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Mullins and DJ Stewart

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50 minutes ago, Philip said:

I love defense stats and I’m a big believer. But they take a long time to normalize, and the eye test is also meaningful.

That is true of defensive stats in general, but the newer advanced stats on Baseball Savant, which take into effect reaction times, distance, speed and routes based on where the player actually was positioned prior to when the ball was hit, would seem to take less time to normalize. Yeah, a guy can get lucky (or unlucky as he did the other night), but by and large he is making the catches he is supposed to make. 

I also see the shape of his body and his big dumb round face and assume he is going to be a goober out there, but the data simply isn't backing that up as of yet. Minor league scouts didn't think he was a butcher out there either. 

It does seem like when he messes up, he messes up in a really memorable way. But for now, I am going with the scouts and the data that suggest he is a serviceable corner outfielder.

Although, I think he is probably an inferior outfielder to Mountcastle, at least if Mountcastle gets more reps in left, as he seems more athletic than DJ and is much faster, so DJ's most likely role on next year's team is as a DH. But I do believe that DJ wouldn't kill you out there the way that say, Stevie Wilkerson would, who despite his great memorable catch and overall hustle, had terrible reaction times, a weak arm, and took bad routes.

 

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

I love defense stats and I’m a big believer. But they take a long time to normalize, and the eye test is also meaningful. Stewart is faster than he looks, but he does look clumsy, he doesn’t seem to follow the ball well, he appears to get late jumps, plays the ball poorly off the wall, and doesn’t seem to have a strong or accurate arm. His actual errors have been pretty egregious, but in addition to those, he doesn’t seem comfortable in right. It’s early days yet, and of course he needs time to work out the kinks, and the stats will normalize and be more accurate.

I don’t know which traits can be fixed with time and practice, and which traits are what they are( he’s certainly not going to get any faster, for instance) So I don’t know how much he can improve and in which areas, but for now, we have to hope he does improve.

Very good post.    Stewart is not new to the outfield like Mountcastle or previously Mancini, so I’m not that hopeful he’ll improve much In terms of baseline skill level.    But we do need to recognize that the sample size is small and we may have seen the worst Stewart has to offer defensively.    

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Regardless, neither MC nor Stewart should be in the OF. We have Santander in right, Hays/Mullins in LF/C or vice versa, and if those fragile children can’t stay on the field, THEN we can hold our noses and throw one of the other guys into the fray. When will Kjersted be ready?

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6 minutes ago, Philip said:

Regardless, neither MC nor Stewart should be in the OF. We have Santander in right, Hays/Mullins in LF/C or vice versa, and if those fragile children can’t stay on the field, THEN we can hold our noses and throw one of the other guys into the fray. When will Kjersted be ready?

Diaz should hopefully be up by the end of May, he is certainly superior to both defensively, although I have read he can make some head-scratching gaffes as well.

McKenna is probably superior to all of them right now, but who knows whether he will ever hit well enough to be a regular player (similar question for Mullins, really).

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51 minutes ago, MurphDogg said:

Diaz should hopefully be up by the end of May, he is certainly superior to both defensively, although I have read he can make some head-scratching gaffes as well.

McKenna is probably superior to all of them right now, but who knows whether he will ever hit well enough to be a regular player (similar question for Mullins, really).

I agree. Was hoping to see McKenna this season.

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Yea maybe it's just the games I've watched, but Stewart always seems to misplay a ball or take an awkward angle or something...

I see he has a negative dWAR again this season, but it's not as bad as last year's.

 

I don't know, I'm not super high on Stewart long term. Homers aside, he's got a .208 average and is averaging an error every nine games or so... I know its a small sample size, but I think Mullins could be a more useful longterm piece with his superior defensive skills, speed, and versatility.  He could be the perfect 4th outfielder who gets into almost every game as a pinch runner, defensive replacement, situational hitter...

(Also, as long as were talking small sample sizes, Stewart is 1 for his last 16 with 11 strikeouts.)

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2 hours ago, TommyPickles said:

Yea maybe it's just the games I've watched, but Stewart always seems to misplay a ball or take an awkward angle or something...

I see he has a negative dWAR again this season, but it's not as bad as last year's.

You should understand that an average LF will have a negative dWAR, because dWAR contains a component for whether the portion you play is of above average or below average difficulty.   A perfect example is Juan Soto, who played 150 games in LF for the Nats last year.    His positional adjustment (Rpos) for LF was -6, and his own fielding (Rfield) was worth 0 (average), resulting in dWAR of -0.7.     For Stewart this year his positional adjustment is -1 and his fielding component is 0.     So by that particular metric, he has been an average corner OF defensively.   Not that I agree with that.

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