-charts numbers for the first two months or so. If I'm remembering the early-season rates correctly, your full-season rates seem to confirm my observation that he was significantly worse as the season went on.

If you don't mind, I'd like to link to your work and quote your figures on my blog. Thanks in advance.
   34. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2224097)

What score do visiting LF get in Fenway over the past few years?


The problem is, no one has really tracked Home/Road splits unless you want to play for PBP data. Joe Arther did it this year, and we're going to try and do it going forward.

Chone Smith did some work on the Fenway factor here.

With the zone rating data we have going back to 1987, Fenway LF averaged -20. There's definitely a significant park factor there.
   35. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 25, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2224103)
Vince,
yes, link/quote away.

Numbers produced by SG in ATL, Anaheim Rallymonkey and Kyle C (Melky) have full endorsement from me. They are largely to whom I refer in hte first paragraph, and I will be doing a comparison of the varying data-pulls and methodology tweaks.

I have a terrible work day today and tomorrow, so please be patient with my answering your questions.

Thanks.
   36. VG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2224114)
Chris: Thanks. The numbers that you published in July and August, combined with this final tally, illustrate the point well enough for my purposes.
   37. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2224115)
Chris, do you have the data to give Brian Anderson's rates at different points in the season? My recollection is that he posted off-the-charts numbers for the first two months or so. If I'm remembering the early-season rates correctly, your full-season rates seem to confirm my observation that he was significantly worse as the season went on.


Vince, I tracked ZR weekly this season, here's where Anderson was at the end of each week.

Week    RSpt    RS/162
8
-Apr   0       9
15
-Apr  0       -4
22
-Apr  1       14
29
-Apr  1       13
6
-May   1       8
13
-May  1       5
20
-May  2       12
27
-May  2       10
3
-Jun   3       12
10
-Jun  4       17
17
-Jun  6       21
24
-Jun  5       17
1
-Jul   5       17
9
-Jul   6       18
23
-Jul  5       12
29
-Jul  5       13
5
-Aug   4       10
12
-Aug  5       10
19
-Aug  5       10
26
-Aug  5       9
2
-Sep   4       8
9
-Sep   4       6
16
-Sep  3       6
23
-Sep  3       5
30
-Sep  3       5 


If you want a more detailed spreadsheet, let me know.
   38. VG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#2224127)
SG: Wow. Thanks. I take it each of those figures represent season-to-date? Very interesting.
   39. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:25 PM (#2224132)
That's an interesting curve there in #38.

I find it difficult to believe that Scott Podsednik was an above-average fielder last year.
   40. AROM Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2224133)
I add +15 (runs) per 162 games back to Fenway leftfielders. I also have park factors for Houston LF and Baltimore RF. Others that I haven't looked at but might need an adjustment are Fenway CF and Minnesota RF. Once I get there, I might as well do park factors for every OF position (which is more time than I have now, but maybe before 2007 starts). Since we know there's a few OF that hurt your ZR, then there must be some that inflate your ZR as well, either that or all the other LF's inflate by 1 or 2 runs.

That 15 is an average comparing how players play with the Red Sox vs how they did as left fielders for other teams, going back to 1987. I would trust that figure more for multiyear data (such as my projections) than for single year data. In any given year that +15 might be +5, +25, or whatever, depending on how many balls are banged off the wall.
   41. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2224135)
Right, season to date. Interestingly, if you split his season into two halves, you can see the effect you're talking about pretty clearly.

Apr 1 - July 9, 479 innings, 7 plays made above average, RSpt of 6.

July 10 - October 1, 487 innings, 3 plays made below average, RSpt of around -3.

I posted the breakdown here if you want it.
   42. Buddha Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2224139)
As someone who watched Shelton play first, that kind of baffles me.

