Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ranking the first basemen - 2007

This is the twelfth 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 first basemen with 600 or more innings in 2007. One thing to remember is that the range statistics we have been discussing do not tell us as much about first basemen as they do about other infielders. This is because one of the main jobs of a first baseman is to take throws from infielders and there is still no statistic which measures that adequately. That being said, range is still a valuable and sometimes underrated skill for a first baseman.

Last year, the systems did not agree on Sean Casey. The BIS Systems (RZR, PMR) ranked him below average while STATS systems (ZR, UZR) found him to be above average. Averaging across the systems, he finishes in the middle of the pack at -2. It is hoped that the more athletic Carlos Guillen will be an upgrade in terms of range as well as offense.

The Cardinals Albert Pujols ranked very well across all systems and finished first among all major league first basemen at +24. The American League leader was Kasey Kotchman of the Angels (+18). At the bottom of the chart are the Nationals Dmitri Young (-21) and the Mariners Richie Sexson (-14).


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

player

team

inn

ZR

RZR

PMR

+/-

UZR

FFS

ARS

Pujols

StL

1,325

13

31

32

30

14

26

24

Kotchman

LAA

1,033

15

19

11

25

20

23

18

Helton

Col

1,337

12

19

10

7

18

18

13

Thorman

Atl

608

5

9

9

3

N/A

-22

7

Overbay

Tor

972

1

12

-0

14

N/A

9

7

LaRoche

Pit

1,301

10

1

7

2

13

15

7

Youkilis

Bos

1,094

2

11

3

10

5

14

6

Gload

KC

676

3

7

8

8

N/A

-7

6

Klesko

SF

805

12

-7

9

11

N/A

-1

6

Gonzalez

SD

1,463

1

3

11

N/A

N/A

24

5

Lee

ChC

1,274

-1

-1

12

N/A

N/A

29

3

Pena

TB

1,221

-7

13

7

3

-5

10

2

Teixeira

Tex/Atl

1,098

0

8

-6

N/A

N/A

21

1

Loney

LA

775

-8

-6

8

3

N/A

25

-1

Casey

Det

989

8

-8

-15

N/A

8

-4

-2

Delgado

NYM

1,219

1

-6

-6

N/A

N/A

-22

-4

Berkman

Hou

1,066

-7

-3

-0

N/A

-8

4

-5

Millar

Bal

873

-4

-4

-7

N/A

N/A

-4

-5

Morneau

Min

1,259

1

-9

-18

N/A

5

1

-5

Jackson

Ari

868

-4

-12

-5

N/A

N/A

-24

-7

Johnson

Oak

855

-4

-2

-14

N/A

N/A

-11

-7

Konerko

CWS

1,228

-2

-11

-10

N/A

N/A

1

-8

Jacobs

Fla

903

-3

-4

-16

-12

N/A

-13

-9

Fielder

Mil

1,338

-7

-11

-4

-12

-9

-10

-9

Garko

Cle

1,066

-5

-11

-14

N/A

-6

-21

-9

Howard

Phi

1,241

-10

-10

-10

N/A

-9

-25

-10

Hatteberg

Cin

773

12

-19

-23

-14

N/A

-5

-11

Sexson

Sea

992

-17

-17

-10

-16

-11

-21

-14

Young

Was

885

-17

-15

-27

-26

N/A

-32

-21

4 comments:

  1. Knowing this, I'm at a complete loss as to why the Angels would want Paul Konerko...

    Even though he doesn't qualify, is there enough data out there to support the belief that Guillen is an upgrade over Casey defensively?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Guillen was off the charts for both ZR and RZR. He would have been ahead of Pujols but 179 innings is too small of a sample size for it to mean much. I think it would be like a batter getting hot for 80 at bats.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lee, I'm running a quick and dirty projection of runs added and subtracted offensively and defensively this year. For 135 games played at 1B for Carlos Guillen, does 17 runs saved sound reasonable?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Eddie, I think that's more of a judgement call than anything else. +17 RS would would place him among the top three 1B in the majors last year. Since he is a good athlete and is moving down the defensive spectrum, I would expect him to be above average. I'm not sure I would go as high as +17 if I was going to make a projection but I tend to be conservative.

    For what it's worth, these are his numbers over 179 innings:

    Zone Rating
    PMAA 5
    RSAA 4
    PMAA/150 39
    RSAA/150 31

    RZR
    PMAA 6
    RSAA 5
    PMAA/150 47
    RSAA/150 38

    ReplyDelete

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