FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Cards fan here, very surprised to see them so high.

    Comment by astrostl — March 6, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  2. In which universe is Marco Scutaro great?

    Comment by Fred — March 6, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  3. Navarro is almost a shoe-in to be the MIF reserve, not Josh Harrison. If Harrison makes the team (not likely) he will be a 3B reserve and, at most, a reserve at 2B. More likely (as in almost definitely) he will be down in AAA, w/ Navarro as the MIF reserve and Casey McGhee playing the 3B reserve if Alvarez is ineffective.

    Josh Harrison isn’t even the 3rd option, either, as that would be Jordy Mercer at SS, after Navarro and D’Arnaud if Barmes is out considerable time.

    Comment by CabreraDeath — March 6, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

  4. Table formatting is meh.

    Comment by Slartibartfast — March 6, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  5. The one where he’s been worth 2.5 wins annually in.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  6. Before I even read the rankings, I’d like to give you a thumbs up for the Home Alone reference.

    Comment by Shaun — March 6, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  7. scoo is good. he walks a lot and is a table setter.

    Comment by dont be cautious — March 6, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  8. So there are no less than 15 great shortstops by your count?

    Comment by Fred — March 6, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  9. you must not watch him play. the dude is pretty great for a 36 year old

    Comment by dont be cautious — March 6, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  10. Escobar is projected for a lower BA because a year and a half ago he hit .230ish for the Braves. Is he past that and actually, I don’t know, concentrating at the plate now? It seems so, but a regresssion could be imminent.

    Comment by bstar — March 6, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

  11. Ah okay, that makes more sense than what I was seeing. It seemed strange that Harrison would be the leading candidate considering his limited shortstop exposure.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  12. Over the last four year’s Scutaro has posted 12.7 WAR. That’s pretty great in my book:

    Putting up 2.5 next year and doing it year-after-year are two totally separate value measures.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

  13. what does scoo stand for?

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 6, 2012 @ 5:23 pm


    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

  15. So ZIPS projects both the M’s shortstops to have slugging percentages lower than their batting averages? Is that even possible?

    Comment by The Ancient Mariner — March 6, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  16. I think Marco Scutaro.

    Nice name, by the way. Are you hoping to get all your comments deleted? (Get it?)

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  17. Ah, what you are witnessing there is a transcription error. I will mend that now.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

  18. But I still think it’s easy to see Fred’s confusion. Take Jeter for instance (and I’m by no means a Jeter apologist)… he’s put up 16 WAR the last 4 years, yet yankees are at #13 on this list. scutaro is only 1 year younger, and obviously not the consistent hitter/player jeter’s been.

    look, its certainly a nitpick, but calling scutaro great was an odd comment given his skillset relative to his peers. especially considering a wealthy, well-run organization didn’t feel he was worth $6M, and the defense for it was “he puts up 2.5 WAR annually”

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 6, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  19. ive just been too lazy to find or come up with a new one… but your willingness to make fun of the situation (and yourself) is appreciated. im not clever enough to come up with anything too witty, but ill work on getting something else.

    Comment by Woodrum's UZR Article — March 6, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  20. Valbuena disappoints me. I was looking forwards to another season of Mike McCoy’s back and forth travel numbers. Does anyone know if he’s set some sort of record yet for most distance traveled?

    Comment by sc2gg — March 6, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  21. it’s the mariners. no level of offensive ineptness is impossible

    Comment by jim — March 6, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  22. You are not a human you are a robot, now shut up and crunch my numbers!!!

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  23. #2 and #3 should be switched. The Jays have 5.0 WAR total and the Marlins have 4.5 WAR total.

    But I think this list really shows the pathetic state that is MLB shortstops these days. The worst team is only 3 WAR worse than the 2nd best team. Tulo is the only guy who really stands out here…

    Comment by Will — March 6, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  24. Also did I read correctly that the wonderful combination of Aviles, Punto and Iglesias ranks in the middle of the league? Also that Jed Lowrie is almost top 10?

    Will there be a team management ranking and if so will your combined love of the Cubs and apparently the Red Soxs result in a “God. Theo Epstein” ranking at the top?

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  25. Seems like a tier system would be better. Almost any of 14-30 could be switched, reversed, and no one would be the wiser, other than Detroit and KC, both seem too low.

    Comment by Nate — March 6, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

  26. Jose Reyes slugging .471 looks pretty whack.

    Comment by kid — March 6, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  27. Giants are waaaaaay too high!

    Comment by jp_on_rye — March 6, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

  28. I could not resist, my bad. ;)

    Comment by colin — March 6, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  29. Especially since he only slugged .493 in 2011.

    Comment by Brandon Warne — March 6, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

  30. Does Ryan Theriot get a 0 for Fielding, or did you break FanGraphs trying to put a number on his negative defensive value?

