Jump to content

Adam Jones is amongst the worst defensive outfielders this year


Enjoy Terror

Recommended Posts

Where does Jones rank among CFs if you were to combine defense and offense? I would think high but do not know where to look. I would think Ellsbury is the only one who ranks higher in the AL.

Fangraphs CF 2011 WAR:

Andrew McCutchen 5.1

Jacoby Ellsbury 4.8

Curtis Granderson 4.7

Matt Kemp 4.4

Shane Victorino 4.4

Michael Bourn 3.2

Chris Young 3

Melky Cabrera 3

Peter Bourjos 2.4

Cameron Maybin 2.3

Carlos Gonzalez 2.2

Drew Stubbs 2

Coco Crisp 1.7

Michael Brantley 1.6

Colby Rasmus 1.6

B.J. Upton 1.5

Adam Jones 1.4

Austin Jackson 0.9

Corey Patterson 0.9

Chris Coghlan 0.1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 91
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Where does Jones rank among CFs if you were to combine defense and offense? I would think high but do not know where to look. I would think Ellsbury is the only one who ranks higher in the AL.
Look on Fangraphs; leaders.They have him 8th overall among the 11 AL CF who qualify. He is 3rd with the bat, 10th with the glove
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one is saying that Jones doesn't have issues or he is elite or anything - but worst? I mean really? And its not just worst - but worst by a fairly wide margin. When stats and general perception are THAT far off it makes you wonder.

It raises eyebrows, yes. But we know from prior eras where offensive numbers were much more primitive that public perceptions can often be way out of line with detailed analysis. Just look at the HOF and award voting prior to the publication of the 1969 MacMillian Baseball Encyclopedia. Just going on reputation and observation they put Rabbit Maranville in years before Sam Crawford. Johnny Bassler (1 career homer, peak 2.8 WAR) used to get more MVP votes than Harry Heilmann (as many as 9.8 WAR).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jones is not perceived by anyone to be anything worse than average and by most to be above average. No one is saying that Jones doesn't have issues or he is elite or anything - but worst? I mean really? And its not just worst - but worst by a fairly wide margin. When stats and general perception are THAT far off it makes you wonder.

I'm still not sure you're able put the graph in the OP out of your mind and separate the fact that we're really talking about Jones being compared to other centerfielders around the league and not all outfielders. It's really not hard at all to consider he is worse than most other centerfielders, especially when we're talking primarily about range.

Again, this years UZR/range rate is far worse than his norm. That alone is nothing to be fixated on at this point. A half a year of UZR stats is roughly the equivalent of 40days worth of offensives stats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that I'm kind of curious about is whether UZR and +/- take into account the actual outcome of the play, or whether they take an aggregated result (e.g. hits in x zone result in y runs.) If it uses the actual outcome, and computes an aggregated RE based on that, then plays such as Adam Jones giving up an inside the parker on that ridiculous duck hook liner that Longoria hit would result in a significant (relatively speaking) portion of Jones' negative UZR value. An eyeball calculation says that balls in that zone would have been a wash (some catches, some singles) and Jones allowed a HR on it, resulting in 1.4 runs. That 1.4 runs is about 8% of Jones' total, and it accounts for about 0.2% of Jones' defensive touches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best understanding is they give a value to a play made in a given zone, based on the % of times it has been coverted into an out for all players of that particular position. But they do adjust for position, I believe, so that a ball a 3B gets to down the line, is worth more in preventing a double than a ball he gets to in the hole, preventing a single.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best understanding is they give a value to a play made in a given zone, based on the % of times it has been coverted into an out for all players of that particular position. But they do adjust for position, I believe, so that a ball a 3B gets to down the line, is worth more in preventing a double than a ball he gets to in the hole, preventing a single.

What you're describing sounds like them taking an aggregated result based on all hits falling in that particular zone. So in the scenario I mentioned Jones gets penalized for the .5 or so runs that a single is worth, not the 1.4 runs a HR is worth. In this scenario a defender would not get the benefit of holding a runner to a single because he cut the ball off before it reached the wall, but it would normalize the values a little bit better.

Regardless this still clearly shows why fielding values are difficult to use: a very small variance in plays made/plays missed will result in a (comparatively) wild swing in runs saved/runs given up. Even if Jones only gets penalized for a single, that's still .5 runs negative. At Jones' current fielding values, .5 runs is 2.5% of his total negative score, for a single play, which is maybe 0.5% of the total chances he has. As you get closer to the average, this small proportion of plays makes up a large proportion of the player's +/- score.

Just to be clear, I think Jones is a below average center fielder, but I don't think he is bad enough that he should be moved unless we get a great CFer in a package.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that I'm kind of curious about is whether UZR and +/- take into account the actual outcome of the play, or whether they take an aggregated result (e.g. hits in x zone result in y runs.) .

Pretty sure the answer to that is no. Though I did see DSR/Fielding Bible did add a HR saved category though. That might separate them more from UZR in some circumstances where you have a guy saving a few Homeruns. Not sure how it's scored though. That's Bill James and he thinks a little bit differently than some others. UZR is probably going to more statistically pure.

