Originally Posted by dougdirt
Right, but the amount of balls out of zone that Freel gets to more than makes up for the amount of balls he doesn't get to in his zone.
Go take a peak at that for a great view on how to use the zone rating and in balls out of zone to get a better overall view of how the defensive ratings go that I was speaking of.... defensively, Freel is better in CF than Hamilton.
Thanks for the link. I love JinAz's blog, and have been a reader for over a year. He does have great fielding stats, as you point out.
Go to THIS LINK
, which I found through your link: this is a direct comparison between Reds centerfielders, and like I noted above, Hamilton zone rating is higher. The reason it is different is that it does not factor in 'out of zone' plays into the percentage, which, as you noted, Freel is way ahead.
Still, Freel's fielding win shares, which includes zone rating, is 1.4, compared to 1.3 for Hamilton. Basically a wash, considering that Hamiton has 11 fewer games. I do not know exactly how this is calculated, but I think it includes assists and double-plays started, where Hamilton is way ahead.
Finally, for a different take, here are the links to ESPN's fielding stats, which use zone rating(ZR) and range factor(RF), as provided by STATS, Inc.
: ZR= .843 RF= 2.82
: ZR= .870 RF= 2.81
Again, I submit that they are basically a wash. It all depends on which stats you trust more.
Subjectively, I think Hamilton's arm is so good that it does equalize Freel's range. What doesn't show in the stats is how opposing runners stop trying to take the extra base in respect of Hamilton's arm. The last few weeks I have seen 3 or 4 plays to centerfield on sac flies or hits to center with a runner scoring from second that I said to myslef "Hamilton would have got him" after the runner scored on Freel. Maybe I was wrong....who knows. Maybe some of those runners wouldn't have tried to score on Hamilton.
The new science of fielding stats is still evolving. But I must say Doug, it is nice to have an intelligent discussion of this topic without worrying about errors or fielding percentage.