Teahen’s Big Move

What’s a new baseball season without a Mark Teahen position switch? This time, as Sam Mellinger reports, Teahen will get a look at second base. Moving around the diamond is nothing new for Teahen, who broke into the majors as a third baseman and since has spent time at first base and each of the outfield positions.

On the surface, moving Teahen from the outfield to second makes some sense. The Royals have a cluster in the outfield with David DeJesus, Coco Crisp, and Jose Guillen, and with Guillen’s contract forcing him into the lineup, leaving little playing time for Teahen. Of course, at second the Royals have a bit of a jam as well: they only acquired Albert Collaspo last season and don’t forget about Willie Bloomquist.

Dave has beat the third and second base comparisons into our heads, so I won’t rehash his arguments, but instead question whether Teahen has any hope of being a decent second baseman. Teahen’s hot corner experience was a mixed bag; in 2005, his UZR was an atrocious -17.6, that number rebounded to a passable 0.3 in 2006, and after taking a year off from third, Teahen returned for 166 innings last season and had a UZR of -2.7. CHONE calls him a -11 fielder and The Fielding Bible has Teahen worth -24 runs between 2005 and 2007.

It’s safe to say that Teahen is an awful fielder a third. That provides little hope for a successful translation to second, at least defensively. CHONE has Teahen at 5.6 runs above average offensively and Marcels has him at 1 below. If Teahen is a league average hitter his bat will play up at second, meaning his value comes down to how well (or unwell) his glove translates to second.

This is the first sign of “innovative” thinking the Royals have shown this off-season, but frankly, the chances of success aren’t too high.



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NYRoyal
Guest
7 years 8 months ago

It appears that there is some significant variance in Teahen’s defensive stats from metric to metric and from year to year. Does that give us a clear picture that “Teahen is an awful fielder at third”? Does anybody know what PMR has to say?

Nathan
Guest
Nathan
7 years 8 months ago

His UZR at third was awful at third in 2005, but that was his rookie year. Knowing that rookies often have trouble adjusting defensively and that he was league average his only other full season at third, isn’t it possible to assume he might be a league average third baseman?

Rally
Guest
7 years 8 months ago

Looks like somebody wants to find the next Kelly Johnson.

Depends on what Teahen’s problem was at third. If he was below average because his reactions weren’t top notch (and you need top notch reactions at that spot) and his throwing was inconsistent, then he might be OK if his running speed and hands are good.

If he was below average at third because he moved like a statue, then there is no hope for him at 2B.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
7 years 8 months ago

Comps of people that played 2B and 3B

Using the data from FanGraphs I looked at players that had at least 100 innings at each position. Here are the results

Total players: 43
Innings at 2B: 25410
Innings at 3B: 23656
UZR/150 at 2B: -2.24
UZR/150 at 3B: -0.34

Grouped players that had more innings at 2B vice 3B:
Innings at 2B: 16008
Innings at 3B: 5438
UZR/150 at 2B: -2.21
UZR/150 at 3B: 0.89

Grouped players that had more innings at 3B vice 2B:
Innings at 2B: 6415
Innings at 3B: 15879
UZR/150 at 2B: -2.40
UZR/150 at 3B: -0.93

Looks like 2B is harder to play (about 2-3 runs of UZR/150) than 3B when comparing players that have played them both.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff
7 years 8 months ago

It is totals over the last 3 years.

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