Chris Shelton is not a good fielder. He's slow, he doesn't stretch for balls that are thrown to him, he has little mobility. If it is hit right at him, he can field it. He's adequate at 1b. Not a gold glover.
   43. VG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:36 PM (#2224142)
Thanks again, SG. What especially notable, it seems, is that his rate/150 peaked the week ending June 17. It was early in that week that his batting average reached its lowest point of the season (June 11). It's as if when his hitting turned around, he stopped paying as much attention on defense.

I know that the sample of data is pretty small for parts of a season, especially for a player who was being platooned, but still, it seems like too great of a coincidence that these things match up so well.
   44. BDC Posted: October 25, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2224146)
I watch Michael Young play quite a bit, and it is possible that his defensive value was on the whole above average this year. He looks mighty uncomfortable out there, but he was hustling like a madman all season long, and he is very athletic, very energetic. He makes every play look hard, but it's possible he made a lot more of them in '06 than he has in the past.
   45. RobertMachemer Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2224160)
I can't find the link to bookmark this page -- is it not bookmarkable or am I just missing where the link is?
   46. RobertMachemer Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:08 PM (#2224163)
Well, shoot, NOW it's there. Does the option of bookmarking only popup if I make a comment then?
   47. A triple short of the cycle Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#2224172)
Eric Chavez played a neutral third base this season? That doesn't seem right.
   48. RobertMachemer Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#2224183)
Which would be a better defensive alignment, according to the numbers, Ramirez in left, Crisp in center, Pena in right, or Crisp in left, Pena in center, Ramirez in right?

At first blush, one might assume the first is (WAY!) better, but the second puts Crisp in his best position and may put Pena in his best position (aside from DH). How do the numbers shake out?
   49. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#2224185)
Bartlett a very good defensive shortstop? Who knew.

I'm interested by Ronnie Belliard. He looks like crap out there to me, but then he'll suddenly make an unbelievable play. And he has a good defensive reputation, which I trust much more than my own lying eyes. ZR sides with my "looks like crap" position, but he does seem to position himself strangely. Is it possible that his positioning is what's making his ZR look bad? Or should I just have more faith in myself?
   50. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#2224190)
Bartlett a very good defensive shortstop?

All Twins shortstops score suspiciously high. I'd be willing to bet that there's a strong turf effect.
   51. Danny Posted: October 25, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2224194)
How did Jay Payton rate around the OF?
   52. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2224206)
Eric Chavez played a neutral third base this season? That doesn't seem right.

Agreed. He had an amazing catch in the NLCS, that should count for something.
   53. AROM Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2224211)
All Twins shortstops score suspiciously high. I'd be willing to bet that there's a strong turf effect.

That didn't help Guzman when he was there.
   54. Tony H. Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2224213)
Belliard is interesting to me, also. He plays such an unusual second base that it's sometimes hard to tell. I thought he was a clever, inventive defensive player up until this season, when I thought he played lazy and stupidly. I don't really believe he's ever been more than above average, and he looked truly terrible with the Indians this year (to me, anyway). I find it hilarious that Steve Phillips picked him to his best defender team or whatever it was called. He also picked Cliff Lee as the best LHP in the AL earlier this season. Ha!
   55. sardonic Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#2224218)
Chavez hasn't quite made some of the plays he usually makes this season, and has played through a lot of injuries, so NLCS heroics nonwithstanding, I'm not surprised.
   56. Danny Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2224233)
Chavez and Kotsay's ongoing ouchies have clearly hurt their hitting, so it seems natural it would also hurt their fielding.
   57. David Cameron Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:39 PM (#2224235)
If Betancourt is as rangy as the scouts say he is, I'd guess it's just a case of a young guy not that great at positioning so far.

While I love the work, these are the kinds of judgments we need to be very careful about making. All the pbp defensive metrics are still value statistics, judging what a player accomplished retroactively. We're all very willing to accept that ERA is not a very good indicator of how talented a pitcher is at preventing runs, but is a good indicator of how many runs he actually saved his team in the past.

