Re: So when is Bruce going to start hitting?
Originally Posted by bucksfan2
The minor leagues is littered with guys who can play plus defense but can't hit a lick. Even Berkman can get to a routine fly ball to right field. If a pitcher grooves a fastball to Janish he may fly out to the SS.
Its much easier to find guys who can play good defense than it is to find guys who are good hitters. Hitting a baseball may be on of the most difficult things to do in all of sport. IMO that is why defense is out of whack in the WAR calculation.
Here's a post that addresses this issue using Dunn as an example because he has been graded as an extreme using defensive metrics so the impact of his defense on his value represents the largest that is likely to be seen with a system like WAR:
Originally Posted by jojo
Using WAR, Dunn's bat was worth 56 marginal runs above replacement (36 above average and the difference between average and replacement is roughly 20) last season. A replacement level bat was worth 0 marginal runs but hidden in the value was the difference between the marginal run bar and zero which is about 57 additional runs given Dunn's playing time (i.e. those are the runs Dunn produced that one would expect any freely available bat to produce on average).
So his total offense was worth about 110 to 115 runs.
UZR suggests his defense was last year was worth -36 runs (clearly UZR graded him as giving up more than 25 total bases last season-Dewan's agrees with UZR).
So his defense in this scenario would reduce his overall marginal value by 64% and his overall production by 30%.
Assuming his career UZR as a corner outfielder is more reflective of his true skill (-15), given an offensive year like he had last season, his glove would decrease his marginal value by roughly 30% and his overall value by roughly 15%.
So even if one believes Dunn's hugely negative 2009 defensive values, it only reduced his overall value by 30%.
As for WAR overvaluing defense, I'm pretty comfortable with the notion that a player's defense could be worth 30% of his marginal value (i.e. value above what any player could provide) and 15% of his overall value (i.e. back of the baseball, real runs value). The 2009 estimate where Dunn's marginal value was reduced by 60% seems like a stretch but there are reasons to question the estimates of his defense and it must be remembered too that such a season would have to be considered a historically poor defensive performance that certainly would be an outlier for WAR (i.e. such seasons are pretty rare).
"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner