Wednesday, 23 July 2014

2014 Nationals' Fielding Review #6

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

Player              UZR    Change    RZR   Change    LgAverage      DRA    Change   PFr
Lobaton (C)         n/a      --      n/a     ---         n/a        7.0     +0.6   -1.7
Ramos (C)           n/a      --      n/a     ---         n/a        5.7     +1.3   -2.0
Span (CF)          -0.4     +1.5    .934    +.016       .923        2.6     +2.9    n/a
Espinosa (2B)       0.1     -1.1    .788    +.004       .788        5.7     +2.1    n/a
LaRoche (1B)       -1.9     +2.4    .800    +.004       .807      - 8.0      ---    n/a
Harper (LF)        -1.3     +0.1    .872    +.023       .871      - 5.5     -2.1    n/a
Desmond (SS)       -2.3     +0.3    .803    +.005       .793      -10.8     -0.4    n/a
Werth (RF)         -4.5     -2.9    .933    +.004       .895      - 8.6     -3.5    n/a
Rendon (3B)         0.4     +0.7    .699    -.006       .708        2.4     +1.4    n/a
Zimmerman (LF)      0.4     ---     .905    +.003       .871        0.6     -1.6    n/a
Rendon (2B)         2.0     ---     .857     ---        .788      - 8.0     ---     n/a 
minimum 180 innings

By UZR Denard Span continues to improve, by exactly the same amount as last time. Danny Espinosa gave back all of his UZR improvement from the last review. Span and Anthony Rendon at third are the two players seen as improving both by the traditional statistics of DRA and by the play-by-play analysis of UZR. The only player losing ground under both systems was Jayson Werth. Rendon is now in the list as a secondbaseman as well as a thirdbaseman. Ryan Zimmerman at third just missed the cut.

Overall, both systems see the Nationals as seemingly having to found their level for the season. UZR adds up to a 0.7 increase, which is probably indicative of random variaton. DRA, including catchers, sees an identical improvement. UZR adds up the Nationals' regular fielders to -7.8, or costing the team about three-quarters of a win. DRA sees matters almost twice as bad, with -16.9 runs, or almost two wins. However, one probably ought to double the UZR total to get a better idea of the team's fielding over an entire season.

Wilson Ramos' pitch framing went down las time by 2.5 runs and this time by 1.4 runs. Jose Lobaton also slipped a bit, losing 0.4 runs, giving back some of his improvement last time. 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 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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