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RedsManRick
11-24-2006, 11:21 AM
So for those of you not comfortable with the "standard" defensive metrics, you should take a look at David Pinto's work over at baseballmusings.com. He uses a statistic he calls "probablistic model of range". Basically, it says that every ball hit in to play has a certain chance of being turned in to an out (based on actual ball-in-play data). Thusly, all the fielders at a given position can get ranked relative to their piers on a zero-sum system in which the average is making as many outs as you are predicted to make.

We all know that Freel is a very solid OF and that Deno was rated the best defensive OF in AAA. Most of us agree that Junior is no longer a good CF, and some of us think he's among the worst. Here are David Pinto's numbers, looking at all players who were in CF for 1000 balls in play.



Rank Player In Play Actual Outs Predicted Outs DER Predicted DER Difference
1 Ichiro Suzuki 1017 114 106.04 0.112 0.104 0.00782
2 Ryan Freel 1211 127 119.69 0.105 0.099 0.00603
3 Shane Victorino 1691 161 151.18 0.095 0.089 0.00581
4 Carlos Beltran 3517 357 338.76 0.102 0.096 0.00519
5 Alfredo Amezaga 1580 155 146.95 0.098 0.093 0.00509
6 Coco Crisp 2814 246 232.39 0.087 0.083 0.00484
7 Corey Patterson 3360 345 329.33 0.103 0.098 0.00466
8 Joey R Gathright 3272 341 325.89 0.104 0.100 0.00462
9 Aaron Rowand 2742 251 238.64 0.092 0.087 0.00451
10 Johnny Damon 3378 306 294.1 0.091 0.087 0.00352
11 Rocco Baldelli 2368 228 219.8 0.096 0.093 0.00346
12 Randy Winn 1366 137 132.45 0.100 0.097 0.00333
13 Jim Edmonds 2471 223 215.35 0.090 0.087 0.00309
14 Brady Clark 2748 250 241.95 0.091 0.088 0.00293
15 Willy Taveras 3304 335 325.37 0.101 0.098 0.00292
16 Reggie D Abercrombie 1833 172 168.04 0.094 0.092 0.00216
17 Mike Cameron 3723 367 360.5 0.099 0.097 0.00174
18 Brian N Anderson 2996 305 300.58 0.102 0.100 0.00148
19 Steve Finley 3013 287 283.68 0.095 0.094 0.0011
20 Juan Pierre 4103 380 375.88 0.093 0.092 0.00101
21 Curtis Granderson 4014 385 381.35 0.096 0.095 0.00091
22 Vernon Wells 3918 332 330 0.085 0.084 0.00051
23 Eric Byrnes 3208 270 268.41 0.084 0.084 0.0005
24 Andruw Jones 4109 377 375.19 0.092 0.091 0.00044
25 Choo Freeman 1021 101 100.81 0.099 0.099 0.00018
26 Chris Duffy 2053 166 165.87 0.081 0.081 0.00006
27 So Taguchi 1095 90 89.97 0.082 0.082 0.00003
28 Marlon Byrd 1272 125 125.07 0.098 0.098 -0.00006
29 Gary Matthews Jr. 3909 333 334.9 0.085 0.086 -0.00049
30 Chone Figgins 2455 242 243.74 0.099 0.099 -0.00071
31 Torii Hunter 3715 343 347.24 0.092 0.093 -0.00114
32 Nate McLouth 1072 84 86.24 0.078 0.080 -0.00209
33 David DeJesus 1561 149 153.04 0.095 0.098 -0.00258
34 Mark Kotsay 3261 281 294.51 0.086 0.090 -0.00414
35 Cory Sullivan 2666 225 236.48 0.084 0.089 -0.0043
36 Grady Sizemore 4455 409 431.13 0.092 0.097 -0.00497
37 Ryan M Church 1172 122 128.48 0.104 0.110 -0.00553
38 Rob Mackowiak 1415 119 127.4 0.084 0.090 -0.00594
39 Kenny Lofton 2999 241 259.05 0.080 0.086 -0.00602
40 Jose A Bautista 1323 114 122.09 0.086 0.092 -0.00612
41 Jay Payton 1196 104 111.9 0.087 0.094 -0.00661
42 Ken Griffey Jr. 2753 229 256.68 0.083 0.093 -0.01006
43 Jeremy T Reed 1535 129 146.35 0.084 0.095 -0.0113

