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Thursday, August 07, 2008
NL Defensive Stats to date
Sure, everyone can go to BPro everyday and check out Albert Pujols’ VORP. Or whatever your favorite site is and its Offensive Stat du jour.Well, if you really want to know how good a player is/has been you need to add his defense to that. Is Manny going to be okay in Chavez Ravine? Does David Wright deserve a second Gold Glove? What you need though is a regularly updated place where you can see how a player is doing the moment you are having that argument or writing that blog piece. Well, friends and neighbors, thanks to several other Primates (SG, AROM, MCoA), I got off my duff and made a more updatable and publishable format. I also learned how to more efficiently use Excel to I could vlookup stuff and greatly cut down on the time it takes me. Coupled with learning from MCoA’s use of Google docs, I can post them without making a giant mess of this page.
So, like the All-Star Break data, I will post the data via a Google docs. If someone can help me locate a good offensive stat format that includes all the pertinent data for my offensive calculations, I can update that more often too. the present problem is that B-R’s “good page” doesn’t have GIDPs or something I need. I use Doug’s Stats, but he has the positions all screwy, and correcting those takes 4-eva. So, in the meantime, use VORP (which is my favorite anyway), or something easy for you to find.
Here is the link to NL DRS through August 6, 2008. Here is a summary bit of information about that data, with Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in parentheses.
First Base: Mark Teixeira (+11) had a good year in his 100 games with the Braves, but has moved to the AL. Albert Pujols (+9) is nipping at his heels, and will certainly deserve the Gold Glove. I watched a bit more of Pujols this year defensively, and I think that DRS may underrate him *slightly* because of his beautiful skill to take a grounder at first and get the runner at second base. Most first basemen will take the runner at first rather than risk the throw, but Albert makes it smoothly, and that has slightly higher run value. Bringing up the rear is Mike Jacobs (-9) in Florida. The Marlins defense could be what costs them the division/wild card.
Second Base: Chase Utley has been the best fielding second baseman the last few years in the NL,a nd usually by a wide margin. He has a slim lead this year over Adam “He Can’t Hit” Kennedy, but Kennedy has many fewer innings. Brandon Phillips (+8) deserves an honorable mention. Damion Easley (-8) has only gotten in half of the season, but has played poor enough to be the worst. The Mets right side is not very good so far.
Third Base: David Wright (-1) is playing about the same as last year when he won the GG. Chipper Jones (+10) is playing much better than last year, but is missing some innings. Pedro Feliz (+9), who was terrific last year, is closing on Chipper. Everyone should know who the worst fielding thrid baseman is - he’s staggeringly bad every year - Jorge Cantu (-11) of the Marlins.
Shortstop: Old Man River just keeps on rolling along. Omar Vizquel (+8) has only played 450 innings, but has played them very well. Jimmy Rollins (+6) is closer to full-time. Similarly, at the bottom of the rankings, Jeff Keppinger (-11) is a third or second baseman.
Left Field: Patt Burrell (+5), Juan Pierre (+5) and Fred Lewis (+5) are all neck and neck in left. Burrell has 11 assists, so I’d give him the nod. Really, though, I think this is the year where it is good that the outfield doesn’t require a fielder from each position win a Gold Glove. One thing that is a bit more problematic is the LF park effect in Houston. Carlos Lee (-20) is getting Manny-ish numbers out there. The Pirates former LF, Jason Bay (-10), isn’t going to do well in Boston defensively. You thought Manny was bad?
Center Field: The Padres have some pretty good defense all around, and the top centerfielder has been Jody Gerut (+8). Now, again, there is an innings issue. Gerut has 500 to Carlos Beltran’s (+6) 1000, but if Gerut maintains his pace for the next couple of months, he could earn the top spot. One of the surprise hitters of the year, Nate McLouth (-15), has been absolutely terribly with the glove. McLouth may be better suited to a corner position.
Right Field: Cub fan favorite, Jeremy Hermida (+9), is leading the way. Right on his heels is Brian Giles (+8) of the Padres. Giles has always been a very good fielder, and is aging pretty well. It took this long for a Colorado Rockie to show up now that the humidor has been in full effect. Brad Hawpe (-15) needs to move to another position, I think.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up Endy Chavez. He splits time at all three outfield positions, and has saved more runs than any other outfielder with +11.6 DRS.
Pitchers and catchers are in that spreadsheet too, but most pitchers have very few chances, and the league conversion rate is higher than 97%. Catchers have even fewer, and convert at 95%. Most players make all the plays, and the players at the bottom miss two or three of their chances.
The best defensive team thus far has been the Phillies (+34), and they are above average at every position, which is impressive. The Phils division lead can be summed up in this, as the Mets (-12) and the Marlins (-20) are well behind them. The Cubs (+1) are about average across the board, and the Cardinals (+21) are playing well. The Diamondbacks (-21) are a poor-fielding team, and the Dodgers (+20) are keeping it close with the leather. The worst fielding team is the Pirates (-30).
there you have a rundown of how the NL is doing. You can sort it any number of ways with the data provided, or just check out how your favorite player is doing. AL tomorrow.
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