As explained in the overview post, here, this is part of a series looking at the best and worst defensive performers over the past three combined seasons. Rankings are done by adding a player’s UZR with his aggregate positional adjustment so as to level the playing field with regards to difficulty. Essentially, it’s removing the grading curve.
5th, Ryan Zimmerman 43.7 runs above average.
4th, Omar Vizquel 45.8 runs above average.
3rd, J.J. Hardy 48.7 runs above average.
2nd, Franklin Gutierrez 51.4 runs above average.
1st, Chase Utley 54.8 runs above average.
Tonight, the worst player from 2007-9: OF Adam Dunn.
In a remarkable come from behind loss, Adam Dunn managed to out suck Brad Hawpe right at the finish line to steal this title from him. Though Dunn cannot claim to be as consistently poor as Hawpe, he can lay claim to the single worst season by UZR in this covered period.
Adam Dunn‘s -46.2 runs to average in 2009 not only edged out Hawpe’s -43.6 from 2008 and Griffey’s -37.1 from 2007 as the worst overall season, but he managed the biggest gap between leader and second place in any category since Barry Bonds last played. As previously mentioned, Brad Hawpe was the second worst fielder in 2009. His fielding was -27 runs below average. Adan Dunn (-46.2) was nearly 20 runs worse than that. 20 runs, almost two whole wins worth of extra bad.
Of course, Dunn’s terrible was not limited to just 2009 or else he would not be atop this esteemed list of iron gloves even with his astounding 2009 figure. His 2008 was up to snuff as well, finishing second to Hawpe at -35.9 runs and he was the sixth worst aggregate fielder in 2007 leading to his total of -108.1 runs against average for the three seasons combined.
Adam Dunn is so bad in the field that he loses roughly two wins of value by not being a DH. And that includes factoring in the hitting penalty faced by full time DHs. His contract is not a bad one, it’s just a comically bad match although there is something poetic about seeing lineups with Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman manning the infield corners.