So, Freel made 7 more outs than expected and Junior made 27 outs fewer than expected. There's a number of things to be inferred here.
- Freel is a darn good CF and Deno (based on the scouting reports) probably is too.
- Junior is quite bad at turning balls in play in to outs, compared to the rest of ML CF.
- Given that Junior and Freel combined for ~90% of our innings in CF, we can say that there's about a 35-40 out swing between having a very good and a very bad CF.
- Outs not made in CF are, by my complete guess, the most costly non-outs in baseball due to the likelihood that those non-outs are extra base hits.
- Lastly, on Junior -- he's more below average than Ichiro is above average at turning balls in play in to outs. That's bad folks.

I'm not saying this is the be-all, end-all of defensive analysis. But in my mind, if Junior starts 2007 with either Freel or Denorfia on the roster, WK's claims about wanting a better defensive team are lip-service. Junior seems like a smart guy. Call him in to your office, show him the numbers. Tell him you think he still reads the ball well and has a decent arm and would make a great RF, but that he's hurting the team in Center.

TOBTTReds
11-24-2006, 01:42 PM
Nice post. It will be a sad day when Griffey plays CF and Freel is healthy next year.

mth123
11-24-2006, 01:56 PM
Great post RMR. I think this is just more statistical evidence of what we see with our eyes day in and day out. What I see more from Griffey that makes me crazy is the balls that drop-in in-front of him that look like routine pops that should be caught.I think his lack of range has him playing deeper than he did in his prime and those flairs are really costly. This is more common with CF than either RF or LF and is the reason having him in CF hurts so much IMO.

He'd be OK in RF

Spitball
11-24-2006, 02:53 PM
Hmmm...Jeremy Reed is at the bottom. Last year he was at the top of the Range factor chart for starting center fielders. He had a wrist injury, but that wouldn't explain the drop.

By the way, my eyeballs project him as more of a corner outfielder.

Kc61
11-24-2006, 03:22 PM
So it makes no sense for the Reds to go out and spend for a defensive-oriented centerfielder. What they should do, instead, is move Griffey to right, put Freel in center and spell him with Deno on occasion. Maybe even get a third guy (lefty hitter, inexpensive) who can play some center, maybe even Crosby if he makes the team.

Then the only defensive problem is the corner outfielders.

Spend on pitching and first base.

RedsManRick
11-24-2006, 04:02 PM
Seattle has had a finesse, fly ball staff. They didn't miss many bats (lots of balls in play) and they tend to let the ball get hit in the air. Reed could be a crappy fielder and still make more putouts than Torii Hunter. Pinto's measure, unlike Range factor, isn't about how many balls are hit to you. It's about given balls that you have a chance of making a play on, do you make them?

For example, on a given hit, the CF may only have a 10% chance of making the play. Thus, if he doesn't make the play, he's only deducted .1. The problem with a guy like Junior is that while he might be perfect about making all those plays that he "should" make, he makes virtually none of the plays that are lower percentage. It gives you a warm feeling to see him never drop the ball. But when the ball drops 10 feet ahead of him or worse, 10 feet to his right, we tend not to think of that as an error, even though both situations result in a base runner instead of an out.

mth123
11-24-2006, 04:15 PM
So it makes no sense for the Reds to go out and spend for a defensive-oriented centerfielder. What they should do, instead, is move Griffey to right, put Freel in center and spell him with Deno on occasion. Maybe even get a third guy (lefty hitter, inexpensive) who can play some center, maybe even Crosby if he makes the team.

