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Fielding Metrics under fire

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Fielding Metrics under fire

Postby PinotResa » Thu May 25, 2006 4:40 pm

I don't think this article was discussed. I'm wondering if it's in regards to UZR and if not, if anyone has any background on this system and it's originator..


Field Studies
Author's Formula for Measuring a Player's Defensive Ability Is Up for Debate

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 14, 2006; Page E09

Any good baseball argument invokes the use of statistics, whether to compare the relative merits of two players or the worthiness of an aspiring Hall of Famer. But while 20-win or 30-home run seasons are clear benchmarks for pitchers or hitters, no such equivalent exists for defensive ability.

Are such skills measurable? Author John Dewan has come closer than anyone else to quantifying defense in his book "The Fielding Bible," but some skeptics suggest Dewan -- with an assist from noted stats guru Bill James, Dewan's business partner and friend -- has just tried to do something that can't be done.

...

Baseball Info Solutions, employs "video scouts" who review every major league game, charting every batted ball and recording its direction, location, speed, type (line drive, fly ball, etc.) and result. Given any combination of those factors, a computer can spit out how frequently such a play is made by the average major leaguer at that position.

"For example," Dewan said, "vector 17 extends from home plate to a spot between shortstop and third base. On a softly hit ball to that location, the average shortstop makes that play 26 percent of the time."


Rest of Article.
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Re: Fielding Metrics under fire

Postby j_d_mcnugent » Thu May 25, 2006 4:42 pm

i wont say it cant be done, but so far i am not really too impressed by defensive stats. i appreciate what they are trying to do though.
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Postby RynMan » Thu May 25, 2006 6:24 pm

The technology and framework are there - it's just a matter of time.
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Postby swyck » Fri May 26, 2006 8:53 am

Lol. Of course it can be quantified, its just extremely complex. No surprise that the baseball intelligentsia is against it, since they're against pretty much anything that needs a computer to calculate, or more toes then fingers.

To me these statements say it all about the non believers:
20-win or 30-home run seasons are clear benchmarks for pitchers or hitters

if you study [the players] yourself, you can have a better feel for those things than any numbers can tell you

Ah, yes. That gut feeling again. I'm sure Charlie Manuel would agree. :-b
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Postby Nerfherders » Fri May 26, 2006 12:31 pm

I would love to see this developed for fantasy. a plus-minus system would be perfect for a defense stat.

I think every SABR-head has known that Jeter is not a good defensive shortstop. It's just that when you see him, you dont see it because he does usually make the play on the ball he can get to. Thats the mystery of defense. A ball not reached is a hit, not an error, and one tends to concede those hits to the hitter and not the defender. On the other hand if you have a player reaching alot of balls but then botching the throws you think the guy sucks.

There's also alot of little things that just can't be accounted for, like missing the cutoff man and allowing a runner to get to second. Or a dive for a grounder that bounces off the glove but keeps the ball in the infield. A hit but a hit that doesnt lead to a score. nothing much you can do to quantify plays like that.

Somewhere along the line I think defense is going to have to be broken down between fielding (catching batted balls) and throwing (assisting or catching assists). Those are two very distinct skills and should be evaluated separately if possible.
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