    Comment by themiddle54 — March 6, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  31. I am definitely nitpicking, but there is no way that Scutaro is great. Even if we pick the best four year period in his career, there are 9 other shortstops that have been as good or better than him, including JJ Hardy. I certainly wouldn’t consider JJ Hardy great

    Comment by Fred — March 6, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

  32. No matter what happens with Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores will not be called up as he’s in Single A and really can’t play SS and will likely be transitioned off the position this year.

    Comment by tom — March 6, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  33. I think the last 4 teams are essentially interchangeable. They’re all equally bad at SS.

    Comment by BX — March 6, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  34. It appears some of the numbers died in translation to HTML. They should be all correct now.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  35. Because they have Hanley Ramirez if needed, I feel like the Marlin’s overall situation is better.

    Also, I didn’t really rank these teams on their WAR totals, more on my overall feeling towards them. It’s very subjective and welcome to debate.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 6, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  36. Could someone explain the situation? I don’t get it.

    Comment by Fred — March 6, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

  37. A .268 AVG seems a little low for Jeter.

    Looks like ZiPs isn’t a big believer in his second half.

    Comment by YanksFanInBeantown — March 6, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  38. You’re probably scratching your head about the Barmes signing because you’re drastically underrating him. It’s not your fault that the Fans have projected him as +5 at SS despite him being at least twice that good (according to UZR, TZ, and DRS) in each of the last three years, but it is your fault that you’re not including baserunning in your player evaluations and that you’re doing some weird kind of rounding that makes Brandon freaking Crawford look just as good as Barmes. (Seriously: I know the WAR figures presented aren’t supposed to be precise, but Crawford projects for -15.1 wRAA in 479 PA according to the ZiPS projection on his player page, while Barmes projects for -7.6 in 493 PA, yet you’ve for some reason projected them for the same WAR total in the same amount of PT. [And yes, I know this is petty.])

    Comment by epoc — March 6, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  39. Jays will have Hechavarria in AAA if needed, even if he doesn’t hit the glove is supposedly as good as they come. I think the Jays situation is better.

    Comment by Dougal — March 6, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  40. projecting reyes for almost exactly his career line is a little whack? how do you figure, kid?

    Comment by jim — March 6, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  41. I still don’t see the wisdom of the Braves decision not to bring in a short stop. I get that they want to give Pastornicki a shot and eventually hand the position to Simmons, but they’re taking a huge gamble (potentially whether they make the playoffs or not) when a relatively small investment would have helped a lot. Right now Pas looks like an average glove who is at best an average bat, seems like they could have found somebody with a for of that at least for cheap.

    Comment by deadpool — March 6, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  42. Rule 5 pick Gustavo Nunez is also in the mix for backup MI. He’s on the 60-day DL, which may mean that the Pirates are jumping through hoops to try to keep him.

    Nunez was the really headscratching Pirates move at short for me this offseason. Considering their other options I don’t think it was a bad idea for the Pirates to get someone who’s put up about 2 WAR/year for the past four. The Brewers seemed to be their big competition for Barmes and look where they are in these rankings.

    Comment by matt w — March 6, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

  43. It’s quite a bit higher than his career line of .441. But it’s still not that whack since he’s topped it in 3 different seasons and went well over it last year.

    Comment by drewcorb — March 6, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  44. So Dee Gordon hits worse than Elliot Johnson and fields much worse. So are the Dodgers above the Rays because Jerry Hairston is just that good?

    Comment by jeff_bonds — March 6, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  45. I can’t help but notice that the Brewers are ranked dead last and yet most everyone considers this setup superior to last year’s disaster at the position.

    Yuni is so terrible.

    Comment by skipperxc — March 6, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  46. zips is the only projection system doing so, too. kinda weird

    Comment by jim — March 6, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  47. Jack Wilson also has a BA lower than his SLG.

    Comment by Michael Scott — March 6, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  48. Are ZIPS projections known to be particularly pessimistic? It seems like it expects regression from nearly everyone. For example, last year there were 26 guys with a wOBA at .375 or above, and this year ZIPS projects there to be 13. There were also 10 guys with wOBA’s .400 or above last year, and this year ZIPS projects 2.

    Comment by Michael Scott — March 6, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  49. You don’t think Munenori Kawasaki will get a shot with the M’s?

    Comment by Stuart — March 6, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  50. Yuni should really just get a special 31st place ranking by himself.

    Comment by sc2gg — March 6, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  51. to your question, if cardenas was an adequate defender at SS i don’t think he would have been waived. the reports i’ve been seeing the past few years have sounded pretty tepid about him even handling 2B or 3B.

    rule of thumb, dudes who are cost-controlled solid all-around shortstops on the cusp of the majors don’t get released

    Comment by wily mo — March 6, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

  52. That Jeter is still better than most starting short stops in the league is crazy. How good was his second half last year?

