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Defense


RobDeer 45
I really have never paid much attention to this except for the eye test. I was curious today, how our defense was doing on the year. Can you guys fill me in on how we are doing defensively compared to the league so far and maybe give me a simple breakdown of how these defensive metrics work? Thanks in advance!
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I had heard recently we were in the bottom quarter in all of MLB in terms of fielding percentage.

This confirmed it: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding

 

We are tied for 24/25th with the SF Giants at a .982 fielding percentage. I am unsure of how each person is doing on an individual basis and who is doing poorly

 

Fielding percentage is such a poor metric to use to grade a teams defense. It is nearly useless and doesn't really tell anything about how good or bad the teams defense is. While the Brewers are not all that great defensively their fielding percentage is rather deceptive this would be true if they were at the top of the league also in fielding percentage.

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A quick breakdown of starters:

Name / Fielding % / Errors (Games started) / Runs saved above average (Rdrs - bb-reference) / UZR (Fangraphs)

 

Infield:

Weeks - .973 % / 6 E (51 games) -8 Rdrs / -3.8 UZR

Segura - .979 % / 6 E (59 games) -1 / -1.2

Ramirez - .923 % / 4 E (30 games) -9 / -6.6

Lucroy - .995 % / 2 E (49 games) 0 / NA

 

Outfield:

Aoki - .992 % / 1 E (59 games) 12 Rdrs / 1.3 UZR

Gomez - .994 % / 1 E (59 games) 15 / 11.6

Braun - .983 % / 2 E (56 games) 2 / .6

 

Others:

Yuni - .991 / 1 E (52 games) -1 Rdrs / 2.4 UZR

Gonzalez - .974 / 5 E (34 games) 0 / -1

Maldonado - .983 / 3 E (23 games) 1 / NA

Bianchi - .963 / 2 E (12 games) -2 / -1.1

Lalli - .959 / 3 E (3 games) -1 / -1.0

Francisco - 1.000 / 0 E (5 games) 0 / .3

Schafer - 1.000 / 0 E (11 games) 5 / .3

Gennett - 1.0000 / 0 E (4 games) 0 / -.6

 

I didn't look up the leage average for fielding % at each position. Maybe someone can post that. It seems like our outfield is doing fine. Our infield and backups are not doing well. Gonzalez was horrible. Weeks and Ramirez are doing really bad. Segura isn't the best in the league but seems to be doing well to me.

 

Edit - Added UZR off fangraphs.

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I had heard recently we were in the bottom quarter in all of MLB in terms of fielding percentage.

This confirmed it: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding

 

We are tied for 24/25th with the SF Giants at a .982 fielding percentage. I am unsure of how each person is doing on an individual basis and who is doing poorly

 

Fielding percentage is such a poor metric to use to grade a teams defense. It is nearly useless and doesn't really tell anything about how good or bad the teams defense is. While the Brewers are not all that great defensively their fielding percentage is rather deceptive this would be true if they were at the top of the league also in fielding percentage.

 

I agree and should have picked a better stat. (It was just the first one I went with to do a quick litmus test.) If I had to guess off the top of my head who is doing poorly, I would have went with Ramirez and Weeks. Their fielding percentage is reflective of that, in addition to Rdrs and UZR. I will add UZR to my post

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UZR places the Brewers at 15th in MLB. Which would place them middle of the road. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=21,d

 

On a side note, with all the love the Cardinals get on this site they are currently ranked 24th. Top 3 are Royals, Giants, Orioles.

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On a side note, with all the love the Cardinals get on this site they are currently ranked 24th. Top 3 are Royals, Giants, Orioles.