Dial and Tango have both been saying for years that we need at least two full seasons of data, and preferably more, before we start to evaluate a player's abilities based on the performance. For Betancourt, we now have about a year and a half of data, which still falls short of the minimum that Tango and Dial have stated they want.

This information, combined with the agreement from most other systems, essentially tells us that the Mariners haven't saved that many runs due to balls in play turned into outs by Betancourt in the past year. What it does not say, however, is that Betancourt lacks some fundamental skill necessary to be a good defensive shortstop, just like a pitcher's ERA does not tell us how good a pitcher actually is or is not.

It's a value stat, not a talent evaluation stat. There's certainly usefulness in both kinds of statistics, but we need to be careful that we don't make premature talent evaluation judgments based on value statistics. It's possible, and maybe even probable, that Betancourt is a supremely talented defensive shortstop whose actual value was reduced by circumstances outside his own control. Without at least another year of data, we can't use these numbers to make a talent evaluation judgment, especially one that flies in the face of observational analysis.
   58. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 25, 2006 at 07:45 PM (#2224240)
I agree with David's post.

For Betancourt, we now have about a year and a half of data, which still falls short of the minimum that Tango and Dial have stated they want.

I tried to make some statement to that in my first post (#9). I think he needs seasoning. I also think Mike Emeigh makes a good ob. He has plenty of time to become everything. Juan Uribe struggled at first, and he's at the top.
   59. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2224261)
Which would be a better defensive alignment, according to the numbers, Ramirez in left, Crisp in center, Pena in right, or Crisp in left, Pena in center, Ramirez in right?


Interesting question. Here are the career R/162 for each player at the positions listed.

Pena, RF: -10
Pena, CF: +2
Pena, LF: -24

Crisp, CF: -11
Crisp, LF: -15

Manny, RF: +2
Manny, LF: -29

There are major sample size issues here so keep that in mind. Pena's played just 970 innings in CF, 248 in LF, and 1131 in RF to this point in his career. Manny hasn't been a full-time RF since 1999. If Chone's -15 Fenway park factor estimate is true, Manny's probably a -10 to -15 fielder, which seems more reasonable. You then have to factor in aging and regression and what have you.

Is it possible that his positioning is what's making his ZR look bad?

It's very possible. ZR only looks at balls that are considered playable (ie converted into outs at least 50% of the time). It does not take positioning into account, which is one of the big flaws with it.

How did Jay Payton rate around the OF?


CF: RSpt: 2, RS/162: 8
LF: RSpt:-6, RS/162: -18
RF: RSpt: 1, RS/162: 2
   60. SG Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2224268)
Type in post 60, Crisp's LF RS/162 is +15, not -15.
   61. bads85 Posted: October 25, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#2224309)
Jhonny Peralta went from +2 RSpt on August 27th to -3 RSpt for the season. That is a steep drop.
   62. Chris Dial Posted: October 25, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2224374)
bads85,
that's against average. It's not just how Peralta played, but how others played as well. Tha's all part of "chances evening out due to sample size increase".
   63. RobertMachemer Posted: October 25, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2224381)
Option 1:
Manny, LF: "-15"
Crisp, CF: -11
Pena, RF: -10
Total: -36

Option 2:
Crisp, LF: +15
Pena, CF: +2
Ramirez, RF: "??"
Total: +17 + ??

I know that Ramirez was around league-average back in Cleveland, but he was younger and had not yet had as many health problems. I'd assume that Ramirez in right would be worse than Ramirez in left, but if the other numbers are right (a HUGE assumption, obviously), then he'd have to be a -53 in right in order to make option 2 as bad as option 1!

Now, obviously, a LOT of unwarranted assumptions are going into this, but we can play with them, of course.

For instance, let's assume Pena is better in center than he is in right, but not bettern relative to his better-fielding peers in center. Let's call him a -10 in center. That still would mean that Ramirez would have to be a -41 in right in order for option 2 to be as bad as option 1!

