February 17, 2008


Baseball's top fielders ranked in new statistical system (Randolph E. Schmid, 2/16/08, AP)

Based on his time with the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez is one of the game's best shortstops, according to researchers led by Shane T. Jensen of the University of Pennsylvania. Rodriguez now plays third base for the New York Yankees.

Using a complex statistical method, researchers concluded that one of the worst at shortstop is A-Rod's teammate, three-time Gold Glove-winner Derek Jeter. The findings were presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

That method involved looking at every ball put in play in major league baseball from 2002 through 2005 and recorded where the shots went. Researchers then developed a probability model for the average fielder in each position and compared that with the performance of individual players to see who was better or worse than average.

Comparing Jeter and A-Rod, Jensen said, "suggests the Yankees have one of the best defensive shortstops playing out of position in deference to one of the worst defensive shortstops." A-Rod won two Gold Gloves as a shortstop before he came New York in 2004.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 17, 2008 10:51 AM

While virtually anyone could play ss better than Jeter did last season, it's a stretch to think the bulked-up, older Arod of 2008 could play ss like the Arod of 4 years ago.

It was ideal for the Yanks to hire Girardi b/c he'll have to do what Torre never would -- tell Jeter it's time to move.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 17, 2008 12:28 PM