 

yeah, but they are classy

The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!
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A quick breakdown of starters:

Name / Fielding % / Errors (Games started) / Runs saved above average (Rdrs - bb-reference) / UZR (Fangraphs)

 

Infield:

Weeks - .973 % / 6 E (51 games) -8 Rdrs / -3.8 UZR

Segura - .979 % / 6 E (59 games) -1 / -1.2

Ramirez - .923 % / 4 E (30 games) -9 / -6.6

Lucroy - .995 % / 2 E (49 games) 0 / NA

 

Outfield:

Aoki - .992 % / 1 E (59 games) 12 Rdrs / 1.3 UZR

Gomez - .994 % / 1 E (59 games) 15 / 11.6

Braun - .983 % / 2 E (56 games) 2 / .6

 

Others:

Yuni - .991 / 1 E (52 games) -1 Rdrs / 2.4 UZR

Gonzalez - .974 / 5 E (34 games) 0 / -1

Maldonado - .983 / 3 E (23 games) 1 / NA

Bianchi - .963 / 2 E (12 games) -2 / -1.1

Lalli - .959 / 3 E (3 games) -1 / -1.0

Francisco - 1.000 / 0 E (5 games) 0 / .3

Schafer - 1.000 / 0 E (11 games) 5 / .3

Gennett - 1.0000 / 0 E (4 games) 0 / -.6

 

I didn't look up the leage average for fielding % at each position. Maybe someone can post that. It seems like our outfield is doing fine. Our infield and backups are not doing well. Gonzalez was horrible. Weeks and Ramirez are doing really bad. Segura isn't the best in the league but seems to be doing well to me.

 

Edit - Added UZR off fangraphs.

 

I can't buy that Segura has been below average or that Ramirez has been that bad. The rest feels right to me though.

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I had heard recently we were in the bottom quarter in all of MLB in terms of fielding percentage.

This confirmed it: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding

 

We are tied for 24/25th with the SF Giants at a .982 fielding percentage. I am unsure of how each person is doing on an individual basis and who is doing poorly

 

Fielding percentage is such a poor metric to use to grade a teams defense. It is nearly useless and doesn't really tell anything about how good or bad the teams defense is. While the Brewers are not all that great defensively their fielding percentage is rather deceptive this would be true if they were at the top of the league also in fielding percentage.

 

 

If a team is at the bottom in fielding percentage and/or leads the league in errors it's generally always a bad fielding team. If you have an example one that wasn't please share it with us.

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I had heard recently we were in the bottom quarter in all of MLB in terms of fielding percentage.

This confirmed it: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/fielding

 

We are tied for 24/25th with the SF Giants at a .982 fielding percentage. I am unsure of how each person is doing on an individual basis and who is doing poorly

 

Fielding percentage is such a poor metric to use to grade a teams defense. It is nearly useless and doesn't really tell anything about how good or bad the teams defense is. While the Brewers are not all that great defensively their fielding percentage is rather deceptive this would be true if they were at the top of the league also in fielding percentage.

 

 

If a team is at the bottom in fielding percentage and/or leads the league in errors it's generally always a bad fielding team. If you have an example one that wasn't please share it with us.

Rather than demanding proof from others to verify your viewpoint, why don't you first provide information to qualify your viewpoint as more than a prejudice? Please share with us a systematic study that supports your assertion that "f a team is at the bottom in fielding percentage and/or leads the league in errors it's generally always a bad fielding team."

 

For my part, though I can't speak for anyone else, I'd accept your premise if you could show, say, that 80 percent (an approximation for "generally always") of teams in the bottom five in MLB in errors / fielding percentage are comparably bad in something like UZR or defensive win shares. But of course you should feel free to design your study in whatever way you think will most effectively support your argument.

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Fielding percentage is such a poor metric to use to grade a teams defense. It is nearly useless and doesn't really tell anything about how good or bad the teams defense is. While the Brewers are not all that great defensively their fielding percentage is rather deceptive this would be true if they were at the top of the league also in fielding percentage.

 

 

If a team is at the bottom in fielding percentage and/or leads the league in errors it's generally always a bad fielding team. If you have an example one that wasn't please share it with us.

I sort of just stumbled across this one today. The Giants are tied with us at 24th in MLB with a .982 team fielding percentage. But their team UZR places them in 2nd at 21.3. So I guess this would fall into that category of being a bad defensive team (from a fielding % standpoint) but a good defensive team based on UZR. (Now this is where I will need some help from the BF.net brain on what is causing the Giants to jump from 24th in fielding % to 2nd in UZR.) I would expect results to be more like the Brewers. 24th in fielding and 15th in UZR. While UZR shows a different story for the Crew, they still are not a top tier defensive team. Jumping 22 spots seems like a slight abnormality.

 

I was always told defensive fielding percentage used by itself is kind of like using batting average by itself. It doesn't always tell the exact tale of how someone is doing. A general litmus test? Sure, it can do that.

