…and now I understand why. Not sure if anyone out there follows baseball, but Dan Brown (writing at Extra Baggs) has a pretty cool post up about a better way to quantify a player’s contribution to the team while in the field. Instead of using fielding percentage, which is a simple plays made/opportunities ratio, John Dewan (bigtime baseball stathead) and crew
quantify every play from every game using [sic]. They measure such things as which players cover the most range and which catchers block the most balls in the dirt. They look at which outfielders prevent the most runners from taking the extra base — and not just by the flawed “assists” category.
The main stat that this analysis spits out involves how many runs that player allowed or saved (in a plus/minus ratio, I guess based against the league average), which can then be added or subtracted to how many runs that player contributed on offense (aka RBI) to give a nice round number that is a pretty good assessment of a player’s value for the team.
To make his point, Brown throws out a few Giants-relevant figures. First, to take down the fielding percentage category:
Willie Mays had a lifetime fielding percentage of .981.
Marvin Benard had a lifetime fielding percentage of .986.
Ouch. Consider it taken down. Then some interesting Giants total contribution stuff:
But it doesn’t look good according to statistical projections. Dewan said Renteria is projected to create about 79 runs on offense this year, while rating about minus-5 defensively. That’s a total of 74.
Vizquel will create about 55 runs on offense this year, while rating a plus-10 defensively. That’s a total of 65.
Renteria got a $2 million signing bonus and will make $7 million this season; Vizquel is on a minor-league contract and will make $1 million if he makes the Rangers roster.
Et cetera. Check it out!