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Kc61
07-30-2012, 12:15 PM
In another thread, somebody raised the question of the Reds' defensive rankings. I start from the premise that the team's defense seems very good. It is a leader in the low errors column. But some of the defensive rankings aren't that good.

In the UZR area, the Reds were (as of yesterday) at 0.00, ninth best in the league. I reviewed some of the individual UZR ratings on Fangraphs.

Ludwick has a -3.4 UZR.
Frazier at third -1.4; Rolen at third -1.5
Bruce -2.6
Stubbs -1.3
Valdez and Cairo are negative as well, except Cairo is positive at first base.

The positives are Phillips 5.2, Cozart 3.9, Votto 3.4.

Heisey is slightly positive when you average in the various positions he plays.

I guess they don't do UZR for catchers or pitchers.

Team DER was 7th in the NL as of yesterday. Also not fabulous.

Is the Reds' defense overrated? How can guys like Stubbs and Bruce have negative UZR ratings? Is the ratings system all messed up?

Interested if folks have viewpoints/knowledge on this.

mattfeet
07-30-2012, 12:20 PM
As others have stated (in the same thread you referenced), I take UZR values with a grain of salt.

mdccclxix
07-30-2012, 12:22 PM
I think the overall results are pretty obvious, the Reds defense is great, but I think it takes a scouts eye to decide where it's great, especially in the OF. Stubbs is the most debated, although Bruce is also worthy now of debate. 3b is open for debate, is Frazier doing as much as Rolen now? How good are the catchers?

In my view, it's a lot like the gymnastics in the Olympics right now where you start with a perfect score and get deductions from there. I think the Reds are 'medal worthy' all the time, and you would start to see some heavy deductions from other alignments. I go back to when Sappelt was in LF or Alonso or Gomes. That was so obviously inferior and easy to deduct. I don't find that anywhere but maybe Cairo at 3b, LOL. The 3 rookies have really settled down - Cozart, Frazier, and Mez.

Mario-Rijo
07-30-2012, 12:23 PM
As others have stated (in the same thread you referenced), I take UZR values with a grain of salt.

Agree.

Kc61
07-30-2012, 12:26 PM
I was pleased to see Cozart get a pretty good positive UZR rating. He's a very sure handed shortstop.

I don't like high error infielders. Personally, I'm willing to give up a tad in range if the player is sure handed and throws accurately.

Cozart is very sure handed. Frazier less so. Phillips is a magician out there.

mdccclxix
07-30-2012, 12:28 PM
I think the double play combo of Cozart and Phillips has had some issue of late.

Bruce has shown some struggles with agility in tight spots near the wall.

Bruce's arm is perhaps now out of practice after 2 years of no one running on him.

Frazier still isn't Rolen at 3b, especially on delivering the ball to 1st. But who is?

Ludwick isn't great near the wall, either, but is otherwise good.

Frazier is a better INF than OF.

Cairo is less athletic than ever, which ain't bad, but ain't great either.

Those are my only "deductions" off the top of my head.

mdccclxix
07-30-2012, 12:30 PM
In general, the Reds haven't been as lucky or good at plays at the plate.

I can't speak to hitting the cutoff properly, really. Don't know if they're good or bad there. I wouldn't guess they're "bad".

mace
07-30-2012, 12:38 PM
The Reds rank 4th in MLB in FIP, according to fangraphs. And yet they're a very close second to Washington (difference of 4) in total runs given up. If you give any credence to FIP, that would seem to speak to a very good fielding team.

Given the extreme hitter-friendliness of GABP, coupled with the fact that the Reds are 4 runs from the MLB leader in run prevention, I think it's safe to say that their overall defensive package--pitching and fielding--is clearly the best in baseball at this point.

757690
07-30-2012, 12:59 PM
UZR isn't very accurate with outfielders since most of their plays are rather easy. Infielders get chances practically every game to make plays outside the average zone, while outfielders can go awhile without that opportunity. A few miscues by an outfielder can ding him up pretty bad, and he might not have that many chances to redeem himself with a great play. With outfielders, you really need to look at many seasons worth of data to get an accurate account of his skill and production.

OnBaseMachine
07-30-2012, 01:05 PM
My eyes tell me this:

Ludwick is solid in left. Slightly above average. Heisey is very good in the corners, not so much in CF. The drop off from Stubbs to Heisey is CF is huge, IMO.

Stubbs has plus range in CF and a good arm.

