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Thread: Left field defense

  1. #1
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Left field defense

    There's a thread over on the Sun Deck where a poster mentions seeing it written that Adam Dunn is the 5th-best defensive LF in the NL at the moment. No link is provided and it certainly goes against the mass perception of Dunn's defense.

    Certainly he's no Carl Crawford out there, but he's better than he was last year. He's not elegant, nor terribly instinctive, but he can cover a decent amount of ground when he gets a bead on a ball and his arm is pretty good for the position (traditionally a weak armed position).

    While it might seem outrageous to think of Dunn as potentially one of the better defensive LFs in the NL, I think we forget exactly who the competition is. Here's a breakdown in two categories (solid defenders, bad defenders, the names are listed alphabetically):

    Solid defenders

    Eric Byrnes
    Ryan Church
    Jose Cruz Jr.
    Matt Diaz
    Geoff Jenkins

    Bad defenders

    Moises Alou
    Jason Bay
    Barry Bonds
    Pat Burrell
    Chris Duncan
    Adam Dunn
    Luis Gonzalez
    Matt Holliday
    Carlos Lee
    Alfonso Soriano
    Josh Willingham

    These are the players, who've played the most games in LF for each of the 16 teams in the NL. There really isn't a good defender in the bunch. Bonds, Duncan, Lee and Willingham probably deserve to be in their own "super awful" category. If someone was ranking defensive LFs in the NL, it's possible Diaz missed the innings cutoff, so a guy from the "bad" list certainly could have been #5.

    The AL has a better set of defensive LFs, but it also has Manny Ramirez, Raul Ibanez and Frank Catalanotto.

    My point being that when you look at who is playing the position, Dunn's a fairly standard kind of bad. I know his UZR rating for the year is low, but others are worse and my guess is varying rating systems will show that Dunn is no worse than the standard bad defensive LF, which accounts for the majority of players out there.
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  3. #2
    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    That's probably sourced from the recent uber-Dunn defense thread that either evolved on ORG or in the Minor League forum, I forget exactly where that particular metric was discussed.

  4. #3
    Oy Vey! Red in Chicago's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    While it might seem outrageous to think of Dunn as potentially one of the better defensive LFs in the NL, I think we forget exactly who the competition is.
    Until actually looking at the list, I didn't realize just how aweful the competition was. Gary Matthews Sr., Bo Jackson, Kevin Mitchell...where are you :

  5. #4
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    I said it in the other post and I'll say it again here. Dunn is a poor defensive OF, but a decent defensive LF.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  6. #5
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Benny Agbyani was one of the worst LFers I have ever seen man the position.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Certainly he's no Carl Crawford out there, but he's better than he was last year. He's not elegant, nor terribly instinctive, but he can cover a decent amount of ground when he gets a bead on a ball and his arm is pretty good for the position (traditionally a weak armed position).
    I come to the same conclusion that you do about Dunn, but I arrive there differently. You're right that his arm is decent for the position, but I find it inconsistent (strong, but up and down on accuracy). I do think his instincts are good, his running instincts at least (as opposed to reading the ball off the bat). Dunn has good instinctual feet. He's a very underrated baserunner. I've always said this, and nobody ever agrees with me.

    Pedro brought up the point a few weeks ago of how overlooked Dunn's size is. His size should be considered when evaluating every aspect of his game and it very rarely is. Hence he's inelegant, but not necessarily ineffective. It's not to say that Dunn should be allowed certain free passes due to his size -- it's a team sport and he needs to be effective for the team's sake regardless of how he gets there -- but a more thorough consideration of his size and, from a coaching standpoint, a true study of how it affects his game would allow him to be best understood and coached and most effectively used. I think he is most effectively used in left field, though.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is given to only one, maybe 2 players in the league, and 1 is a nightmare waiting to happen on every play, Dunn is a solid 3.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is given to only one, maybe 2 players in the league, and 1 is a nightmare waiting to happen on every play, Dunn is a solid 3.
    I disagree with this. I'd put him smack dab in the middle of all LFers.

  10. #9
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I said it in the other post and I'll say it again here. Dunn is a poor defensive OF, but a decent defensive LF.
    Ok Rick.... which is it?
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    I disagree with this. I'd put him smack dab in the middle of all LFers.
    Adam Dunn is awful. He's closer to being like Canseco than being average.

    He is absolutely terrible. He's not Jack Cust or Joey Votto horrible, but he's bad. Has never smelled average....never will.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_Davis View Post
    Adam Dunn is awful. He's closer to being like Canseco than being average.

    He is absolutely terrible. He's not Jack Cust or Joey Votto horrible, but he's bad. Has never smelled average....never will.
    Let me guess: it's because when he does make a mistake he looks awkward doing it.

  13. #12
    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Let me guess: it's because when he does make a mistake he looks awkward doing it.
    His stats this year back up your idea that he's average in LF among NL Leftfielders. So, maybe average this year is a "3" ranking on a scale of 1-10. But, I'd take a "3" in LF if my CF was at least an "8" and my 3rd baseman and SS were above average which they are.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

  14. #13
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Just curious, has moving Griffey out of CF had a positive effect on Dunn's fielding in LF? Or at least the appearance of it?
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

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    Re: Left field defense

    It'd help if the Reds backed him up a little and told the media that he works hard etc...

    This would make him appear more valuable and it would gets the media off his back, but i think they'd rather him be the whipping boy for the team.

    Tend to think VPlums assessment is right on. If the guy looks like an athelete and is smooth--the average fan loves that stuff.

  16. #15
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Left field defense

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    I come to the same conclusion that you do about Dunn, but I arrive there differently. You're right that his arm is decent for the position, but I find it inconsistent (strong, but up and down on accuracy). I do think his instincts are good, his running instincts at least (as opposed to reading the ball off the bat). Dunn has good instinctual feet. He's a very underrated baserunner. I've always said this, and nobody ever agrees with me.

    Pedro brought up the point a few weeks ago of how overlooked Dunn's size is. His size should be considered when evaluating every aspect of his game and it very rarely is. Hence he's inelegant, but not necessarily ineffective. It's not to say that Dunn should be allowed certain free passes due to his size -- it's a team sport and he needs to be effective for the team's sake regardless of how he gets there -- but a more thorough consideration of his size and, from a coaching standpoint, a true study of how it affects his game would allow him to be best understood and coached and most effectively used. I think he is most effectively used in left field, though.
    No VP I agree, he does have good feet when it comes to baserunning. And I understand that most teams will take the hit defensively to put a guy with a bat in LF. As far as his arm (he used to be a QB) it can't very weak, but his release point and his body lean are often way off when throwing which likely has alot to do with his accuracy.

    But I have to ask myself (mainly because of the feet) why couldn't he play 1st base? Other than the obvious answer that he simply doesn't want to. And scouts have said he is awful over there. Well heck anybody would be that just had a few innings under their belt at that position.
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