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Defense Newsbeat

Friday, August 29, 2014

FG (Zimmerman): Alex Gordon, UZR, and Bad Left Field Defense

Duh, but also, thanks, Jeff.

Outfield defense has three components, Range (ability to field balls), Arm and Errors. [Alex] Gordon has a great arm and his LF values since 2011 have ranged from 8 Runs to 11 Runs, so no change there. His Error component has gone from 0 to 2 Runs. Again, not the reason for the jump. The key difference is in his Range value at 14 Runs because his previous high was just 4 Runs…

Here are the league average values for in and out-of-zone values compared to Gordon’s values and the difference.

In Zone
Year: League%, Gordon%, Difference
2010: 87.1%, 91.7%, 4.6%
2011: 90.4%, 92.3%, 1.9%
2012: 89.7%, 91.3%, 1.6%
2013: 90.6%, 91.8%, 1.2%
2014: 88.4%, 91.6%, 3.2%

Out-of-Zone
Year: League Rate, Gordon Rate, Difference
2010: 0.049, 0.043, -0.006
2011: 0.065, 0.057, -0.008
2012: 0.058, 0.062, 0.004
2013: 0.066, 0.081, 0.015
2014: 0.057, 0.082, 0.025

With individual position UZR values, the baseline values can move around quite a bit. There are only 30 inputs into the baseline values, so if just a few players move to a new position or get hurt, the zero value can change… Three of the top eight [fielders by LF range in 2013] haven’t played in the majors this season…

As I’ve noted before, this is one possible area of consideration for the UZR. A potential improvement to the system for the future, and one considered in that linked piece, is a baseline defensive value which is constant from year to year in addition to just UZR… The first 500 words of this article wouldn’t be necessary if [this] metric were available. It could show Gordon’s Range Value is at a +4 Historic Runs (hypothetically speaking) compared to +14 2014 Runs. Maybe each player doesn’t need two values, maybe just a comparison value for the entire season could be available.

Putting it all together, the jump in Alex Gordon‘s total WAR to a league leading value really has nothing to do with Alex Gordon. He is the same defensive player he has been over the past few season. What has happened is the league wide level in talent has fallen off in left field thereby boosting Gordon’s numbers substantially.

The District Attorney Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, defense, royals, sabermetrics

Monday, August 11, 2014

SABR Defensive Index rankings released through August 3, 2014

Atlanta’s Jason Heyward tops the NL’s SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of August 3, 2014, while Alex Gordon leads a trio of Kansas City outfielders who all rank in the top 10 of the AL SDI rankings.

The SABR Defensive Index is used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™, presented by SABR.

cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2014 at 04:14 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, gold glove

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Collins: Lagares’ defense ranks with the best

Even the Mets, who watch Juan Lagares play every day, are sometimes amazed by the outfielder’s capabilities.

Lagares put on another defensive show in Monday’s loss to the Giants, throwing a runner out at home plate in the seventh inning to stop the bleeding during a potentially huge rally.

With one run already home and two men on base, Pablo Sandoval hit a sharp single to center field. Lagares charged, took a quick extra step and fired home, putting his entire body’s momentum behind the throw. It sailed about a foot to the third-base side of home plate, allowing catcher Travis d’Arnaud to catch it on the fly and apply the tag.

“There are a lot of good outfielders in this league, but Juan Lagares ranks right with anybody in this league defensively,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s got a great arm.”

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 05, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, juan lagares, mets

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As shifts suppress offense, time has come to consider a rule change

Lefthanded hitters have lost 22 points on their batting average on balls in play to rightfield this year alone – and 85 points in nine years.

Good material with some good numbers in here.  But it’s questionable that this is the solution:

Support of an “illegal defense” rule – or at least the consideration of it – is gaining some traction in baseball. Such a rule might stipulate, for instance, that you cannot have three infielders on one side of second base. A shortstop would be able to shift as far as directly behind second base on a lefthanded hitter, but no farther.

Karl from NY Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:10 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, rules of play, sabermetrics

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ten of baseball’s most astounding outfield throws. | SportsonEarth.com

Some good plays here. As great as they are, all outfield arms must line up behind Ellis Valentine.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:34 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

 

 

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