Bruce still has plus range and great arm. Yeah, he's made a few more mistakes this season but his range is there.

Rolen - not quite the range he once had but still an above average defender.

Cozart - very smooth, with a strong arm. Love watching him play SS.

Phillips - Great as usual.

Votto - Above average defender, though some of the risks he takes sometimes scare me.

Hanigan and Mes are very solid behind the plate.

Frazier is averageish.

Cairo - subpar. Valdez - around average.

Nathan
07-30-2012, 01:25 PM
UZR isn't very accurate with outfielders since most of their plays are rather easy. Infielders get chances practically every game to make plays outside the average zone, while outfielders can go awhile without that opportunity. A few miscues by an outfielder can ding him up pretty bad, and he might not have that many chances to redeem himself with a great play. With outfielders, you really need to look at many seasons worth of data to get an accurate account of his skill and production.

With this being said, I wonder if balls hit into extreme shifts affect UZR positively, or does it adjust accordingly?

Homer Bailey
07-30-2012, 01:59 PM
My eyes tell me this:

Ludwick is solid in left. Slightly above average. Heisey is very good in the corners, not so much in CF. The drop off from Stubbs to Heisey is CF is huge, IMO.

Stubbs has plus range in CF and a good arm.

Bruce still has plus range and great arm. Yeah, he's made a few more mistakes this season but his range is there.

Rolen - not quite the range he once had but still an above average defender.

Cozart - very smooth, with a strong arm. Love watching him play SS.

Phillips - Great as usual.

Votto - Above average defender, though some of the risks he takes sometimes scare me.

Hanigan and Mes are very solid behind the plate.

Frazier is averageish.

Cairo - subpar. Valdez - around average.

I agree with pretty much all of this.

Superdude
07-30-2012, 02:20 PM
Is the Reds' defense overrated? How can guys like Stubbs and Bruce have negative UZR ratings? Is the ratings system all messed up?

UZR has never been all that enamored with Stubbs' defense. He's got the speed, but he's gotta be one of the more conservative center fielders I've seen.

Biggest disappointment is Bruce. He looked like a stud in 2010, but hasn't been anything but average since. I don't know if he's gotten worse, or that's just another example of the quirkiness of defensive statistics. Probably both.

RedlegJake
07-30-2012, 02:25 PM
My eyes tell me this:

Ludwick is solid in left. Slightly above average. Heisey is very good in the corners, not so much in CF. The drop off from Stubbs to Heisey is CF is huge, IMO.

Stubbs has plus range in CF and a good arm.

Bruce still has plus range and great arm. Yeah, he's made a few more mistakes this season but his range is there.

Rolen - not quite the range he once had but still an above average defender.

Cozart - very smooth, with a strong arm. Love watching him play SS.

Phillips - Great as usual.

Votto - Above average defender, though some of the risks he takes sometimes scare me.

Hanigan and Mes are very solid behind the plate.

Frazier is averageish.

Cairo - subpar. Valdez - around average.

I agree with this too - deduct a point or two maybe for Heiseys lack of arm and for Stubbs occasional bad jump but he usually makes up for that with speed, Frazier is getting better but still qualifies as average if that at third - in time I can see that getting better but right now I think that's generous, I don't think the drop with Heisey in center is as huge as OBM does but it is there -mostly range factor with some arm, too.

As for UZR - I take it with a real grain of salt - no fielding stat seems independently useful yet - you have to look at all available stats, UZR, FIP, DER etc and overall run prevention plus use your eyes over the course of several games to get a grasp of how good a team really is defensively.

dougdirt
07-30-2012, 02:44 PM
With this being said, I wonder if balls hit into extreme shifts affect UZR positively, or does it adjust accordingly?

I am not sure if UZR does or not. I know that BIS +/- system has made the change so that it now does adjust accordingly.

WildcatFan
07-30-2012, 03:49 PM
I am not sure if UZR does or not. I know that BIS +/- system has made the change so that it now does adjust accordingly.

I'm not familiar with BIS +/-. What does it say about our guys?

Crumbley
07-30-2012, 04:23 PM
Ludwick and Rolen being graded below average, especially the latter, tells me all I need to know about UZR as a metric. For that matter, I've never been a believer in defensive stats. I buy the Baseball Prospectus book every year, here are BP's FRAA for the last 3 seasons:

-4.3
4.9
-6.7

And projected -1.4 for this year. You might as well throw a dart.