Then the only defensive problem is the corner outfielders.

Spend on pitching and first base.

My thoughts as well. Its just I'd trade Freel to get a pitcher and sign an OF to replace him that could spell Deno and Griffey and start maybe 4 days per week.

redsmetz
11-24-2006, 04:41 PM
Perhaps this is why I'm so stat phobic. Can someone explain how they arrive at the figures to the right? Sorry for being thick, but it's all meaningless numbers until someone explains their meaning.

Cyclone792
11-24-2006, 04:59 PM
Perhaps this is why I'm so stat phobic. Can someone explain how they arrive at the figures to the right? Sorry for being thick, but it's all meaningless numbers until someone explains their meaning.

http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/cat_probabilistic_model_of_range.php



I calculate the probability of a ball being turned into an out based on six parameters:

Direction of hit (a vector).
The type of hit (Fly, ground, line drive, bunt).
How hard the ball was hit (slow, medium, hard).
The park.
The handedness of the pitcher.
The handedness of the batter.

For each ball in play, the program sums the probability of that ball being turned into an out, and that gives us the expected outs. Dividing that by balls in play yields expected defensive efficiency rating (DER). That is compared to the team's actual DER. A good defensive team [and player] should have a better DER than its expected DER.

There are differences between this year's and last year's calculation. I'm now using three years of data instead of just one. Also, Baseball Info Solution charts balls differently that STATS, Inc. so there are many more vectors that in the previous system. I believe that actually improves the calculation.


The author of this Angels blog (http://anaheimangelsblog.blogspot.com/) does an ok job converting Pinto's DER numbers into runs, which is easier for most people to understand.

membengal
11-24-2006, 05:53 PM
For what it's worth, in the BP locked off section on Reds prospects, they had nice things to say about Drew Stubbs' glove, calling him a top 10 CF guy right now in terms of defense. Course, there is the hitting issue with him, but still, a potential good glove on the horizen...

WVRedsFan
11-25-2006, 02:03 AM
My thoughts as well. Its just I'd trade Freel to get a pitcher and sign an OF to replace him that could spell Deno and Griffey and start maybe 4 days per week.

Finally someone agrees with me. I have never understood the popularity of Freel here and other places. He's an undisciplined player who can make the big play once in awhile. He hits leadoff and strikes out. He gets on and makes boneheaded running errors. He can't play all the time because his effectiveness slips more than any player I've ever seen. Trade Him while folks still think he's great. I'd ten times rather have Chris Denorfia leading off and playing center than Freel.

Jpup
11-25-2006, 02:08 AM
Finally someone agrees with me. I have never understood the popularity of Freel here and other places. He's an undisciplined player who can make the big play once in awhile. He hits leadoff and strikes out. He gets on and makes boneheaded running errors. He can't play all the time because his effectiveness slips more than any player I've ever seen. Trade Him while folks still think he's great. I'd ten times rather have Chris Denorfia leading off and playing center than Freel.

the facts prove otherwise, but let's not worry about those.

WVRedsFan
11-25-2006, 02:27 AM
the facts prove otherwise, but let's not worry about those.

JMO, Jpup, but every time I see Freel go into one of his notorious slumps when he's played more than 7 days in a row and swing at every pitch no matter where it is, I know I'll appreciate that he goes after every ball in the outfield regardless of where it is. When he crashes in old ladies in the stands going after a ball that no one, including Superman, can catch, i'll be pround. With his next DWI, I'll still be proud because I know he was going for the gusto.

[rant mode off]

Jpup
11-25-2006, 02:50 AM
JMO, Jpup, but every time I see Freel go into one of his notorious slumps when he's played more than 7 days in a row and swing at every pitch no matter where it is, I know I'll appreciate that he goes after every ball in the outfield regardless of where it is. When he crashes in old ladies in the stands going after a ball that no one, including Superman, can catch, i'll be pround. With his next DWI, I'll still be proud because I know he was going for the gusto.

