Advanced Defensive Metrics

I have always been a huge guy when it comes to baseball stats. I have followed and memorized numbers and stats as most hardcore baseball fans have. However, with the recent influx of advanced sabermetrics, I find myself behind the ball or so to speak. I know the general meaning of WAR and ISO, but when I read articles that get really deep, I feel a little lost. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is kind of like a New Year’s Resolution for me to read up and learn more. Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus are my basic starting points. I want to be able to better judge a player’s performance by not only the usual ERA or OBP or whatever stats come to me, but also learn about VORP and the craziest defensive stats that have always left me scratching my head. So in this, I pledge to learn more, and to better convey my message as I become more knowledgeable about each individual player and team.

Questions that I have about advanced defensive stats are things such as: Does an outfielder’s arm strength come into account on runners trying to take an extra base? I realize it will show their range factor or speed, but what about the runners that don’t even attempt to go first to third on a single because Bautista or Ichiro are in right? In these advanced stats, does it really paint a better picture of future performance, or does it merely make us ask more questions about a player? Baseball is scrutinized in so many ways and stats are sometimes objective or subjective, so people’s viewpoints are skewed one way or another based on personal opinion.

Sure Derek Jeter’s advanced stats show that he has no range, but he does make almost every play on balls hit right at him. Trust me, I am no fan of Jeter, but are his advanced stats a better judge of how he is defensively? I really hope to get to more information regarding these metrics.


About blandy12

Baseball has been my love since I was three years old. Now I finally have the courage to write about this passion. Share your comments please.
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One Response to Advanced Defensive Metrics

  1. Ian says:

    There’s a couple of interesting stats if you’re looking for how many times an outfielder holds a runner to a base. Just taking Jose Bautista for example here, check out the Outfield Arms at Hardball times:

    And the advanced fielding page at Baseball Reference:

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