Let's further assume that Crisp would not be as good in left for the Red Sox as he was in Cleveland. let's call him a +0 in left and Pena a -10 in center. Ramirez would STILL need to be a -26 in right in order for option 2 to be as bad as option 1! We're now in the realm of possibility, I suppose, but that's assuming Ramirez is absolutely horrific in right, roughly 20% worse than Bernie Williams, a bad center fielder with no arm playing an unfamiliar position.

I know that the error bars on all this are so wide that drawing conclusions like I am is foolish. Still, I'm saddened by the idea that although it's possible that the Sox could be 20 runs better defensively in the outfield by simply moving guys to positions in which two of them seem to be more comfortable, such a realignment would never ever be considered at the major league level because of a fear of upsetting the status quo, whose upholding would seem to have virtually no merit, both from observation and the numbers.

Oh well.
   64. bads85 Posted: October 25, 2006 at 10:32 PM (#2224429)
It's not just how Peralta played, but how others played as well. Tha's all part of "chances evening out due to sample size increase".


Right, but the other AL SS remained pretty consistent from the last time you ran the numbers. Peralta had a defensive collapse in September. However, Andy Marte made the scene and in a limited number of innings (428.7, put up a ZR of .816, which is very good. Yes, it is a ridiculous sample size that we really should not touch, but it a glaring contrast to what Peralta was playing next to with Boone. Boone had a .743 ZR. Marte had a frequency of BIZ/IP of .369; Boone .305.

Unless the Indians' pitching tendencies changed radically in a month (something that is possible wit this type of sample size), Marte's frequency indicates that he was getting to a lot of balls out of his zones (about 28) -- perhaps balls that Peralta had been turning into outs before Marte arrived. Whatever outs Marte made certainly didn't significantly altar Peralta's ZR, but having a mobile third baseman suddenly coming in from Peralta's right probably screwed with his head and his positioning, which only increased Peralta's collapse. That certainly doesn't exonerate Peralta, but with more playing time with Marte, his ZR should be better next year.
   65. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 25, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#2224435)
You know, on the park factor issue ... I wonder if the most elegant way of doing it might be to alter the runs-per-play for certain positions in certain parks, and possibly even the out value. Manny may only field 70 out of 100 balls in Fenway when the average in most parks is for the LF to field 85, but maybe the runs-per-play is more like .8 than .83 or something.
   66. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 25, 2006 at 11:11 PM (#2224457)
Others that I haven't looked at but might need an adjustment are Fenway CF and Minnesota RF.


I'm almost certain Marlins' LF and Houston's LF have significant park factors, too.
   67. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 25, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#2224468)
What were Ramirez's #s his last 2-3 years in Cleveland, and then first couple years in Boston?


I took out my arm rankings for this:

1999:
RF: +1 and +1.3 per 150

2000:
RF: -6 and -13 per 150

I can't remember it, but I'm certain he was injured as he only played 93 games in the field that year. I haven't done any years before 1999 yet.

Oh, and the most shocking thing I've seen while working on the fielding data is Mo Vaughn played about an inning of CF. Mo Vaughn.
   68. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 25, 2006 at 11:29 PM (#2224469)
All the pbp defensive metrics are still value statistics, judging what a player accomplished retroactively.


You're of course right, David. I was mistaken though, in thinking he had two full seasons of data, but even still you would generally want three if you can get it, and I would say even more for a young fielder for the reasons Mike lays out.

Also, if anybody wants to, you could use my worksheets to look at fielding at each position by age. It could be interesting to look at aging patterns there and see if it agrees with what mgl has found.
   69. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 25, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#2224489)
Oh, and the most shocking thing I've seen while working on the fielding data is Mo Vaughn played about an inning of CF. Mo Vaughn.
BBRef has him as being out there for a third of an inning, it must've been a gag or something. Last play of the season one year, or something? Let's see...oddly, Retrosheet doesn't have him as ever playing CF, so something must screwy here
   70. JoeArthur Posted: October 26, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2224496)
Regarding Coco Crisp, there does appear to be a fairly significant park effect at Fenway for center field as well; not surprising because the wall extends into left center. Also the uneven geometry of the outfield layout at Fenway probably means that optimal positioning there does not align well with the 'standard' zones in ZR. Crisp has a horrifically bad arm, but his range is OK. I posted a brief analysis of Crisp and the centerfield park effect here.

