Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ranking the Shortstops - 2007

This is the tenth 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?

The table below shows the runs saved above average per 150 games for all the major league shortstops with 600 or more innings in 2007. Tigers new shortstop Edgar Renteria's numbers ranged from -9 on Zone Rating to +5 on revised Zone Rating. His Average Range Score (ARS) was -3 which means he saved 3 fewer runs per 150 games than the average shortstop. This is better than old shortstop Carlos Guillen who was 17 runs saved below average. Each system ranked Guillen significantly below average and he finished in the bottom 5 overall. This comes to no surprise to Tigers fans who also gave him very low scores on the Fan Fielding Survey (FFS) .

Any time the subject of objective evaluation of shortstops is brought up, the Yankees Derek Jeter immediately comes to mind. Long heralded as an excellent fielder by some television broadcasters, Jeter generally ranks poorly on modern defensive statistics. This year was no exception as all 5 play by play systems ranked him as the worst or next to worst shortstop in baseball. His average score (a whopping 27 runs saved below average) placed him dead last. Brendan Harris was second to the bottom at -19.

The top shortstop in 2007 was old friend John McDonald who played in 31 games for the 2005 Tigers. Now a Blue Jay, McDonald was outstanding according to all 5 systems and finished with an ARS of +26. Second in the majors and first in the National League was Rockies rookie sensation Troy Tulowitzki at +25.


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

player

team

inn

ZR

RZR

PMR

+/-

UZR

FFS

ARS

McDonald

Tor

799

20

29

21

33

N/A

22

26

Tulowitzki

Col

1,375

15

28

37

26

20

18

25

Vizquel

SF

1,219

27

13

5

16

16

22

16

Pena Jr

KC

1,274

3

22

24

14

10

3

14

Furcal

LA

1,210

10

-1

23

N/A

N/A

15

11

Reyes

NYM

1,431

14

15

-8

9

23

19

11

Bartlett

Min

1,194

7

6

19

15

4

-4

10

Crosby

Oak

814

17

9

-1

N/A

N/A

-0

8

Wilson

Pit

1,142

-5

15

11

9

N/A

14

7

Greene

SD

1,396

11

9

-3

5

N/A

18

6

Theriot

ChC

859

14

3

-2

N/A

N/A

6

5

Gonzalez

Cin

873

5

8

-0

N/A

N/A

1

4

Rollins

Phi

1,441

-0

-3

11

5

N/A

19

3

Izturis

ChC/Pit

656

-3

11

-1

N/A

N/A

-11

3

Cabrera

LAA

1,331

3

-6

4

N/A

6

15

2

Lugo

Bos

1,228

-1

2

4

N/A

N/A

-11

2

Tejada

Bal

1,069

7

5

-10

N/A

N/A

-12

1

Hardy

Mil

1,272

-10

6

-0

6

N/A

1

0

Renteria

Atl

1,019

-9

5

-4

N/A

N/A

-1

-3

Drew

Ari

1,283

-8

-11

-1

N/A

N/A

7

-7

Peralta

Cle

1,348

-12

-15

7

N/A

N/A

-24

-7

Uribe

CWS

1,305

1

-16

-9

N/A

N/A

-6

-8

Betancourt

Sea

1,302

-8

-14

-3

N/A

N/A

5

-9

Eckstein

StL

944

-5

-8

-9

-15

-10

-15

-9

Young

Tex

1,291

-10

-15

-22

-12

-15

-7

-15

Guillen

Det

1,074

-7

-18

-18

N/A

-24

-22

-17

Ramirez

Fla

1,302

-14

-22

-2

-29

-20

-17

-18

Lopez

Was

927

-14

-25

-20

N/A

-14

-20

-18

Harris

TB

752

-25

-1

-26

-25

N/A

-25

-19

Jeter

NYY

1,318

-22

-28

-31

-26

-27

-9

-27

3 comments:

  1. Ya, it is hilarious to listen to broadcasters give Jeter so much praise.

    Nice to see that the Tigers are increasing defense at SS this year since we are obviously losing defense at 3rd.

    How well do you think Gullien's transition to 1st will affect his stats? I'm guessing he will be somewhere near the top at the new position. Perhaps this and the upgrade at SS and LF will make up for the loss of Inge at 3rd.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Guillen might take a little time to get totally comfortable as the full-time first baseman but I think he'll be good over there. Ultimately, I think he'll be an upgrade over Casey because of superior range.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Man, the Devil Rays are going to take a big step forward this year. Jason Bartlett should help their pitchers in a big way.

    I can't wait until this data accumulates over a few years and we can look at career trends, when players defensively peak and decline, and the effect that improvement at certain positions has on different pitchers.

    ReplyDelete

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