Originally Posted by SteelSD
On another note, I'm a little leery of Justin's results for the 1B position. No, I've never worked under the assertion that Hatteberg/Conine/Cantu/Votto were good defenders, but to see that quartet combine for nearly 15 negative Runs? Yikes.
So, -15 runs is about a run every 10.8 games or roughly 0.09 runs per game. If a single is worth something on the order of .3 or .4 runs (http://www.tangotiger.net/runscreated.html
), then we're talking about the difference of allowing 1 single every series that an average fielder would have gotten. Given the fairly poor range of the two guys who got the bulk of the innings, that doesn't seem so far out.
Outside of a platoon difference due to opportunity, shouldn't 1B actually be one of the positions with the greatest range of values? Opportunity aside, what's the difference between a 1B and a 3B -- the 1B has to field throws quite often. Furthermore, because of the forced sub-optimal positioning of holding the runner on base, a particularly rangy 1B has more opportunity to gain ground defensively on his peers. Perhaps we're so focused on the catching throws part of 1B defense that we underrate the value of range. We give 1B the benefit of the doubt for missing a ball that a 3B would have gotten. Also, because it's deemed the easiest, the overall competition at the position has a lower standard, particularly in the NL, where 1B is the last resort for a poor defender. The pool is somewhat polluted by guys who shouldn't be in the field at all, but whose value is carried by their bat.