Tuesday, 8 July 2014

2014 Nationals Fielding Review #5

Here is an update to last time's fielding numbers. My source for this is Fangraphs, which includes all the main metrics that interest me except for Michael Humphreys' Defensive Regression Analysis.* From Fangraphs, I've used Mitchel Lichtman's Ultimate Zone Rating, my personal first choice of the 'converted-to-runs-play-by-play' metrics, and my preferred measure of RZR. RZR is Revised Zone Rating, which is like a fielding average but counts balls hit into a zone, rather than those the fielder actually reached. I have included the MLB positional averages for RZR, to help give the players' numbers some context. Note that catchers do not have a Zone Rating. Instead, I have used the runs saved by framing, supplied by StatCorner.com

Player              UZR    Change    RZR   Change    LgAverage      DRA    Change   PFr
Lobaton (C)         n/a      --      n/a     ---         n/a        6.4     -0.2   -1.3
Ramos (C)           n/a      --      n/a     ---         n/a        4.4     -0.6   -0.6
Span (CF)          -1.9     +1.5    .918    -.001       .923      - 0.3     +3.6    n/a
Espinosa (2B)       1.2     +1.1    .784    -.006       .788        3.6     +2.5    n/a
LaRoche (1B)       -4.3     -2.9    .796    -.008       .807      - 8.0     -2.2    n/a
McLouth (LF)       -0.6     +0.1    .880     ---        .871      - 1.2     +0.1    n/a
Harper (LF)        -1.4     +0.2    .849    -.029       .871      - 3.4     -0.5    n/a
Desmond (SS)       -2.6     +1.3    .798    -.001       .793      -10.4     -1.7    n/a
Werth (RF)         -1.6     +0.7    .929    -.004       .895      - 5.1     -1.1    n/a
Rendon (3B)        -0.3     -0.8    .705    -.008       .708        1.0     +0.6    n/a
Zimmerman (LF)      0.4     -0.3    .902    -.069       .871        2.2     -1.9    n/a
minimum 170 innings

RZR thinks the Nationals' fielding has decline across the board, although as usual one must also take note of the league averages when using RZR. Comparing individual players with their league peers suggests that overall the Nationals fielding stands comparison, although decline in RZR by Adam LaRoche continues.

UZR and DRA diverge in their opinions of Bryce Harper (UZR up, DRA down), Ian Desmond (ditto), Jaysotops the list of those rising n Werth (ditto again), and Anthony Rendon (UZR down, DRA up). LaRoche leads the declines in both of these systems, while Denard Span is tops on the list of improvers. UZR thinks that overall the Nationals' regulars have improved again, up by 0.9. DRA sees a slight improvement, up by 1.1, but that still leaves the bulk of the Nationals' sharp fall last time weighing them down.

Ramos' pitch framing went down quite a bit, by 2.5 runs. Lobaton improved slightly, by 1.4. So, overall, the Nationals' catchers haven't been able to get the calls during this past two weeks or so.
* These are available at the Baseball Gauge of Seamheads.com. Humphreys wrote the excellent Wizardry, which is a way of looking at fielding using only the traditional statistics, and not the newfangled play-by-play metrics.

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