UZR Tidbits Through May 17th

Almost a fourth of the way into the season, let’s take some position-by-position glances at the best and worst defenders.

Best: Chris Davis (3.9), Ryan Howard (3.2), Lyle Overbay (2.9)
Worst: Jason Giambi (-3.9), Nick Johnson (-3.4), Joey Votto (-3.3)

Best: Ian Kinsler (5.4), Rickie Weeks (5.4), Brandon Phillips (5.3)
Worst: Skip Schumaker (-7), Dan Uggla (-5.7), Chris Getz (-5)

Best: Ryan Zimmerman (6.7), Joe Crede (6.4), Evan Longoria (5.6)
Worst: Michael Young (-7), Josh Fields (-4.1), Chipper Jones (-3.8)

Best: Marco Scutaro (4.9), Elvis Andrus (4.2), Ryan Theriot (3.6)
Worst: Yuniesky Betancourt (-8.2), Khalil Greene (-4.4), Miguel Tejada (-4.3)

Best: Nyjer Morgan (9.9), Jay Bruce (8), Brandon Moss (7.7)
Worst: Jason Bay (-9), Andre Ethier (-8.4), Adam Dunn (-8.2)

Best: Mike Cameron (7.8), Matt Kemp (7.3), Franklin Gutierrez (5.7)
Worst: Shane Victorino (-7.5), Vernon Wells (-5.8), Elijah Dukes (-3.8)

A few other tidbits:

Proof that this amount of UZR data is pretty useless in predictive value, Carlos Beltran ranks as the fourth worst center fielder in the entire league at -3.5 runs. Over the last three years, Beltran’s UZR have been 8.8, 1.2, and 5.3. Even if you think his skills have declined, he’s unlikely to keep up this pace, which would have him at nearly -12 over 150 games.

The Pirates are your new team UZR leaders at 17.5, ahead of the Rays (16.3), Reds (15.2), Rangers (15.2), and Brewers (14.5). Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, the Nationals (-18.3), Mets (-14.4), White Sox (-14.4), Red Sox (-12), and Orioles (-9) rate as the worst set of gloves in the league.

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Are these numbers already park adjusted? I ask because of Jason Bay’s ranking. He looks terrible in the field to me either way.

Fresh Hops
Fresh Hops

More than not being park adjusted, they’re subject to extreme fluctuations in limited samples. So, while it’s fun to look at these numbers every week, at this point, you should take them with a big grain of salt. As the post points out, there’s very little predictive value in these numbers so far. Most players will be closer to average (i.e. 0) at the end of the season than they are now.

David Appelman

UZR is park adjusted.

And Jason Bay since 2007 has always been considered awful by UZR whether in Boston or not.


It does seem remarkable that the Red Sox traded the old worst LFer in MLB for the new worst LFer in MLB.


How good is the park adjustment for CitiField and the new Yankee Stadium? Problems with the former might have something to do with Beltran’s low fielding numbers.