[rant mode off]

I don't like the DUIs either, but that has nothing to do with his play on the field. IMO, if the Reds choose to keep the player on the team, then that is where it ends. If we, as fans and customers, have a problem with that, we should let it be known to the front office. What that has to do with his defense or his ability to get on base, I have zero idea. :)

WVRedsFan
11-25-2006, 03:02 AM
I don't like the DUIs either, but that has nothing to do with his play on the field. IMO, if the Reds choose to keep the player on the team, then that is where it ends. If we, as fans and customers, have a problem with that, we should let it be known to the front office. What that has to do with his defense or his ability to get on base, I have zero idea. :)

I was just a bit over the line there, but it's just another example of mental discpline. It goes hand-in-hand or so I've seen over the years.

And you're right, my guess is we're stuck with him, so that should end it.

mth123
11-25-2006, 03:25 AM
JMO, Jpup, but every time I see Freel go into one of his notorious slumps when he's played more than 7 days in a row and swing at every pitch no matter where it is, I know I'll appreciate that he goes after every ball in the outfield regardless of where it is. When he crashes in old ladies in the stands going after a ball that no one, including Superman, can catch, i'll be pround. With his next DWI, I'll still be proud because I know he was going for the gusto.

[rant mode off]

I think Freel is ok but he does have the warts that WVREDSFAN notes. For all the flash they add, SBs are not worth much when it comes to run creation. Freel was Caught Stealing 11 times and picked off 10 more. Since OBP as a lead-off hitter is his primary skill, its interesting to see that when adjusted for 21 outs made on base his OBP drops to .323. Really not productive from a lead-off man. In addition, with Phillips and Gonzalez set in the MI, Freel's versatility is no longer much value to the reds.

Looking at the contracts of Pierre and Matthews, Freel is still a relative bargain as a lead-off CF. He should bring back a decent starter (especially to a team that will still utilize his versatility) and could be replaced by Deno fairly easiliy IMO. Deno offers the same speed, probably better defense and I believe he could match Freels adjusted OBP of .323.

Jpup
11-25-2006, 06:28 AM
adjusted OBP of .323.

adjusted to fit your way of thinking. Can you just make up stats?:help:

mth123
11-25-2006, 09:11 AM
adjusted to fit your way of thinking. Can you just make up stats?:help:

It seems that if a guys value is largely from getting on base, then making a lot of outs on the bases would subtract from that value. How is that wrong?

RANDY IN INDY
11-25-2006, 10:43 AM
I'd be really surprised if Denorfia could replace what Freel brings to the table, offensively.

MartyFan
11-25-2006, 11:59 AM
So for those of you not comfortable with the "standard" defensive metrics, you should take a look at David Pinto's work over at baseballmusings.com. He uses a statistic he calls "probablistic model of range". Basically, it says that every ball hit in to play has a certain chance of being turned in to an out (based on actual ball-in-play data). Thusly, all the fielders at a given position can get ranked relative to their piers on a zero-sum system in which the average is making as many outs as you are predicted to make.

We all know that Freel is a very solid OF and that Deno was rated the best defensive OF in AAA. Most of us agree that Junior is no longer a good CF, and some of us think he's among the worst. Here are David Pinto's numbers, looking at all players who were in CF for 1000 balls in play.



