Highs and Lows of UZR 2007-9: Dye

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.

Previously covered:
The Best
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.

The Worst
5th, Jason Bay -64.9 runs to average.
4th, Ken Griffey Jr. -66.9 runs to average.

Tonight, the third worst player from 2007-9: OF Jermaine Dye.

It’s a big gap from Bay and Griffey, in the mid-60s runs below average, to Dye, who racked up an astounding 80.6 runs below average over the last three seasons.

Dye has been an enigma at the plate the past few seasons, posting a .417 wOBA in 2006, then a .343 in 2007 followed by a rebound back up to .376 and then a downfall back to .344 this past season. In the field, however, it’s been a smoothly consistent four years of suck. Dye’s UZRs in that time frame: -22.5, -21.6, -19.4 and -18.7. Hey, he’s improving! By 2025, he’ll be up to average.

Seriously, though, he flat out stinks and his unpredictable offense makes him a poor overall value. If he could mash like he did in 2006, that would be one thing; he managed a 3.2 WAR that year. But since then, he’s been worth 0.9 WAR combined in three seasons as his bat has dropped off.

As for 2010, Dye has a reportedly mutual option with the White Sox, who now also have room for him at DH with the end of Jim Thome‘s contract. At 36 years of age, it is highly unlikely that Dye will be worth anywhere near the $12 million owed to him in the option. It is also highly unlikely that Dye would be able to come close to that on the free market, so it would be wise of him to exercise it if he has such a choice. If so, we might yet see him on this list next year.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.