    Comment by Big Baby — March 6, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  53. Other way around. .289 AVG, .273 SLG. That’s unpossible.

    Comment by mentalmeat — March 6, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  54. I respectfully disagree about Seager. Seager will have his shot at 3b, splitting time with the corpse of Figgins. Kawasaki seems to have the inside track on backing up Ryan at SS.

    Comment by Snowblind — March 6, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  55. Bradley Woodrum wrote an article about UZR that got deleted (I can’t remember why, and I didn’t get a chance to read it) very soon after it was posted. Bradley was poking fun of himself while calling out the handle of “Woodrum’s UZR Article says.”

    Comment by TFINY — March 6, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

  56. Yeah, it’s kind of been known for years that he would never stick at SS. The front office has now openly said he would start to get time at 3B.

    Comment by Franco — March 6, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  57. Man, the days of the slugging shortstops are over. Good write up, but I doubt there’s any scenario where a healthy Jimmy Rollins with new contract is getting benched this year or next.

    Comment by Franco — March 6, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  58. Nick Punto at 1 WAR per 150 PAs?

    Comment by Phil D. — March 6, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  59. I was excited to hear about Theriot’s new glove endorsement … with Everlast.

    Seriously I don’t know what StL was thinking with replacing Ryan with Theriot’s similar OBP, but drastically inferior glove.

    Good luck SFG fans. “Routine grounder to short” is a phrase you can remove from your vocabulary.

    It’s amazing not that long ago that some of the best players in baseball were shortstops, and I’m not even referring to the Tejada, Young, Nomar, Jeter, A-Rod years.

    Azdrubal Cabrera is confusing. How can someone make so many great plays yet be challenged with the routine?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — March 7, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  60. Watching the Mariners is like watching Dal Maxville hit for an entire game.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — March 7, 2012 @ 2:17 am

  61. It’s Erick Aybar with a K.

    Also, to add something more than a mere copy-edit, what are the odds that Jed Lowrie will get to 550 PA and not go down with an injury? I’m not implying anything, I’m really asking. Cause I’ve watched him a lot over the last four years, and dude seems brittle.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — March 7, 2012 @ 2:21 am

  62. braves backup SS will be Drew Sutton, I guess.
    Fredi mentioned some candidate of backup SS including Josh Wilson ,Simmons,Sutton, but he didn’t mention about Hicks.
    Of course, Hicks is a candidate but not a strong candidate.

    Comment by chip — March 7, 2012 @ 3:29 am

  63. Sorry, I never really clarified why the Barmes signing confused me. On a good day, the Pirates are the third best team in their division and still probably not good enough for a wild card run. I think Barmes is a strong defender and a decent hitter for a shortstop — I don’t think his contract necessarily makes sense though.

    And: As far as playing time and whatnot, he’s only twice been over 500 PAs and once over 550. Does that mean he can’t get 700 this year? Of course not, but I won’t be the one to guess that. Also, over the course of his career, he has been worth 1.4 WAR per 500 PAs, so one could even accuse me of being too optimistic about his age 33 year.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 7, 2012 @ 8:40 am

  64. I don’t necessarily agree with the hitting and fielding projections. My input is only the WAR and the rankings, so that’s a little bit of what you’re detecting there.

    Also, Johnson will be playing a lot of second base, so that’s why his UZR is so high. If he played only short, it would probably be lower.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 7, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  65. Agreed.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 7, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  66. At some point, we’re just defining the word “great.” I’d say being the 10th best makes you great; being the 5th to 1st best makes you elite.

    As for Jeter, he and the Yankees are ranked so low because he’s — true-talent wise — only about 2.5 to 3.0 WAR at most, but far more importantly, Nunez inspires no confidence whatsoever in me. We may hem and haw about Scutaro’s value, but he’s still the starting second baseman, Tulo’s emergency plan.

    Going into 2012, I’d take Scutaro over Jeter, and Scutaro over a number of second basemen too.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 7, 2012 @ 8:51 am

  67. The gist of is: I wrote an article about UZR, which generates a lot of controversy to begin with, and then suggested some pretty radical things.

    Unfortunately, because it was part of a series entitled “Fangraphs Official Position on…” and it wasn’t something necessarily agreed upon (see: radical), we pulled not only my article but also all the subsequent articles.

    I’m so good, I get other author’s articles pulled before they even publish them.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — March 7, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  68. I love the spellings in the Jeter blurb. Want to call one of my fantasy teams the “Twighlight Hooverarounds”.

