Pogotheostrich wrote:I haven't done any research so this is just off the top of my head but I would think fielding fluctuates more because of the randomness of the opportunities. Even if FG is the best defensive CF in baseball how much more territory does he cover than the average CF? And won't the number of balls hit into that territory vary wildly from season to season?
Yeah there's fluctuation in fielding due to the chances, specifically the "fringe" chances (I'm referring to the chances that maybe a great CF gets to but a mediocre one doesn't, which really show up and help a fielder prove their value). And it's going to be impacted by how good the fielders are around them and the tendencies of the pitching staff. Sure.
But you're not going to rely on one single number when you do projections. You're going to look at the past several years, and look at how a player has been trending, and all that. And if you think Gutierrez is a +20 CF (+/-5; he was +31 last year) and Cabrera is an average 1B (+/-5), that's a two win advantage. Then you factor in position, which is another 1.5 wins for Gutierrez, because it's easier to find an average 1B than it is an average CF. Now you just have to determine if Cabrera is 35 runs better than Franklin with the bat. Franklin was +7 last year (this year he's already matched that in 60 games since he's learned to walk), which means MCab would have to be +42 with the bat to be the guy you'd rather have. If you look at his past five years, he's averaged right around +40, beating +42 twice. I'd say it's basically a toss up.
And while MCab is winning the WAR battle right now, I don't think MCab is going to keep hitting quite as well as he has (although this just might be his career year) and I think Gutierrez's UZR is a bit low (Gutierrez would actually jump ahead of MCab if you used defensive runs saved from the Fielding Bible instead of UZR
). But time will tell.
lastingsgriller wrote:I think this argument is settled year after year in the playoffs.. After many years of being a twins fan it just hurts to have it proven to you year after year that no matter how good your defense is, it will be beaten by a better offense.
The Twins had Torii in center field and johan in his prime pitching to go with many other extremely good pitchers and fielders and over and over again the Yankees have made us look like children playing a man's game.
The fact that you think Torii Hunter is good defensively is enough to tell me that you still have a lot to learn. FYI, the Twins were one of the very worst defensive teams in baseball last year. And the fact that they lost to the Yankees is proof of absolutely nothing except that the team with better players won that specific short series. I mean you only have to go all the way back to 2008 to see the top two defensive teams in a given year make the World Series (Rays and Phillies). In fact the Rays laughingstock-to-contender turnaround (which last I checked was still going strong) was due in large part to fixing the defense (Upton from 2B to CF, Delmon gone, Harris gone, Bartlett in, Longoria in at 3B).