Rank Player In Play Actual Outs Predicted Outs DER Predicted DER Difference
1 Ichiro Suzuki 1017 114 106.04 0.112 0.104 0.00782
2 Ryan Freel 1211 127 119.69 0.105 0.099 0.00603
3 Shane Victorino 1691 161 151.18 0.095 0.089 0.00581
4 Carlos Beltran 3517 357 338.76 0.102 0.096 0.00519
5 Alfredo Amezaga 1580 155 146.95 0.098 0.093 0.00509
6 Coco Crisp 2814 246 232.39 0.087 0.083 0.00484
7 Corey Patterson 3360 345 329.33 0.103 0.098 0.00466
8 Joey R Gathright 3272 341 325.89 0.104 0.100 0.00462
9 Aaron Rowand 2742 251 238.64 0.092 0.087 0.00451
10 Johnny Damon 3378 306 294.1 0.091 0.087 0.00352
11 Rocco Baldelli 2368 228 219.8 0.096 0.093 0.00346
12 Randy Winn 1366 137 132.45 0.100 0.097 0.00333
13 Jim Edmonds 2471 223 215.35 0.090 0.087 0.00309
14 Brady Clark 2748 250 241.95 0.091 0.088 0.00293
15 Willy Taveras 3304 335 325.37 0.101 0.098 0.00292
16 Reggie D Abercrombie 1833 172 168.04 0.094 0.092 0.00216
17 Mike Cameron 3723 367 360.5 0.099 0.097 0.00174
18 Brian N Anderson 2996 305 300.58 0.102 0.100 0.00148
19 Steve Finley 3013 287 283.68 0.095 0.094 0.0011
20 Juan Pierre 4103 380 375.88 0.093 0.092 0.00101
21 Curtis Granderson 4014 385 381.35 0.096 0.095 0.00091
22 Vernon Wells 3918 332 330 0.085 0.084 0.00051
23 Eric Byrnes 3208 270 268.41 0.084 0.084 0.0005
24 Andruw Jones 4109 377 375.19 0.092 0.091 0.00044
25 Choo Freeman 1021 101 100.81 0.099 0.099 0.00018
26 Chris Duffy 2053 166 165.87 0.081 0.081 0.00006
27 So Taguchi 1095 90 89.97 0.082 0.082 0.00003
28 Marlon Byrd 1272 125 125.07 0.098 0.098 -0.00006
29 Gary Matthews Jr. 3909 333 334.9 0.085 0.086 -0.00049
30 Chone Figgins 2455 242 243.74 0.099 0.099 -0.00071
31 Torii Hunter 3715 343 347.24 0.092 0.093 -0.00114
32 Nate McLouth 1072 84 86.24 0.078 0.080 -0.00209
33 David DeJesus 1561 149 153.04 0.095 0.098 -0.00258
34 Mark Kotsay 3261 281 294.51 0.086 0.090 -0.00414
35 Cory Sullivan 2666 225 236.48 0.084 0.089 -0.0043
36 Grady Sizemore 4455 409 431.13 0.092 0.097 -0.00497
37 Ryan M Church 1172 122 128.48 0.104 0.110 -0.00553
38 Rob Mackowiak 1415 119 127.4 0.084 0.090 -0.00594
39 Kenny Lofton 2999 241 259.05 0.080 0.086 -0.00602
40 Jose A Bautista 1323 114 122.09 0.086 0.092 -0.00612
41 Jay Payton 1196 104 111.9 0.087 0.094 -0.00661
42 Ken Griffey Jr. 2753 229 256.68 0.083 0.093 -0.01006
43 Jeremy T Reed 1535 129 146.35 0.084 0.095 -0.0113

So, Freel made 7 more outs than expected and Junior made 27 outs fewer than expected. There's a number of things to be inferred here.
- Freel is a darn good CF and Deno (based on the scouting reports) probably is too.
- Junior is quite bad at turning balls in play in to outs, compared to the rest of ML CF.
- Given that Junior and Freel combined for ~90% of our innings in CF, we can say that there's about a 35-40 out swing between having a very good and a very bad CF.
- Outs not made in CF are, by my complete guess, the most costly non-outs in baseball due to the likelihood that those non-outs are extra base hits.
- Lastly, on Junior -- he's more below average than Ichiro is above average at turning balls in play in to outs. That's bad folks.