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I believe the most reliable defensive metrics are proprietary to the teams that compile them. Unfortunately, we don't get to see them.

 

As a defensive minded baseball fan it aggravates me that we learn so little about defense from statistics. Fielding percentage as a stat is pretty useless.

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In 2012 the Rays were 6th in UZR and 25th in Fielding %. The Indians were 9th in Fielding % and 29th in UZR. So I don't think it's that uncommon for teams with a low fielding percentage to be above average defensively.
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First there is no real metric for defense there are only opinions of what is a good metric to measure defense. Secondly well I forgot what I was going to say I am sure it would have been really smart so just trust me on this.
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First there is no real metric for defense there are only opinions of what is a good metric to measure defense. Secondly well I forgot what I was going to say I am sure it would have been really smart so just trust me on this.

 

I at least agree on the second point.

 

Also, I agree with Briggs in that you can't have a ton of errors and be a good defensive team. You can be a poor defensive team and have no errors, however.

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Yes, all the times that Yuni watched a ball 2 steps to his right go through the hole and never got charged with an error.... or when Carlos Gomez makes an error in CF on a ball that, with any other CF out there bounces and is a double anyway....

Those scenario's are why fielding percentage is a terrible way to judge team defense.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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First there is no real metric for defense there are only opinions of what is a good metric to measure defense. Secondly well I forgot what I was going to say I am sure it would have been really smart so just trust me on this.

 

I at least agree on the second point.

 

Also, I agree with Briggs in that you can't have a ton of errors and be a good defensive team. You can be a poor defensive team and have no errors, however.

 

 

Of course you can. The methodology for deciding if something is an error or not is just borderline idiotic. A flyball hit to an OF, he misjudges it and it falls over his head and it isn't an error. The next ball is hit where he has to range a ton to try to get to it and it bounces off his glove when many OF would have never touched it, he gets charged with an error. Fielding percentage is about as close to 100% useless as a stat can be.

 

My guess is we have been roughly average. Our OF is above average, Segura seems above average by the eye test. Weeks is well below average and our out of position players at 1B and 3B have been well below average. Lucroy is a below average defensive C outside of pitch framing where he is above average.

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Of course you can. The methodology for deciding if something is an error or not is just borderline idiotic. A flyball hit to an OF, he misjudges it and it falls over his head and it isn't an error. The next ball is hit where he has to range a ton to try to get to it and it bounces off his glove when many OF would have never touched it, he gets charged with an error. Fielding percentage is about as close to 100% useless as a stat can be.

 

My guess is we have been roughly average. Our OF is above average, Segura seems above average by the eye test. Weeks is well below average and our out of position players at 1B and 3B have been well below average. Lucroy is a below average defensive C outside of pitch framing where he is above average.

 

I'll buy the outfield argument. Errors in the outfield tell you nothing about the quality of defense being played. Disagree on the IF though. You can't be a good infielder and have a lot of errors.

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UZR places the Brewers at 15th in MLB. Which would place them middle of the road.

 

That seems to be in line with what the eyeball test tells me. Our D seems average: some great defense from Gomez, some blunders from Weeks, but also some occasional great play from our infield.

 

Judging by errors alone doesn't tell you enough. It's mostly a measure of "sure-handedness" and throwing straight rather than all-around defensive ability. Guys who really get after balls and make quick release throws makes awesome plays nobody else would but will also make more errors.

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Good posts on here everyone, made me think of a few things that I guess I hadn't thought of for a long time or ever. I just think there is a lot of eye test stuff that you can't put a rating on when it comes to defense. Good point on guys who just get to base hits quickly and get good throws in, that keeps people from advancing an extra base. Heck, even just the threat of a guy's good arm can keep people from trying to advance. Again, things you can't put a number on.

 

I was going to guess that defensive metrics would have us somewhere in the middle based on my eye test, so didn't surprise me that's where we fell. Anyone see Joe Block's tweet on line drives hit to CF, almost all of them were outs. Thought that was pretty cool.

 

So can someone give me a brief breakdown of UZR. What is it measuring, range?

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UZR and DRS would be much better with better input. They are decent but still rely on stringers. If it was based on FieldFX(which may never be made public) they would both be better. Here is part of the problem.

