Sunday, December 7, 2008

UZR on Fangraphs

Ultimate Zone Rating, a defensive metric similar to Probablistic Model of Range, but which hasn't been publicly available (as far as I know) since 2004 is now available at the excellent stats-oriented site

Click here for a briefer on it, and you can start clicking through Nationals player pages to see who looks good (Willie Harris, Ryan Zimmerman) and not so good (Josh Willingham, Lastings Milledge, Cristian Guzman, Ron Belliard). Probably the best summary stat is UZR/150, which tells you the number of runs above and below average that the player is worth over 150 games. In your head, you can translate about every 8 runs into an additional win or loss.


Will said...

Doesn't this basically kill any argument against why Willie Harris shouldn't start next year?
Do you see that UZR in LF?! 34.8 (34.1 in OF in general). Even if Harris' bat reverts to his career average, he's still more valuable than every Nationals outfielder except Dukes.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the most SABR-friendly OF for the Nats would be Harris, Dukes, Kearns (assuming Kearn's batting disaster last year was a fluke).
They're all above average fielders, which make up for their offensive deficiencies (Dukes excluded).
Harris' defensive ability alone is more valuable than Milledge (2.7 WARP) and Willingham (3.2 WARP). Anything he does with the bat is just an added bonus.

Steven said...

I'm a little skeptical of extreme outlier results in these defensive metrics, but generally I agree with you. I've been meaning to put together a post on this.

Will said...

I agree. Fielding statistics are known to be inconsistent. However, Harris was very good defensively in 2007, 20.5 UZR/150 in more 37 more innings than 2008.
He also posted similar offensive stats from 2007 to 2008.
.270 AVG -> .251 AVG (largely because his BABIP declined from .324 to a more manageable .274)
.349 OPB -> .344 OBP
.741 OPS -> .761 OPS

Harris doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's only 30 and very versatile, capable of playing LF, CF, 2B, 3B and even RF and SS in a pinch.
Hopefully, JimBo and Manny see his value. Acta recently name dropped pitch f/x, so I'm sure he's seen most of these defensive metrics.

I look forward to the future post.

Will said...

According to UZR, the Nats were very good defensively last year. Thanks to Sky at Beyond the Box Score, here are the team totals:
Rays 61.9
Red Sox 55
Phillies 48.3
Nationals 35.7
Cardinals 32.1
Astros 30.8
Athletics 27
Giants 24.4
Brewers 19
Royals 19
Blue Jays 16.5
Mets 15
Cubs 13.9
Indians 8.9
Orioles 3.4
Marlins -0.8
Padres -6.4
Braves -6.4
Angels -10.3
Pirates -11.1
Reds -15.7
White Sox -17.9
Twins -20.7
Mariners -25.7
Diamondbacks -28.8
Dodgers -29
Yankees -35.1
Rangers -35.5
Tigers -40
- – - -58.5
Rockies -71.1

This does not include catchers or pitchers defense, but that would only marginally decrease the Nats overall score.

I'm not sure what to make of this.

Steven said...

me neither.