Defensive Players of the Year

Using a zone-based system, here are the best and worst players at each position (the number next to the player’s name is runs above/below average):
First Base
Best:
Todd Helton +9
Darin Erstad +6
Eric Hinske +6
Mark Teixeira +6
Phil Nevin +6
Worst:
Richie Sexson -12
Carlos Delgado -7
Rafael Palmeiro -6
Matt Lecroy -6
Jason Giambi -5
Second Base
Best:
Mark Grudzielanek +16
Placido Polanco +11
Chase Utley +11
Damian Jackson +10
Craig Counsell +10
Worst:
Bret Boone -18
Jorge Cantu -11
Omar Infante -8
Damion Easley -8
Kaz Matsui -8
Third Base
Best:
Dustin McPherson +12
Joe Crede +10
Scott Rolen +9
Melvin Mora +8
Sean Burroughs +7
Worst:
Alex Rodriuez -15
Jorge Cantu -15 (this guy is something, eh?)
Mark Teahan -13
David Wright -9
Ty Wiggington -7
Shortstop
Best:
Jack Wilson +16
Omar Vizquel +11
Alex Gonzales (FLA) +9
Rafael Furcal +9
Neifi Perez +7
Worst:
Jose Reyes -14
Royce Clayton -14
David Eckstein -12
Russ Adams -10
Desi Relaford -8
Left Field
Best:
Rondell White +7
Carl Crawford +6
Todd Hollandsworth +6
Reed Johnson +5
Brian Jordan +5 (what the?…)
Worst:
Manny Ramirez -12
Miguel Cabrera -8
Reggie Sanders -7
Frank Catalanotto -5
Jason Dubois -5
Center Field
Best:
Jeremy Reed +13
Grady Sizemore +11
David DeJesus +10
Aaron Rowand +8
Vernon Wells +7
Worst:
Ken Griffey -10
Jose Cruz -10
Willy Taveras -8
Mark Kotsay -6 (a huge surprise…maybe Beane should have traded him)
Juan Pierre -5
Right Field
Best:
J.D. Drew +6
Jeromy Burnitz +6
Casey Blake +5
Shawn Green +5
Jose Guillen +4
Worst:
Bobby Abreu -7
Brad Hawpe -6
Jason Lane -5
Matt Lawton -4
Larry Walker -4
Hope this list is helpful to those trying to understand whose been playing good defense this season, and who hasn’t. I’ll provide a more complete list at the end of the season.

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4 Responses to Defensive Players of the Year

  1. Evan says:

    Some surprising picks here. Kotsay, A-Rod, etc. No Renteria? Would like to hear more about this system.

  2. David says:

    It’s a zone-based system: zone rating turned into runs. For the record, Renteria is at -6. A-Rod is definitely a shocker, given that he’s been one of the best for so many years. Maybe after his subpar offensive showing last year, he’s concentrated on hitting this year, while forgetting about defense?

  3. Evan says:

    I would have to think that is the case.
    FWIW I know what ZR is, but I would like to know a bit more about this specific system. Is it just a normal statistic out there, or have you made tweaks to it?

  4. David says:

    It’s a little bit of both. ESPN provides zone rating on its website, which is where I get it from. I calculate the average zone rating for each position, which is how I get the +/- numbers. I find how far above or below average player is in terms of zone rating, multiply that by the number of innings he’s played, by the average run value of a play at his position, and by the average number of balls in play a player gets at his position. Hope that explains it better.

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