    Comment by jrogers — March 7, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  69. I think the .230ish BA was a result of the unhappy situation he found himself in in Atlanta. His offense immediately picked up after he was traded and then in 2011 it went back to his career norms. I’d say for 2012, it’s likely to be similar to 2011. I discount that year in Atlanta because there’s an obvious and rational reason for the dip in performance.

    Comment by siggian — March 7, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  70. You just ranked Jed Lowrie ahead of another person with a pulse at SS.

    This series is a giant waste of time.

    Comment by Tom B — March 7, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  71. This is why someone like jEter should be way higher on this list.

    He may not get to 1 or 2 plays over the course of a WEEK that are out of his range, but he doesn’t mess up ANYTHING he can reach.

    Comment by Tom B — March 7, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  72. I respectfully disagree with your evaluation of Ian Desmond. I don’t contest his performance to-date, but he’s going into his third year in the majors and he’s drastically improved defensively. Yes, he had a sophomore slump year at the plate, and he’s certainly not leadoff material (though the Nationals probably are going to put him there). But I would say that your expectation that they’ll ditch him is based on faulty premises: it’s certainly what will happen if he has another terrible offensive year, or if he breaks the 30-error mark, but it’s more likely that you’ll see the Nats keep him around simply because his range is so good at short (even if he is error-prone). It’s also likely that he’ll be in the 15-20 error range this year based on his growth at the position. They’ll just bat him 8th if they can find someone to hit leadoff, and he’ll be a defense-first shortstop.

    Comment by jorgath — March 7, 2012 @ 10:35 am

  73. Peralta certainly seems to play a lot better with Detroit than he did the last few years in Cleveland. Maybe that’s imaginary, and we’ll see some serious reversion to the mean next year. If that doesn’t happen, your ranking of him is hard to justify.

    Comment by rea — March 7, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  74. I agree. Woodrum said not to make too much of small ordinal differences and small WAR differences and even then the ratings are subjective. However, I’d still be willing to bet that Giants get the lowest WAR from their SS position in 2012.
    They probably got the lowest in 2011, but I’m too lazy to calculate for every team, so this is just subjective.

    Comment by Baltar — March 7, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  75. Man, I’m really getting tired of comments as ignorant as this. ZIPS doesn’t project how many players will meet or exceed any number. It gives a medium number for any given player. Roughly half will exceed that number, some by a large margin, so a dozen or more players whose wOBA is projected to be near but below .375 will in fact end up above .375. ZIPS just doesn’t know which ones or exactly how many. Do you?
    It’s just like flipping a coin. I project that out of 20 times I flip a coin, 10 will be heads, but if I flip 100 coins 20 times each, I will get 5 or 15 or any other number of heads many times.

    Comment by Baltar — March 7, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  76. Texas: Too early to place Profar on the depth chart?

    Baltimore: Too early to place Macado on the depth chart? At least you mentioned him.

    Miami: You mentioned Hanley, but he should definitely still be listed as the backup IMO.

    While Hanley leaves a lot to be desired defensively, he hits enough to justify Miami being toward the top of this list without Reyes. You could make an argument that Miami should be first because they have two SS, even though neither is as good as Tulo.

    The gap between the top 2 and the rest is HUGE.

    Comment by Randy — March 7, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  77. Not sure what source you’re hearing that Inge is definitely the Tigers’ starting 2B this year. All I’ve heard is that he’s getting a chance to win the job along with Raburn and Santiago.

    Comment by JG — March 7, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

  78. The point is that Scutaro is backing up Tulowitzki – who destroys Jeter, and just about everyone else.

    Comment by AA — March 7, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  79. I think it was a big omission to talk about the Reds’ shortstops without mentioning Paul Janish. Granted, the Reds traded for Wilson Valdez, but Paul Janish has at least as likely of a shot to be the primary backup.

    Comment by camisadelgolf — March 8, 2012 @ 12:16 am

  80. Is Cardenas really the shortstop backup for the Cubs? Shouldn’t Barney be the backup with Cardenas playing 2nd if Castro is out? I thought Cardenas didn’t have the arm/range for shortstop which is why the A’s waived him. They supposedly thought he could only play 2nd….

    Comment by Subtle — March 12, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  81. They may be interchangeable, but the Giants have to be the worst in the majors by a long shot. If you look at the Brewers at 30, Gonzalez has power and a still-good glove, while the Giants’ Crawford has no bat and the backups are horrible offensively and defensively.

    Comment by jerbear1985 — March 12, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  82. Is anyone else not getting this series on RSS? I hadn’t seen any posts since the intro before I checked the main page this morning.

    Comment by Bryce — March 18, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  83. Whoops… should probably comment on the 2013 version.

    Comment by Bryce — March 18, 2013 @ 9:46 am

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