As far as Manny goes, I posted season ending 2006 splits and some comments here.
   71. Chris Dial Posted: October 26, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2224516)
I hope all of you are following the work here from SG and Kyle and Joe. It's fantastic, and I am appreciative of the support to the work I've done in the past (and now won't have to do in the future!)
   72. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 26, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#2224572)
BBRef has him as being out there for a third of an inning, it must've been a gag or something. Last play of the season one year, or something? Let's see...oddly, Retrosheet doesn't have him as ever playing CF, so something must screwy here


I was using ESPN data for 2000 and noticed it, thought for sure it was a mistake but saw him on BBRef, too. If I were the player manager on the last game of the season I'd do all kinds of crazy stuff like that if the game didn't matter at all. C'mon, who wouldn't love seeing Jason Giambi pitch or play CF?
   73. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 26, 2006 at 02:41 AM (#2224580)
Retrosheet shows no evidence of Mo Vaughn playing outfield in 2000. In fact he only had one non-start appearance in the entire season, and in that game he didn't enter the field. I looked at the box scores of all the games they played in NL stadiums, and it doesn't indicate him playing OF in any of those games. Maybe someone can look at every single box score some day.
   74. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 02:49 AM (#2224584)
I scanned ProQuest in the hope of it popping on an article, you'd think someone would mention it for sheer novelty value, whether he actually took the field or if it was just some bizarre line-up machinations. Nothing at all, though. I'm beginning to think (sadly) that someone had a typo somewhere and Mo was never really in CF
   75. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 26, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#2224653)
That's depressing if he didn't really play there. I love the idea of Vaughn waddling after a deep flyball.
   76. JoeArthur Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:17 AM (#2224690)
mlb.com and the STATS Handbook both agree that Vaughn played 1/3 of an inning in CF in 2000. Retrosheet credits Erstad and Garret Anderson with 1/3 more innings in the outfield than mlb.com does, with Vaughn and Scott Spiezio with 1/3 less innings in the outfield. Meanwhile retrosheet has Erstad and Anderson each with 1 less game and 1/3 less inning than mlb.com at first base. Mike Scioscia is fond of 5-man infields. It appears that he employed 5 man infields at least twice in 2000, 5/27/00 and 7/13/00, bringing Erstad into the infield both times, playing behind 2nd on 7/13 but with no position specified for 5/27.

the likeliest explanation is that Vaughn for some reason was re-positioned behind second base in a 5 man infield game in which Erstad or Anderson went to first. According to retrosheet, the 5/27 game ended on a sacrifice fly "to first" ...
   77. Don Guillote (The Cheat) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 05:31 AM (#2224695)
I'm a little late here, a couple of observations...

RE: Shelton... Could his rating be skewed do to the number of assists he has? Harrelson was always ragging on him for making the pitcher run to first base on plays that he should have made unassisted.

RE: Podsednik... You can't convince me that he's a plus defensive player in LF. He might have range thanks to his speed, but he's often lost on balls in the air, is surprisingly slow getting to balls hit on the ground and balls in the gap, and can't limit anyone from going from first to third on singles in the hole.
   78. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 11:18 AM (#2224762)
Interesting stuff, JA. Thanks
   79. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 11:25 AM (#2224765)
Incidentally, JA, since you're here, that's interesting about Crisp's CF numbers and the CF in Fenway, but I seem to remember that Damon's numbers in CF at Fenway tended towards the good-but-not-great which seemed to mesh with everyone's general idea. Was he being underrated terrible during his Red Sox tenure or am I just misremembering his numbers
   80. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 26, 2006 at 12:09 PM (#2224775)
RE: Shelton... Could his rating be skewed do to the number of assists he has? Harrelson was always ragging on him for making the pitcher run to first base on plays that he should have made unassisted.

