Highs and Lows of UZR 2007-9: Hardy

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:
5th, Ryan Zimmerman 43.7 runs above average.
4th, Omar Vizquel 45.8 runs above average.

Tonight, the third best player from 2007-9: SS J.J. Hardy.

Hardy’s inclusion should not be too much of a surprise. Unlike the previous two profiles, Hardy does not have much in the ways of peaks or valleys in UZR. Instead, he is rather consistent with UZRs — always in the level a tad more elevated than simply “above average.”

Like the other shortstop, Vizquel, however, Hardy’s future on this list is murky. His hitting took such a dramatic turn for the worst this past season, from a .355 wOBA in 2008 to a .292 wOBA in 2009, that he lost playing time to Alcides Escobar and was even optioned back to Triple-A. One consequence of that demotion is that Hardy’s free agent status was postponed by a year, making him quite a bit more valuable.

Whether he stays with Milwaukee this off season will be seen, but he should make for an attractive trade target, and given that some of his offensive woes can be traced to a poor BABIP, Hardy deserves a starting job somewhere. His defense alone makes him worth his cost, and if his bat returns, so should the four-win seasons that he posted in 2007 and 2008.

At 48.7 runs above average, J.J. Hardy is our last player among the top five that did not eclipse the 50-run marker. Stay tuned for the second-best, and our lone outfielder, tomorrow.



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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.


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TJ
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TJ
6 years 8 months ago

It has to be manny…

Nick
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Nick
6 years 8 months ago

I kinda wish we were getting more here. I mean, any of us can look up the UZR rankings over the past 3 years. Tell us a little bit about JJ Hardy’s defense specifically. Personally I don’t get a chance to see him play, and it’s interesting to see how consistently high he is rated at a position like shortstop, yet he’s never talked about in the MSM for his defense. How can that be? I understand people overlooking defense in RF or at second base even, but SS?

jlong
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jlong
6 years 8 months ago

Franklin Gutierrez should be the obvious choice for the OF. But i have been looking around at UZRs the past few years and is the other infielder…Chase Utley?

Bill
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Bill
6 years 8 months ago

Has to be, Utley is something like +53 over the last 3 years.

jlong
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jlong
6 years 8 months ago

Yea, I knew he had gotten better since he came in to the league, but wow.

So Phillies have 3 of the infielders in teh top 10, and Howard got considerably better this offseason. Plus Werth and Victorinos plus OF defense.

Are the Phillies the best defensive team out there?

BATTLETANK
Member
BATTLETANK
6 years 8 months ago

jlong: the phillies OF defense this year according to UZR wasn’t good. i do think victorino and werth are above average defensive OF’s though.

DavidCEisen
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DavidCEisen
6 years 8 months ago

The Phillies outfield defense over the past three years is very good, though, even with Pat and Raul being in left. I would say this year was likely due to noise in the data.

The M’s are obviously the best defensive team, though.

Bill
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Bill
6 years 8 months ago

The Phillies are probably the best infield defense (Feliz and Rollins are very good, Utley apparently the best fielder in baseball, and Howard somewhat improved). Outfield, they are above average, but not the best.

Jim Little
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Jim Little
6 years 8 months ago

Rockies likely have the best IF defense and defense in genral now with Stewart entrenched at 3B, Tulo at SS, Barmes (former SS) at 2B and Helton at 1B. Then they have Gonzalez (a CF) in LF, Folwer in CF and Hawpe (with his gun) in RF…

Bill
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Bill
6 years 8 months ago

Possibly, but not according to UZR. Phillies were better at every position this year, and despite Tulo putting up a great UZR in ’07 he’s been overall worse than Rollins. Feliz & Utley are definitely superior, the only real question would be Howard vs. Helton, Helton is probably still a bit better.

CKremer
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6 years 8 months ago

I’m guessing Hawpe and his -82 UZR over the last 3 years is one of the big reason why the Rockies have the best defense in baseball.

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