Sunday, December 23, 2012

Converting RZR, OOZ to Runs for Third Basemen

In previous posts, I took the Revised Zone Rating (RZR) and Out-of-Zone Plays (OOZ) metrics listed at FanGraphs and converted them to runs based on an algorithm developed by Colin Wyers a few years ago.  Links to these posts are provided below:
Now, I'm going to to do the run conversion for third basemen.  Table 1 below contains the following information for 18 MLB third basemen with 800 or more innings in 2012:
  • Inn = Innings
  • RZR = Revised Zone Rating
  • OOZ = Out-of-Zone Plays
  • PIZAA =  Plays in Zone Above Average
  • OOZAA = Out-of-Zone Plays Above Average
  • PMAA = Total Plays Above Average
  • RSAA = Runs Saved Above Average
The MLB Runs Saved Above Average leader was Blue Jays third sacker Brett Lawrie with +41 followed by the Mets' David Wright (+16).  While Lawrie is a very good defender, he is probably not as good as this statistic indicates.  The +12 on in-zone-plays is reasonable, but I am guessing that the +39 on out-of-zone plays is due to Lawrie shifting over to the right side of the infield versus select left-handed batters.  While including plays made on shifts is appropriate at the team level, it does not make a lot of sense individually.  Baseball Info Solutions corrected this issue on the Defensive Runs Saved statistic, but probably left the shift plays in the OOZ. 

The worst defender according to this metric was Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (-18 RSAA).  Cabrera rated equally as bad on in-zone plays as out-of-zone plays.  Other advanced statistics support his being a below average defender but not by so much -4 on Defensive Runs Saved, -2 on Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Average and -10 on Ultimate Zone Rating. So, he's probably below average (which isn't surprising) but we can't say to what degree with confidence.  We may know more after next season. 

Table 1: Runs Saved by MLB Third Basemen According to RZR, OOZ, 2012

Player
Team
Inn
RZR
OOZ
PIZ AA
OOZ AA
PMAA
RSAA
Brett Lawrie
TOR
1,072
.765
72
12
39
51
41
David Wright
NYM
1,348
.750
53
9
11
20
16
Mike Moustakas
KCR
1,314
.760
44
15
3
18
14
Pablo Sandoval
SFG
842
.738
32
4
6
10
8
Chipper Jones
ATL
895
.717
37
-0
9
9
7
Alberto Callaspo
LAA
1,106
.751
31
8
-3
5
4
Chase Headley
SDP
1,397
.746
39
9
-4
5
4
David Freese
STL
1,153
.754
30
11
-6
5
4
Adrian Beltre
TEX
1,125
.728
34
2
-1
1
1
Aramis Ramirez
MIL
1,242
.750
32
8
-6
1
1
Pedro Alvarez
PIT
1,273
.691
48
-8
9
1
1
Ryan Zimmerman
WSN
1,280
.691
45
-9
5
-3
-2
Kyle Seager
SEA
1,208
.700
34
-5
-3
-8
-6
Kevin Youkilis
BOS/CHW
894
.698
18
-4
-10
-14
-11
Trevor Plouffe
MIN
804
.691
14
-6
-11
-17
-14
Hanley Ramirez
MIA/LAD
860
.679
16
-7
-11
-17
-14
Chris Johnson
HOU/AZ
1,069
.681
24
-10
-9
-19
-15
Miguel Cabrera
DET
1,322
.682
29
-11
-12
-22
-18
Data source: FanGraphs.com

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