Friday, January 11, 2008

Ranking the second basemen - 2007

This is the ninth part of my series on fielding in 2007. The table of contents for the entire series is listed below:

Basic fielding stats
Converting Zone Rating to something useful
Revised Zone Rating
Probabilistic Model of Range
Fielding Bible
Ultimate Zone Rating
Fan Fielding Survey versus range measures
Outfield arms
Ranking the second basemen
Ranking the shortstops
Ranking the third basemen
Ranking the first baseman
Ranking the center fielders
Ranking the right fielders
Ranking the left fielders
What about catchers?

Billfer and Matt are probably the only ones still reading this series so I'll get to the positional rankings before I lose them as well. As I said in one of my comments, range metrics are more repeatable than some people realize. That is, if a player does well on one of these metrics one year, he is likely to do well again in the following year. For those who like correlation coefficients, the correlation between consecutive years for PMR, ZR, and several common hitting and pitching stats are shown below:

ZR .75
SLG .67
OBP .67
PMR .55
FIP .55
BA .43
ERA .33

So, for the last 2 years anyway, ZR is more repeatable than such stable stats as slugging and OBP. And PMR is more stable than ERA and batting average. Repeatability is an important measure of reliability which indicates these metrics are measuring a real skill.

One problem we have encountered throughout this exercise though is that the metrics do not agree for some players. Thus, I am going to take the average runs Saved Above Average per 15 games (RSAA/150) across the five metrics (ZR, RZR, UZR, FB+/-, UZR). This should help alleviate the effect of one really high or low score on one of the metrics for a particular player. Each player will have from 3 to 5 scores included in their average depending on the availability of data on the Fielding Bible +/- system and UZR.

I am not going to include the Fan Fielding Result in the average because it is measuring something different from the other metrics - skill rather than performance. It also has the potential problem of being too subjective. I will, however include it in the tables for comparison.

The results for second basemen are shown in Table 1 below. You can see that Placido Polanco was 4 runs above average on ZR, +12 on RZR, 9 on PMR, 8 and FB +/- . there were no available UZR data for Polanco. Thus, he has 4 scores and the Average Range Score (ARS) is 8 runs saved above average. his Fan Fielding score of +17 is not included in the average. Polanco ranked 8th in the majors on ARS. So, even though he had a perfect 1.000 fielding average, there were some second baseman who saved more runs for their teams.

The major league leaders were Chase Utley of the Phillies (+20) and Mark Ellis of the Athletics.
The trailers were Craig Biggio of the Astros (-19) and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers (-18).


Table 1: Runs Saved Above Average (per 150 games) for second basemen in 2007

player

team

inn

ZR

RZR

PMR

+/-

UZR

FFS

ARS

Utley

Phi

1,167

20

23

20

19

16

10

20

Ellis

Oak

1,322

25

14

15

14

25

24

19

Phillips

Cin

1,371

-2

14

34

8

N/A

19

13

Hill

Tor

1,410

11

12

13

16

14

13

13

Hudson

Ari

1,183

-1

7

19

17

15

22

12

Cano

NYY

1,409

10

4

16

12

15

-6

11

Matsui

Col

863

18

1

13

14

N/A

7

11

Polanco

Det

1,209

4

12

9

8

N/A

17

8

Kendrick

LAA

751

5

9

7

9

N/A

-6

7

Kinsler

Tex

1,137

1

14

18

6

-9

-14

6

Lopez

Sea

1,231

7

2

9

N/A

N/A

-1

6

Grudzielanek

KC

947

-2

7

4

7

N/A

6

4

Iguchi

CWS/Phi

1,043

4

0

4

N/A

N/A

-4

3

Belliard

Was

1,005

-5

-4

15

N/A

N/A

-9

2

Roberts

Bal

1,330

1

4

-0

N/A

-4

18

0

Pedroia

Bos

1,141

6

-6

-0

N/A

N/A

4

-0

Kennedy

StL

630

4

4

-10

N/A

N/A

-10

-0

DeRosa

ChC

709

12

3

-16

N/A

N/A

-0

-1

Castillo

Min/NYM

1,158

-7

-3

4

N/A

N/A

11

-2

Barfield

Cle

1,032

-4

-11

14

N/A

-7

5

-2

Giles

SD

948

4

-2

-20

N/A

6

2

-3

Sanchez

Pit

1,273

-9

-10

-8

N/A

N/A

-3

-9

Johnson

Atl

1,153

-12

-13

-10

N/A

-13

-2

-12

Kent

LA

1,084

-8

-6

-16

-12

-23

-20

-13

Durham

SF

1,028

-14

-13

-23

-10

N/A

-23

-15

Uggla

Fla

1,384

-22

-3

-21

-14

-17

-15

-15

Weeks

Mil

984

-28

-5

-20

-17

N/A

-19

-18

Biggio

Hou

937

-18

-12

-27

-18

N/A

-27

-19

9 comments:

  1. I love it. Are you planning to do this for each of the positions?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes, every position except catcher. Range doesn't really work for catchers. I'll try to do something else with them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I remember correctly, for UZR it was a case where the top x players at each position were given and then the bottom x players were also given.

    I was wondering what was the bottom of the top players and the top of the bottom players, which would establish (probably a large) a range for where Polly landed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lee, I'm still reading. Keep it up. I'm looking forward to the rest of the positions.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Matt, Polanco's UZR would have been between +14 and-13. So the highest average he could have had if UZR was included is +9 and the lowest would have been +4. There seems to be be pretty good consistency for the 2B position so that -13 figure is unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lee, I'm reading as well! Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting, most people seem to think that Utley is just an average fielding second baseman too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I just wanted to thank you for compiling all this information. It's a tremendous resource for all baseball fan, and I hope you will do this next year, as well. Tremendous kudos.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Eric. I plan to do it again next year. Hopefully, enough fielding data will be public so I can
    aggregate it in a useful way.

    ReplyDelete

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