March 26, 2006


The book of glove may put Rangers on defensive: Management using 'Fielding Bible' as evaluation tool (EVAN GRANT, 3/26/06, The Dallas Morning News)

[The Fielding Bible] aims to take the next step in baseball's never-ending thirst for statistical evaluation. It tries to break down the nebulous world of defense into cold, hard stats.

And in the case of the Rangers, some of those stats are particularly cold and harsh. Among the book's assertions:

• Two-time All-Star Michael Young ranks as the worst defensive shortstop in the majors, one spot behind Derek Jeter.

• Only two years after ranking first among all third baseman, Hank Blalock had fallen to 26th among the 27 players rated.

• The middle of the Rangers' defense was as porous as mesh.

• Gary Matthews Jr. is the Rangers' best defensive option in center field. Laynce Nix is average. Brad Wilkerson ranks 29th of 35.

• Mark Teixeira, who won a Gold Glove last year, is the best first baseman in the majors.

• Ian Kinsler, though not ranked, almost certainly will be an improvement over Alfonso Soriano at second. Soriano ranked 34th of 36 second baseman last year.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2006 8:10 AM

Bad as the Rangers' defense may be, their inability to solve their starting pitching problems for what seems like about 30 of the team's 35 years in existance means just the earned runs allowed alone usually kills their playoff hopes by August.

Posted by: John at March 26, 2006 11:45 AM

Where do they come up with the Jeter stat? Is that career?

B/c from what I've read Jeter was below avg for his first 5 or 6 years in the lg, then declined sharply to the point that in 2003 he was absolutely abysmal. Which was why many Yankee fans wanted Arod to play short and Jeter to move to center then they picked up Arod in 04.

However, from what I've seen Jeter bounced back to just about lg avg in 04 and then actually had quite a good season fielding wise in 05.

Some discussion among Yankee fans is that the combo of Jeter being healthy in 04-05, after playing hurt for much of the previous two seasons, combined with Arods range at 3rd, which allows Jeter to cheat up the middle, has accounted for the improvement.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 26, 2006 5:22 PM

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2006 5:29 PM

Still don't see how they get that Jeter is the 2nd worst ss in the majors.

Via the discussion, Jeter last year ranked 3rd in the AL. according to Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Replacement behind only Peralta and Uribe.

To my mind Uribe is the class of AL ss.

In range factor ESPN had him as 6th best in the majors last year, and even in zone rating he was more middle of the pack than worst in the majors.

Meanwhile Tejada, whom Dave Pinto seems to think is a better fielder than Jeter was behind him in all three categories.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 26, 2006 11:15 PM
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