- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

UZR Tidbits Through May 3rd

The Mariners’ new centerfielder was the heavy favorite for the UZR king crown just a few weeks ago, and now the Mariners’ old centerfielder is paving the way for himself. Mike Cameron shot up the charts with a strong showing this week backed mostly on – or rather beside – his right-arm, which accounts for 2.4 of the 6.2 runs. Cameron’s range has been nice as well to the tone of 3.6 runs.

In second place is another former Mariner, Raul Ibanez. Uh, yeah I’m surprised too. A lot of people are going to point to this and say, “See, see! Raul is good!” which is funny, because these are the same people who probably said defensive metrics were lousy just a few months ago. A small sample size tag is implied on these posts, and Ibanez has a nice big sticker next to his. It’s hard to ignore Ibanez UZR track record over the last few years; -12.1, -20.5, and -5.8. You can’t just dump that data in favor of 200 innings worth. Let’s see how Raul continues to do, but it would be quite the outlier and oddity if Ibanez is suddenly rated as a positive defender come September.

Speaking of the Mariners, they are now back on top of the team UZR leaderboard, slightly ahead of the Rays. The Rangers, Brewers, and Astros (!?) round out the top five. The Orioles, Mets, White Sox, Marlins, and Indians are using oven mitts in place of gloves. As are Brian Giles, Cody Ross, and Vernon Wells; the department of silly statistics has those three finishing with UZR/150 of -38 and worse.

Gotta love and hate those small sample sizes.