FanPost

Fielding ratings: Utley = best defensive player in baseball in 2008


Fielding ratings discussed here at CNNSI. The winners? Rollins, Utley, Victornio, Feliz, and...Ryan Howard. Please...please...Howard was not a "winner" per se, but his improvement from his rookie year, year over year, was noticed. I've sort of "felt" this from watching him over the last half of last year and the first half this year, but seeing the validation in a more formal model is good -- unlike Obi Wan, I do not trust my instincts.

 

The Phillies' better fielders were no surprise -- Utley ("relies on positioning" in essence), Rollins, and Victorino. Feliz has the reputation, and the UZR seemed to bear out the reputation, as he scored highly as well.

The article is a great read in a major media outlet with non-traditional (i.e. not just "# of errors") analysis prevailing. If you wondered why the Phillies did well last year, the following facts may be big reasons: 3 of the 4 infielders were at/near the top of defensive ratings and the first baseman (much maligned) is average. The outfielder that matters the most (center) is at the top of his game, too (Rowand gets a mention for his erratic defense, btw).

 I don't have time today to do more with this, but I at least wanted to bring it to the attention of the rest of you in case you did not see it.

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