What they do is vary the value of a saved hit based on where it is made based on zone (and probably other factors as well). Example if a ss makes a great play on the outer edge of his zone or even OOZ he gets more points than a play that required less lateral movement from an assumed starting position. I would guess a third baseman may get more points for saving a ball down the line (saving a double) than in the hole. I would assume this to be true for outfielders as well (i.e. a gap play likely preventing a double is more valuable than a bloop etc). In this way, they probably do a decent job of capturing your outcome concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fangraphs has an article up today on Andrew McCutchen.

Thought it may have some relevance to the Adam Jones conversation about defense. McCutchen it seems has drastically improved his UZR this season, with the speculation that improved positioning has had a direct causal effect. McCutchen's 2010 UZR of -13.7 was far worse than anything Jones has done.

Does this give us hope for Jones?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fangraphs CF 2011 WAR:

Andrew McCutchen 5.1

Jacoby Ellsbury 4.8

Curtis Granderson 4.7

Matt Kemp 4.4

Shane Victorino 4.4

Michael Bourn 3.2

Chris Young 3

Melky Cabrera 3

Peter Bourjos 2.4

Cameron Maybin 2.3

Carlos Gonzalez 2.2

Drew Stubbs 2

Coco Crisp 1.7

Michael Brantley 1.6

Colby Rasmus 1.6

B.J. Upton 1.5

Adam Jones 1.4

Austin Jackson 0.9

Corey Patterson 0.9

Chris Coghlan 0.1

So taking this list as context, how much should Jones be paid?

Even in today's saber environment, players still get paid primarily for their offensive numbers. Relatively-speaking, Jones will likely be overpaid for the WAR that he provides unless his defense drastically improves. Guys like Bourjos and Maybin who are valued for defense (if were in same service time state as Jones) would likely get less than Adam b/c they don't have as gaudy offensive stats.

Would rather see Adam be offered a $7-8M per deal than a $10M/yr deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fangraphs has an article up today on Andrew McCutchen.

Thought it may have some relevance to the Adam Jones conversation about defense. McCutchen it seems has drastically improved his UZR this season, with the speculation that improved positioning has had a direct causal effect. McCutchen's 2010 UZR of -13.7 was far worse than anything Jones has done.

Does this give us hope for Jones?

Yeah, at least part of the problem is postioning imo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am far from an expert in any of these stats' date=' but I would word this slightly differently to answer other posters' questions about who determines what an average centerfielder is.

When a ball is hit into a particular zone, the UZR algorithm looks at what happened with every other ball that went to that zone. If there were 1,000 balls hit to that spot, and 600 were caught by the centerfielder, then you can say that the average CF makes that catch 6 out of 10 times. So if a guy makes that catch, he gets credit for 0.4 plays above average, and if he doesn't, he gets 0.6 plays below average. (This is my understanding; those more knowlegeable can correct me if I have something wrong).

So there's nobody out there that is defining "average centerfielder" and deciding on his own whether catches "should" be made. Adding up the data across all of baseball tells you how often plays are made in each zone, and does the work of defining "average" for us.

PS: CA-ORIOLE probably already knows this stuff better than I do; I just think people were confused by his use of "average centerfielder" in his example.[/quote']

This is very helpful, thank you. My question is this: is a "zone" simply a certain area of the field, or is it an area of the field relative to where the player was positioned at the start of the play? Thus, could a player be better or worse according to UZR simply by his choice of positioning?

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is this: is a "zone" simply a certain area of the field, or is it an area of the field relative to where the player was positioned at the start of the play? Thus, could a player be better or worse according to UZR simply by his choice of positioning?

Zones (subzones) are areas in the field. Postioning is neutral (center of zone) at start of play. Theoretically, postioning would impact performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Posnanski's blog:

I think that the next big defensive cat-fight will be over Adam Jones. As you probably know, the defensive cat-fight the last few years has been over Derek Jeter — with some people whipping up numbers that show him to be a dreadful shortstop and others throwing Gold Gloves at him the way women used to throw underwear at Tom Jones. And there was a mini-fight over Torii Hunter, who was beloved by the eye but not so much by the stats.

Now, we have Adam Jones. I spent the other day at the MLB Fan Cave where two guys are watching every single baseball game all year. They seem like good guys. And they LOVE Adam Jones. I mean that with all capital letters. They believe him to be the “best looking young center fielder since Ken Griffey” and “probably the best defensive center fielder in the American League.” And, as mentioned, they watch every game.

The stats tell a very different story. Jones’ defensive WAR this year is -2.1 (Baseball Reference). His Ultimate Zone Rating is minus-10.1 (Fangraphs … and it has been negative for three years). His Dewan Plus/Minus says that this year he has made 20 fewer plays — TWENTY — than the average center fielder, which is 35th in baseball, an astonishing feat since there are only 30 teams. Obviously, defensive stats are not black and white, and there’s a small sample size going with his defensive WAR, and so on. Still, they point in the direction of “lousy.” And, in this case, there are a couple of scouts I have talked with who agree (though they say it’s about his “instincts.”).

I don’t want to take sides in the matter … it’s bad enough being an Orioles fan these days without having one of your few positive vibes shattered by bloodless and vaguely incomprehensible stats. But the conflict is worth watching. Interesting side note: In the very game we saw together, Jones made one running catch and had another ball go over his head. In the narrative of the Adam Jones’ lover, the first was a great play and the second was an impossible catch anyway. But it’s not out of the question that in reality the first play was made harder than necessary by a bad route and that he should have caught the second. Defensive quality is not easy to lasso.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...