No. This rating doesn't consider whether the 1B took the ball to first himself or flipped to the pitcher. That doesn't matter - just that an out was recorded. That's one of the significant advantages a pbp-based method has over traditional stats (at every defensive position).

RE: Podsednik... You can't convince me...

Well, then...
   81. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 26, 2006 at 12:53 PM (#2224791)
having a mobile third baseman suddenly coming in from Peralta's right probably screwed with his head and his positioning

Another explanation would be that Peralta was turing balls in Boone's zone(s) into outs.

RE: Podsednik... You can't convince me that he's a plus defensive player in LF.

I'm easily convinced if we're comparing him to other LFs; those guys are not usually good fielders. I'd be chary of saying so if he were being compared to all OFs.
   82. Dan Szymborski Posted: October 26, 2006 at 01:18 PM (#2224808)

I'm easily convinced if we're comparing him to other LFs; those guys are not usually good fielders. I'd be chary of saying so if he were being compared to all OFs.


I agree and I think the reverse goes for Betancourt. He can look like a tremendous defensive player and play like a tremendous player and still have a negative ZR - shortstops are a really tremendous group of defensive players. The + or - here doesn't encompass the entirety of defensive value, it's just that we typically included a very large chunk of it in offensive value already.
   83. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 26, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2224879)
Another explanation would be that Peralta was turing balls in Boone's zone(s) into outs.

While possible, it is more likely (in my experience) that it was just BIP distribution. It's not likely Peralta was turning Boone's balls into outs. It is possible that balls were cutoff in front of Peralta, but those wouldn't cont against him, so much as not count for him, and that's not likely to be a signifcant number. Did Peralta's errors go up in hte last month?
   84. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 26, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2225237)
On Mo Vaughn:

It's the five-man infield. Scioscia is/was big on that. I think some sources might have Adam Kennedy has having an inning or something in center, as well. But not everyone scores the five-man infield the same way.
   85. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 26, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2225241)
Yeah, BB-Ref has Kennedy with two-thirds of an inning in CF in 2002.

Benji Gil gets one-third in 2001, Jose Nieves gets an inning in 2002 (though that may have just been him in CF for some reason, I don't even remember Jose Nieves), and Maicer Izturis two-thirds in 2005.
   86. TOLAXOR Posted: October 26, 2006 at 09:00 PM (#2225261)
LOOK, LOOK, LOOK -

I FOUND A GNOME BASED INTERFACE TO "R"!!!!


http://datamining.togaware.com/survivor/Rattle.html
   87. JoeArthur Posted: October 27, 2006 at 07:29 AM (#2226003)
for RB #81: Damon's ZR was about .930 as a part time CF his last two years in KC. When he came to Boston it dropped to about .910 the first couple years and then further to .870 the next 2 years. He moved to yankee stadium and went back up slightly to .883 You've got the aging effect mixed in there, but it looks like less park effect than I measured for 2006, maybe half the size. Dewan's fielding bible had a very mild split for Damon for 2005; if I remember, he was 2 plays better on the road. Chone Smith's methodology (mentioned by SG in #35) would give a more reliable indication than anything I've got right now.
One thing to keep in mind about Fenway is that although the playing field is essentially unchanged for decades, the owners have tinkered with the seating structure over time, and there have been claims that this effects how well the ball carries.

Chris - as far as your gold gloves go, I don't see enough of Detroit to have any idea, but I would wonder if there is some infield park effect at Comerica (e.g. long grass - making it generally easier to field ground balls) which explains why Detroit infielders did so well. Of course they won a lot of games, they do have to be above average at some things, and infield defense could be it. I actually do have the raw data for 2006 to address this question, but I do have to do a lot of work to cross reference data from multiple sources.
   88. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 27, 2006 at 12:18 PM (#2226053)
I FOUND A GNOME BASED INTERFACE TO "R"!

