Monday, March 02, 2015
In Milwaukee during his first two big-league seasons, Aoki spent most of his time defending batters straight up, without much shading in either direction, Kuntz explained. Aoki preferred to charge in, rather than charge back, and glued himself to the same spot before almost every pitch.
The Royals operate a more fluid defense. Kuntz does not just ask his defenders to adjust from batter to batter. Sometimes he calls for shifts from pitch to pitch. Aoki was an “analytical” player, Kuntz said. He required an explanation for instructions. Kuntz would flash a signal and Aoki would hesitate before moving.
During games, Kuntz only had a brief window in between innings to communicate, because his presence was required to coach first base. Soon after a sign was sent to the outfield, Kuntz would often receive a visit from Aoki’s translator, Kosuke Inaji.
“Nori wants to know why we don’t play everybody straight up,” Inaji would say.
Kuntz had to remind Inaji: “At times, I don’t have time to explain it to him. He just has to get there.”...
During that first workout, when Rios asked for advice, Kuntz suggested he alter his mechanics when chasing drives over his head. Like 90 percent of players, Kuntz said, Rios executed a drop-step as his first movement, which elongated his route to the ball. Kuntz counseled him to swivel his hips instead and straigthen his line.
Two days later, as he swatted fly balls, Kuntz watched how Rios hunted for balls and noticed the difference.
“Just like that, he’s got it,” Kuntz said. “But he’s an athlete. And he’s coachable.”
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
I liked the Semien comment. A lot of people don’t think Semien has the chops to handle shortstop on a regular basis. When you look at it from this perspective, though, it doesn’t seem to be a stretch to have him stay there.
Man, so many changes to this roster in such a short time. But attention to detail on defense is a constant. Brett Lawrie, if healthy (that’s always the “if” with Lawrie), is a major defensive asset at the hot corner. Ben Zobrist can handle seemingly every position on the field with aplomb, which is why he’s so valuable. Marcus Semien will be an upgrade over Jed Lowrie at short. Between Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp and whoever plays left field—Sam Fuld or Craig Gentry - the outfield is well-situated from a defensive standpoint.
Posted: February 14, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
Sunday, February 08, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
The game will adjust without banning the shift.
Take it from Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who sees the data work against him at the plate and for him behind it.
“I think [the shift] is a tough thing to blame for the decline in offense,” he said in a text. “ERAs are down [0.12 points between 2013 and ‘14 and 0.72 points over the past decade], so that means pitching is better. Why is pitching better? The wealth of information we have when calling games is a very large amount. If they wanted to increase offense, then they should take away the information we get. That won’t happen, because teams use this same information in trades, free-agent signings, etc. Honestly, I can think of times when the shift works for us and times when we were burned by them. So I don’t think they are the issue.”
Posted: January 28, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 6 comment(s)
Friday, January 23, 2015
A really good look at what the Pirates are doing on defense.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, November 03, 2014
In the last Fielding Bible they listed a few different categories. I have not been able to find the full listing. If you can share it, please contact me.
Good Fielding Play/Misplay & Error ratio: For brevity, I’m going to refer to this as Good Play/Bad Play Ratio. Baseball Info Solutions has staffers watch every game and among their duties is to rate defensive plays as Good Plays or Misplays & Errors, based on a series of rules devised by Bill James and other statisticians.
There are approximately 30 categories of Good Fielding Plays and 60 categories of Misplays and Errors. Think of it as an advanced scorekeeping system that keeps fielders (and official scorers) honest.
Posted: November 03, 2014 at 09:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Royals outfielders collectively led the league in both DRS and UZR this season, and Gordon, Cain, and Dyson ranked third, fourth, and ninth, respectively, among individual outfielders in DRS. The Royals outfielders’ arms account for some of the strength of their defensive ratings, but they nearly doubled the closest club in UZR Range Runs, which measures only how good they were at getting to balls. “We’re not just talking about a good outfield, or a great outfield,” wrote Baseball Prospectus’s Sam Miller on Monday, noting that the three outfielders’ 2014 DRS totals at the positions they play would prorate to a combined plus-80 over 135 games. “We’re talking about what one might decide to argue is the greatest defensive outfield of all-time.” It’s certainly looked like it lately, as all four Royals outfielders have taken turns topping each other with increasingly spectacular grabs.
Posted: October 16, 2014 at 06:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
death to flying things
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
It’s Jeff Sullivan, with GIFs, talking about defense on Fangraphs. Read it.
The Royals feel like an exaggeration of what defense can do. In this way I can only speak for myself, but when, say, Miguel Cabrera goes on one of his tears, I see him at the plate and I feel like he could hit a dinger at a moment’s notice. I can sense the threat of a slugger, because I’m aware of the range of possible outcomes. The Royals have made me sense a defense. The feeling I get is that every ball in play is doomed. Hit a ball to the outfield and you might as well just walk back to the dugout, unless you hit it 420 feet. Not every ball in play is converted, naturally, but not every slugger plate appearance turns into a handful of bases. It just happens often enough to set the expectation. The expectation is that the Royals will make the out, if it’s in any way possible. [...]
I get how weird it might be to see something of a pro-Royals article on FanGraphs, given, you know. But for one thing, this isn’t specifically about the Royals. And for another, there’s no better current representation of something we all hold to be important. The Royals are like if UZR were a general manager, and while there have been great defensive teams before, the Royals are sensational and the Royals are one win away from the World Series with limited other strengths. Is defense really as important as WAR suggests? I mean, I don’t know with 100% certainty, but the Royals make a hell of an argument. Outs are in — and so are the Royals.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Outfielders and pitchers.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Here’s some early insight into the Gold Glove race.
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