March 1, 2007
Fielding Stats at THT (Dave Studeman, March 01, 2007, Hardball Times)
Thanks to our intrepid technical "staff" (one Bryan Donovan), we now have thorough fielding and catching stats available for you.
All of the basic fielding statistics that have been published in our Annual (including fielding vs. throwing errors, and double plays started vs. double plays turned) are now listed on the site for the last three years. Plus, we've added John Dewan's Zone Rating statistics for all non-catchers. John invented the original Zone Rating that Stats uses, but this version is an improvement over the original. It doesn't include balls fielded out of the zone in the numerator (they are listed separately as "OOZ." Out of Zone -- get it?) and double plays are counted only once. We believe these are some of the best fielding statistics available on the Internet for free.
The fielding stats, like all of our stats, will be presented and updated during the 2007 season. In the meantime, you can dig into what we have by checking out Adam Everett's awesomeness, for starters.
Sticking to just the shortstops, it's striking how awful Hanley Ramirez and Derek Jeter are.
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2007 9:23 PM
Just for fun here's BP on Jeter and then on the supposed top fielders in THT for ss.
Derek Jeter Rate 2006 105
Alex Gonzalez Rate 2006 98
Adam Everett Rate 2006 114
Omar Vizquel Rate 2006 100
Joes Reyes Rate 2006 89!!!!
Eckstein Rate 2006 99!!
The only one of the others who's even league avg is Everett.
You have your stats, I have mine.
Not to say mine are right, but when different measures of fielding from two of the premier baseball stat places are that far off, then it's more than likely that neither is very close to the mark.
It's fair to say that Jeter was a terrible ss through at least 2002 who's made himself -- tho perhaps Arod next to him has helped -- into at least an avg ss. Meanwhile the 2nd coming of Ozzie Smith according to Cheeseburger Schilling was let go.
Btw, if you're gonna go down the HTT road -- check out coc Chanel's #s in center vs Noodle Arm Damon. Ouch. Or Manny's, which is almost in negative territory. Or Trot the Gimp Nixon as the best qualified rf in the AL?!?
I mean really, all these numbers are meaningless. They might as well be picking them from a hat.
Yes, Coco and Damon had two of the worst throwing years. Manny is surprisingly excellent. He just doesn't get to any balls.
The thing about the defensive numbers is no one in baseball thinks Jeter can field his position -- except Jeter.
I don't dispute that Jeter is not a great fielder, but it is clearly wrong to claim that "no one in baseball thinks Jeter can field his position -- except Jeter." Jeter has won the Gold Glove each of the last three years. Now I realize that the Gold Gloves are a bit of a joke, but unless Derek Jeter is the only voter, it cannot be the case that nobody else thinks he is good. In fact, I believe managers and coaches do the voting.
Again, I'm not claiming that the Gold Glove is evidence of fielding quality, but it is eidence that some people in baseball thinks Jeter is a quality fielder.
Coco had more than a badd throwing year. HTT's zone rating had him the worst in the AL fielding wise. Damon they had surprisingly far up the list.
The reality is that Damon is at best average, Coco Chanel somewhat below there.
Again, you might as well put the names on a dartboard as you use the various defensive metrics that people have come up with.
I mean, what to make of different metrics by leading stat places that have Jose Reyes as either among the top 3 or the bottom 3 ss in baseball?
(Only someone who hasn't seen very much Jeter can think he's still the same awful fielder he was in, say, 1999.)
Yes, Damon and Crisp had the same rotten range last year: 2.56 and 2.49 respectively.
Jeter's numbers are much worse than even I'm suggesting:
24 SS's who qualified had better range. He had just 214 P0s in 150 games, an astonishingly low 381 assists, and only turned 81 DPs. Even Hanley Ramirez had 258, 410 and 110.
On any other team he'd have been moved to the OF years ago, especially one that could move an Arod over.
There are obviously different components in fielding-- range, hands, and arm all come to mind, in addition to judgment.
Anyone who's watched Jeter carefully should know that he has good hands and a decent arm, but terrible range. Of course, range is the hardest thing for people to judge-- people often think that a guy with poor range but good hands, judgment, and arm is a good fielder thanks to his spectacular-looking plays on balls that should've been fairly easy. Meanwhile, some guys with great reactions and range make too many balls look effortless but don't have the great diving catches.
Jeter has the classic fielding tools that cause a guy to get overrated-- everything but range, and a pretty face playing in New York.