You could get Fed funding if it were faith-based. Baf!
   89. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: October 27, 2006 at 12:22 PM (#2226055)
Bartlett a very good defensive shortstop? Who knew.
he's good - that's about where i expected him to rank.
   90. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: October 27, 2006 at 12:48 PM (#2226077)
I actually do have the raw data for 2006 to address this question, but I do have to do a lot of work to cross reference data from multiple sources.

Want help, or is it not-sharable?
   91. AROM Posted: October 27, 2006 at 01:33 PM (#2226101)
I don't see enough of Detroit to have any idea, but I would wonder if there is some infield park effect at Comerica (e.g. long grass - making it generally easier to field ground balls)

While this is possible I'd have to see Detroit do this for more than one year before I suspect the park is doing it. It doesn't seem like the Tiger hitters had as much trouble getting their hits to fall in as opponents have. I think they're just the latest team to play over their head on defense for a year, like the 2001 Mariners, 2002 Angels, 2005 White Sox, etc.

Detroit infield:

Shelton: probably a fluke
Polanco: Great fielder, does this every year
Guillen: about average
Inge: Good fielder having a career year with the glove.

I'm almost certain Marlins' LF and Houston's LF have significant park factors, too.

I have one for Houston LF, its bigger than Fenway (-20) but sample is smaller and I'm not sure I trust it being that large. Marlin's LF is another good one to check.
   92. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 27, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#2226193)
Inge: Good fielder having a career year with the glove.

How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position and been really, really good at it? Are Inge and Biggio it?
   93. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: October 27, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2226223)
How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position

Inge was a shortstop in college and was converted to catcher by the Tigers, so really was going back to the infield.
   94. The District Attorney Posted: October 27, 2006 at 04:04 PM (#2226248)
How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position and been really, really good at it?
Dale Murphy, certainly.

I guess Scott Hatteberg, according to the A's anyway.

Troy Percival ;-)
   95. RobertMachemer Posted: October 27, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2226549)
How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position and been really, really good at it?
If I remember correctly, Jimmy Foxx was pretty decent with the glove. (I may be remembering incorrectly, however).
   96. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 27, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2226569)
Watching Inge in the playoffs, he doesn't look like a fluke. He looks like a shortstop, and a good one.
   97. baudib Posted: October 27, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2226572)


How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position and been really, really good at it? Are Inge and Biggio it?


Gil Hodges was probably a Gold Glove caliber first baseman. There's the Peerless Leader as well; Tom Daly, who is the other guy in the Biggio trivia question ("Who are the only players to successfully convert from catcher to second base?"), although he wasn't "really, really good"; Roger Bresnahan had a great year in center field. And, of course, Todd Hundley was the greatest left fielder in the history of the game.
   98. AROM Posted: October 30, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2227802)
Don't have park factors yet, but here's the ZR totals by park and position, which gives me a good idea where I need to look first in figuring park factors.

http://lanaheimangelfan.blogspot.com/

How many times in the history of baseball has a catcher converted to another position and been really, really good at it?

Brian Downing. He was a very good left fielder even beyond the errorless streaks. He made up for lack of speed with all out hustle and making friends with walls.
   99. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 30, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2227950)
Inge was a shortstop in college and was converted to catcher by the Tigers, so really was going back to the infield.

That's weird, isn't it?

Gil Hodges was a good one.

I thought of Downing and should've mentioned him, but wasn't he kind of overrated, i.e., probably better than Charlie Moore, but not much?
   100. AROM Posted: October 30, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2227968)
Depends who you're talking to. To me, the only people who overrate Downing are the ones who argue about which inner circle Hall of Famer (Williams, Aaron, Mays, Ruth?) to boot out to make room for him. But I'm biased, after all I did name my cat after him.
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