How Fans and UZR Disagree: the Rockies

The last post introduced the topic at hand and looked at the San Francisco Giants as they were the team with the biggest overall spread between their team FSR and UZR ratings. They happened to have much higher UZRs than FSRs in both years.

FSR vs UZR in '09 and '10

The two other highly outlying dots on the same side as the Giants are the 2009 Mariners and 2010 Diamondbacks. On the other side of the disagreement line are the Colorado Rockies. While the fans were of a dimmer opinion of the Giants’ fielders than UZR was by a large margin, the fans had a much higher feeling on the Rockies than UZR claims is warranted.

The Rockies had a +39 FSR in 2009 and a +22 in 2010 but their UZR was a mediocre -20 in 2009 and a slightly worse -28 in last season. Just as the Giants’ positive gap between UZR and FSR was the biggest in the league, the Rockies negative gap between the two in both 2009 and 2010.

Coors Field could be having an effect here, especially since the biggest differences between FSR and UZR at the individual level are almost entirely due to the outfielders. In 2009, Dexter Fowler and Brad Hawpe had a combined FSR score of -2 runs, but according to UZR were worth an astoundingly awful -36.2. This last season, it was Ryan Spilboroghs and Carlos Gonzalez’s turn. The fans rated Spilboroghs at -1 FSR and Carlos Gonzalez at +10 FSR while UZR pegged them at -16.7 and -2.7 runs respectively. The outfield is not the entirety of the discrepancy between the two systems, but it is clearly the majority factor.



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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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Andrew T. Fisher
Guest

Fantastic stuff Matt. I have picked on the discrepencies between UZR and the eyeball test specifically with the Giants’ and Rockies’ outfields for over a year. It’s mind boggling that Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff can have better UZR’s than Carlos Gonzalez. There definitely seems to be a park adjustment in UZR that seems amiss. Willy Taveras was a plus fielder essentially every season of his career, except Colorado. Meanwhile, just 2 of 17 outfielders for San Francisco since 2009 have a negative UZR.

hjrrockies
Guest
hjrrockies

It’s probably better to discuss in the Rockpile sometime, but it’s worth noting that several Rockies outfielders had better UZR’s at home than on the road.

But I agree that something must be amiss, somewhere.

Andrew T. Fisher
Guest

I’m aware of that, and to be honest, I have no explanation. Though it’s possible that it is due to players inexperienced with the different flight patterns of flyballs going from sea level to Coors.

hjrrockies
Guest
hjrrockies

Very valid point.

I just want my cold, black, SABR heart to come to terms with CarGo’s Gold Glove.

Interesting that Seth Smith was, excluding Brad Hawpe, the worst rated Rockies outfielder on FSR, yet he was the only one with a positive UZR for the season. Strange…

I guess the best way to be a great outfielder at Coors is to play terrible defense by the eye test…?

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11

Carlos Gonzalaz UZR — Compare as an A versus as a Rockie.

In OAK he was getting more PO/INN whether he played CF or a corner OF spot (it is a SSS).

We know CarGo and DFowler have speed. I find it difficult to believe that even with poor judgement they wouldn’t just be league average (at worst).

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