 

Go down to the "Consistency from year to year" and "Does UZR tell us what actually happened on the field?"paragraphs on the bottom.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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So can someone give me a brief breakdown of UZR. What is it measuring, range?

Here are two pages from fangraphs UZR. In short it takes a lot of factors; Saving runs with your arm, double plays, range runs, error runs, park factors, etc.

 

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/uzr/

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fangraphs-uzr-primer/

 

Here is the current MLB UZR leaderboard. Gomez is currently tied for 1st. Kind of puts into perspective the year he is having. Not only is he having an awesome offensive season, he continues to be a top tier defensive player. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=23,d

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So can someone give me a brief breakdown of UZR. What is it measuring, range?

Here are two pages from fangraphs UZR. In short it takes a lot of factors; Saving runs with your arm, double plays, range runs, error runs, park factors, etc.

 

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/defense/uzr/

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fangraphs-uzr-primer/

 

Here is the current MLB UZR leaderboard. Gomez is currently tied for 1st. Kind of puts into perspective the year he is having. Not only is he having an awesome offensive season, he continues to be a top tier defensive player. http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=23,d

I think you need to reread your links a little more carefully. In particular "Does UZR tell us what actually happened on the field?"

 

just because a player has a plus UZR does not mean that he necessarily played good defense – the same for a negative UZR.

UZR tries to record a player’s likely true talent and estimate his future performance based on the nuances of the batted ball and the player’s response to those nuances. It is not trying to capture exactly what happens on the field according to some arbitrary categories, like most of the offensive metrics (which make no distinction between a lucky ground ball bleeder through the “5-hole” or a clean, line drive base hit to the outfield), even the advanced ones like wOBA or linear weights.

Now, that being said, there is still a potentially large gap between what you might see on the field if you were to watch every play of every game and what UZR “says” happened on the field. And that is one of several reasons why one year or even 10 years of UZR (or any other sample metric) does not give us a perfect estimate of a player’s true talent or even an accurate picture of what actually happened on the field. The reason for that is that the data is imperfect. For example, UZR might put a certain batted ball in a certain bucket and determine that that batted ball was extremely difficult for the CF’er to catch, based on the recorded (by the BIS “stringers”) qualities of the ball and other data. We don’t, of course, know for sure whether it was indeed a difficult to field batted ball. We don’t know exactly where each fielder was stationed, we certainly don’t know the exact location of the batted ball to the nearest square inch on the field, and we definitely don’t know how long the ball was in the air or on the ground. In reality, it might have been an easy ball to catch or it might have been a difficult one to catch, or somewhere in between. We can only hope that in the long run, those balls were indeed hard to catch, on the average, for each individual player. We certainly know that those balls were hard to catch, on the average, for the league as a whole over a 6-year period.

 

UZR has flaws but it is probably the best we can get right now. It would be nice to know how well a player fields balls depending on where they are positioned. Basically buckets with the player position as the center. Then another stat so you can tell if the player has good defense based on positioning or talent.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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UZR has flaws but it is probably the best we can get right now. It would be nice to know how well a player fields balls depending on where they are positioned.

 

I wonder why they don't time how long a ball stays in the air and measure how far each one is from the defender's original position. Perhaps there just isn't enough camera angles to show each one but it would really help to find what distance an average fielder could cover in a set amount of time.

Not to go too far down my war against WAR road here but if it includes measures that we all know to be lacking why does anyone still put any stock in their results?

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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UZR has flaws but it is probably the best we can get right now. It would be nice to know how well a player fields balls depending on where they are positioned.

 

I wonder why they don't time how long a ball stays in the air and measure how far each one is from the defender's original position. Perhaps there just isn't enough camera angles to show each one but it would really help to find what distance an average fielder could cover in a set amount of time.

Not to go too far down my war against WAR road here but if it includes measures that we all know to be lacking why does anyone still put any stock in their results?

 

I asked this question a couple of years ago in the stats forum. It is technology that already exists called FieldFX, but I think it is only in a couple of stadiums right now on an experimental basis. The knowledge gained from this technology is pretty powerful, so I don't know who has access to it--I think the powers that be are trying to figure out how best to use it before it is publicized.

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