Sunday, December 08, 2013

How Bad Was Torii Hunter's Defense in 2013?

In previous posts, I looked at the Revised Zone Rating (RZR) and Out-of-Zone Plays (OOZ) metrics listed at FanGraphs.  Links to these posts are provided below:
Next up are the right fielders.  Table 1 below contains the following information for 18 MLB right fielders with 800 or more innings in 2013:
  • 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 top defensive right fielders in the majors in 2013 according to these measures were Shane Victorino of the Red Sox (+39 RSAA) and Gerardo Parra of the Diamondbacks (+28).  Both outfielders excelled at making plays outside the right field zone (+42 OOZAA for Victorino, +28 for Parra).

Veteran right fielder Torii Hunter of the Tigers was last in MLB with -21 RSAA.  Hunter was bad on plays inside the zone (-10) and outside (-15).  He also was rated well below average on other advanced measures including -13 on Baseball Prospectus' FRAA, -9 on Total Zone and -10 or DRS. This was not what Tigers fans expected from a right fielder who was +11 RSAA for the Angels in 2012.  However, the results are probably not surprising to anyone who saw him play regularly this year.

So, this makes three Tigers who finished last in baseball in RSAA this year.  Hunter, first baseman Prince Fielder and third baseman Miguel Cabrera were a combined 64 runs below average defensively.  Theoretically, that means those three players cost the Tigers six wins with their defense.  The Tigers rectified that problem somewhat by trading Fielder and moving Cabrera to first, but Hunter is still in right and certainly not getting any younger at 38 years of age.

Table 1: Runs Saved by MLB Right Fielders According to RZR, OOZ, 2013

Player
Team
Inn
RZR
OOZ
PIZ AA
OOZ AA
PMAA
RSAA
Shane Victorino
BOS
913
.941
105
4
42
46
39
Gerardo Parra
ARI
1,042
.947
100
5
28
33
28
Hunter Pence
SFG
1,431
.924
118
2
19
21
18
Josh Reddick
OAK
966
.955
76
7
9
16
13
Ichiro Suzuki
NYY
993
.923
74
1
5
6
5
Nate Schierholtz
CHC
1,041
.918
77
0
5
5
4
Giancarlo Stanton
MIA
1,031
.937
69
4
-2
1
1
Marlon Byrd
- -
1,168
.965
73
8
-8
0
0
Jay Bruce
CIN
1,438
.968
85
13
-15
-2
-1
Jayson Werth
WSN
1,072
.921
71
1
-3
-2
-2
Norichika Aoki
MIL
1,288
.902
87
-3
-2
-6
-5
Nelson Cruz
TEX
906
.902
57
-2
-6
-8
-7
Jose Bautista
TOR
966
.911
59
-1
-8
-9
-7
Alex Rios
- -
1,365
.925
82
2
-13
-10
-9
Carlos Beltran
STL
1,138
.929
58
3
-21
-18
-15
Michael Cuddyer
COL
992
.883
55
-5
-14
-19
-16
Nick Markakis
BAL
1,381
.894
77
-6
-19
-25
-21
Torii Hunter
DET
1,236
.859
71
-10
-15
-25
-21

Data Source: FanGraphs.com

7 comments:

  1. Well all I can say is now is the time I would like to see DD work his magic and come up with a Torii Hunter trade. Go for it, I'm in on whatever. I think his value to a team would be higher if his price tag came down, so send him along with a suitcase of $13MM, pay the whole salary, and make that your resource to get a new OF.

    We use our "money which is our only real asset to make deals with" plus we get rid of Torii in a way that he creatively looks attractive. And if we could toss in Dirks and Don Kelly well then that could be a triple play!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Identifying problems is the easy task. With an uncertain and less-inspiring Detroit off-season, I'd really like to explore solutions. But maybe I'm missing the article's intended function which may be consciousness raising. Very grim picture indeed, for a right fielder who believes this is his last shot at glory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Lee's focus here on this blog is geared towards statistical analysis. That's the focus, to learn about the game behind the game from a numerical analysis standpoint. It's about showing the information and sharing new ideas of how to look at the information, and what you make of that info and how it applies to watching and interpreting the game is up to you. There's a lot of varying opinions about how to break the game down by looking at the numbers, and this site endeavors to show you a comprehensive and new set of perspectives.

      As far as solutions, well that's all I focus on primarily with my posting comments. I look at things like what I learn here on this blog and come up with my own ideas of what I think are good solutions. Unfortunately for my personal baseball enjoyment experience the Tigers just never go with any of the ideas that I think of. That's why I'm very interested in baseball analysis, because it's the only way I can find satisfaction for myself in at least theorizing how to solve problems since I can't watch them do that in reality. So you're welcome to chat with me anytime you want to discuss baseball solutions!

      Delete
    2. Actually, I don't think what Mr. Panas does here is easy in the least. If it was, there would be some other sites that offered this information, which is not the case in my experience. And I'm enjoying his book.

      Delete
    3. I haven't seen a site like this anywhere, or worse yet, for any other team. I'm not exactly looking for them, but this is the only site I know of that fits this particular niche. He clearly puts a lot of time into this and does a lot of research to always have fresh new things to think about. He has a lot of dedication to his craft. Good for us!

      Delete
    4. There's a relatively new Tigers site - New English D written by Neil Weinberg which has really good stat analysis. Motor City Bengals does good saber analysis (especially Matt Snyder), but they do a lot of other stuff too.

      Delete
  3. Mr Anonymous, the point of the post was to present some defensive statistics that can't be found elsewhere (the calculations were not a particularly easy task!). Sometimes, I'll give opinions or propose solutions, but the main function of this blog is statistical analysis. TSE's first paragraph in the above comment is about right. I try to explain analyses that others are doing and also do my own analyses What people want to do with that info is up to them. In this case, I don't think there is going to be a solution since I'm pretty sure they aren't going to dump Hunter.

    As for the off-season, I haven't liked every move, but I think it's been fascinating. I'll wait until the winter is over and all the moves made before I decide whether it's a good off-season.

    ReplyDelete

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