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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Let’s Play With New Defensive Data | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m not sure there’s a surprise in the bunch. Which is probably more of a good sign than a bad one — one wouldn’t think we’ve been completely wrong all this time. For as much as people have openly criticized the advanced defensive numbers, I think the bulk of the disagreement has centered on infield play, especially in the age of infielders moving around all over the place. We’ve long had a pretty good grasp on the outfield, I think. Statcast here mostly supports the information we already had. Kevin Kiermaier? Amazing! Billy Hamilton? Amazing! Keon Broxton? You better believe he’s amazing!

Maybe one way of interpreting this is as further evidence that Kiermaier has been better out there than Kevin Pillar. I know that’s been fiercely debated, but Statcast knows more than most of us do. There’s still room for these numbers to be adjusted, so Blue Jays fans can continue to take some heart. Travis Jankowski has apparently got it. Peter Bourjos has apparently still got it.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2017 at 02:56 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, statcast

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2017 at 06:24 PM (#5417388)
The intro seems off -- the main skepticism is about OFs. Not the ordering so much as the magnitude -- how can an OF possibly save 30-40 runs?

So this has Kiermaier at +46 players over 2 years. Rfield gives him credit for +67 runs.

And now ... I'll be damned. Rfield has his Rpm, that's runs saved on plays made, at +44 which comes out to about one run per play made which, assuming he's generally turning a double into an out, sounds about right. He has another 11 runs on throws. Who knows where the other 12 runs come from?

There's a massive disagreement on Billy Hamilton. This article puts him at +40 plays over two years but Rfield gives him just +13 runs on plays made. It gives him 4 more on throws and another 6 missing runs to get him to +23 runs. Even if he only prevented singles, +40 plays should be about 32 runs.

Back to Kiermaier, UZR has him at +34 on range (also sounds about right) and +10 on arm and a smidgen off for errors to end up at +42. The +34 on range seems low for 46 plays made in the OF -- it's about right if everything would have been a single.

It's too annoying to calculate extra plays made from the IE data on fangraphs but quickly eyeballing it, it seems to remain the most cynical about OF defense as I get something like +15 plays.

Eyeballing -- small sample size but there seem to be many cases where the statcast 4* and 5* catch numbers don't make a lot of sense. Leading the weirdness pack is Lonnie Chisenhall. He's rather poor at 1* and 2*, pretty ordinary at 3*, only 1 of 13 in 4* (the bottom 10) ... but 5 of 21 in 5*? Adam Eaton and Icniarte are two more near the top in % of 5* who are kinda ordinary for 4*; Heyward is the reverse as he's 12th in 4* and pretty ordinary in 5*. But Heyward is pretty consistent from 2015 to 2016 (a couple of catches).

I worry it's trying to squeeze too much out of the data. In a full season, it seems an OF (maybe must a CF) would get about 25-30 opps per * category (above 1). There's rarely much point to breaking down to such small sub-categories, then talking percentages. It does reinforce that OFs can make a difference on only about 100 plays a year on which an average OF would probably make about 45-50 plays.
   2. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: March 14, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5417435)
Let’s Play With New Defensive Data

Let's not and say we did, okay?

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