Making sense of defensive metrics: 2013 season player card ratings review
If you have been following this blog you have read some of the previous posts on how the defensive range ratings are determined for DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant. Defensive range, Throwing arms and Catchers handling of pitchers are some of the player ratings that are done manually and require an interpretation of the defensive metrics to assign the rating. So let’s look at a few examples from the 2013 season player cards: Adam Jones on the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scales for both Range Factor/9 innings and John Dewan Fielding Bible plus/minus scales out at D/D and his UZR also was below average. There is a strong correlation among the defensive metrics to assign Jones a D range rating if you took a strict Sabermetric camp approach. NOTE: the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scale for plus/minus is based on data since 2000. What about the eye test from scouting reports? Gold Glove voters decided Jones was good enough all around defensively to be awarded a Gold Glove. Keep in mind that Defensive Range is not the only component of a Gold Glove vote, there is also Fielding Percentage and Throwing Arm. DYNASTY League Baseball uses scouting reports from a number of sources including charting MLB Networks 100 best defensive plays of 2013. One of the better sources of scouting reports is the Tango Tiger poll which grades tools on a scale from 0-100. Jones scored a “45” for his reactions and instincts, “65” Acceleration first few steps, “72” Velocity sprint speed, and “52” Hands catching. This was one of the tougher ratings of the 2013 season to assign, but in keeping with the balanced approach I take between Sabermetrics and Scouting evaluations where each group of data and observations should be taken into consideration I bumped Jones rating to a C+ given the above average ratings from the Tango Tiger poll. The MLB Managers and Coaches that vote on the Gold Glove take quite a bit of criticism for some of their selections, but I think it might be too extreme to totally discount their observations. In the end, I felt the Sabermetric defensive metrics and Gold Glove voters were at opposites ends of a very polarized view of Adam Jones range rating and that Adam Jones “real” range lies closer to the mid ground that the Tango Tiger poll ratings reflect. Jones throwing arm rating was much easier to assign with a very good Hold % and Kill% (6 kills total) metrics and Tango Tiger poll ratings for strength “77” and accuracy “58”. Adam Jones 2013: C+ Range/90 Error/-1 Throwing. NOTE: If you are new to DYNASTY League Baseball Throwing ratings are based on a scale of -4 to +4 with a -4 rating representing a “Clemente” type arm. The Official DYNASTY League Baseball rulebook details the rating scales on page 3 and can be found once you log in at http://www.dynastylea guebaseball.com/UserMain.aspx Emerging on the defensive spectrum of stars in 2013 were three young players of note: Andrelton Simmons age 24 (A+/85/-5), Nolan Arenado age 23 (A+/90) and Manny Machado age 21 (A+/90). It is rare air for three young players to receive “A+” range ratings which are reserved for historically great performances, but in all three cases they were well deserved. Arenado (+27), Machado (+36) and Simmons (+37) turned in historically great performances on the DYNASTY League Baseball Fielding Bible +/- scale. Not only that, but with their great range they also have terrific fielding percentages and had 85, 90 and 90 Error ratings. Frequently you see young players with excellent range, but many times it comes with a lower fielding percentage – not the case with these three defensive stars.Z Then there is the flip side. Who were some of the players with the poorest range? How about Jed Lowrie (ss: D/50)? Lowrie had a +/- of (-17), UZR/150 (-9.2) and RF/9 (3.56). A stunningly poor performance with all three defensive metrics in strong agreement. What about the scouting reports? Tango Tiger had Lowrie with ratings of 35/27/38. This is the kind of agreement between the defensive metrics and scouting reports that you love to see. Then there is Shin Soo Choo (cf: D/80/0). Choo finished last among regular CF with a (-16) plus/minus AND UZR/150 (-17.0) to go along with a 2.41 RF/9 that just barely made it into the “C” DYNASTY League Baseball historical range factor scale. The scouting reports from Tango Tiger were in agreement with the defensive metrics (33/40/54). The Molina brothers, Yadier and Jose, were once again among the best “pitch framing” catchers scoring RAA (Runs Above Average) of 19.8 and 19.3 respectively. Those scores were two of the top pitch framing scores in all of MLB earning both Yadier and Jose “A” ratings for catcher handling of pitchers. Here are the average Range and Fielding ratings by position for the 2013 season: Since range is text, the following numbers were assigned: A+ 1 A 2 B+ 3 B 4 C+ 5 C 6 D 7 F 8 Range Error 1B 5.45 72.29 2B 5.12 71.90 SS 5.04 71.27 3B 4.98 70.64 LF 5.20 70.25 CF 4.26 76.34 RF 4.70 68.38 DYNASTY League Baseball Online allows you to play in Private Draft leagues as well as play solitaire “Series”. The DYNASTY League Baseball original Board Game version and new 2013 season player cards are available at the Ticket Window.