I'm not saying this is the be-all, end-all of defensive analysis. But in my mind, if Junior starts 2007 with either Freel or Denorfia on the roster, WK's claims about wanting a better defensive team are lip-service. Junior seems like a smart guy. Call him in to your office, show him the numbers. Tell him you think he still reads the ball well and has a decent arm and would make a great RF, but that he's hurting the team in Center.

As Greg Brady once said..."Gee, I never thought of it that way."

Raisor
11-25-2006, 01:03 PM
Can you just make up stats?:help:


Yes, actually you can.

Ltlabner
11-25-2006, 01:47 PM
Sad to say but just about any list of defensive stats shows Jr at or towards the bottom. If it were just one version of defenseive metrics you could argue that it's the stats. But after seeing a number of these it eliminates or at least reduces the idea that it's the stats and puts the focus back on Jr.

Ravenlord
11-26-2006, 12:08 AM
It seems that if a guys value is largely from getting on base, then making a lot of outs on the bases would subtract from that value. How is that wrong?

it's not. when you have a player who steals bases you do need to make a speed adjusted OBP, SLG, and OPS. however your methodology was wrong. Freel's pick-offs would count as a caught stealing. just as his SB would go into his TB numbers.

Freel's actual OBP/SLG/OPS: 363/399/762
speed adjusted OBP/SLG/OPS: 342/480/822

mth123
11-26-2006, 12:21 AM
it's not. when you have a player who steals bases you do need to make a speed adjusted OBP, SLG, and OPS. however your methodology was wrong. Freel's pick-offs would count as a caught stealing. just as his SB would go into his TB numbers.

Freel's actual OBP/SLG/OPS: 363/399/762
speed adjusted OBP/SLG/OPS: 342/480/822

So you're saying that his CS do count against him but his pick-offs do not? I have seen it calculated this way but since Freel was one of only 2 guys picked-off 10 times or more in 2006 (Scott Podsednik was the other), I can't attribute those to good plays by the pitcher but bad baserunning so I counted those against him as well. In this case it does paint a more complete picture IMO. So maybe I am making a variation of the stat but I think its still paints a better picture. He still made those outs.

Ron Madden
11-26-2006, 04:06 AM
A pick off goes down as caught stealing.

So those pick off outs are accounted for.

mth123
11-26-2006, 08:33 AM
A pick off goes down as caught stealing.

So those pick off outs are accounted for.

No. Pick-offs are not included in the CS numbers.

RedsManRick
11-26-2006, 09:36 AM
You cannot just add SB in to a SLG% because stolen bases don't advance the runners ahead of him. A single and SB isn't going to score runner from 1B, whereas a 2B would've. Also, if a guy is on 2B and Freel singles him home and then gets picked off, the run still scored, so there is value to his having gotten the hit.

The basic theory of adding and subtracting value based on baserunning events is fine. But the application is a bit messy. The bottom line is that stealing bases is nowhere close to as valuable as getting extra base hits.

M2
11-26-2006, 05:32 PM
Sad to say but just about any list of defensive stats shows Jr at or towards the bottom. If it were just one version of defenseive metrics you could argue that it's the stats. But after seeing a number of these it eliminates or at least reduces the idea that it's the stats and puts the focus back on Jr.

Exactly, there's often a lot of wiggle between one defensive stat and another. Yet there's never any wiggle with Jr. He's always right at the bottom of the CF list.

Eric_Davis
11-30-2006, 04:26 PM
And always remember what great defense vs bad defense does to the confidence of a pitcher. Nobody has to tell them any statistics. They know who the weak links are and who fixes their mistakes.

You can point directly to this thread as to why we didn't make the playoffs last year. There had to be a 4-game swing because of it.

TOBTTReds
11-30-2006, 04:35 PM
No. Pick-offs are not included in the CS numbers.

Only if you get picked off then you run the next base and get tagged out is it a Pick Off AND a Caught Stealing...weird rule.