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Defense?


El Gordo

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I have given you my explaination for this and you have dismissed it, so I am not going to bother to reapeat it. For clarity, the wall I am refering to is the score board. As for Gibbon,. He is the only other RF that we have home away UZR splits for. While his numbers are a SSS in comparison to Nicks, they indicate thet he never had the same problem with OPACy that Nick as had. If Nick could play OPACY RF well in 2008, and equally to his away numbers in 2009, why do you suppose his 2010 splits would be an indication of park factors? If he compensated for them in 2008 why couldn't he compensate for them in 2010?

Gibbons has a worse RangeR at home over the course of his career in RF. Sosa had a significantly worse RangeR rate at home in 2005. Nick has a significantly worse RangeR at home.

Other players playing in outfield positions where there is a short, high-walled porch have shown a propensity for having an extreme home/away RangeR split. (Manny Ramirez and Carl Crawford.)

This is a non-trivial amount of evidence that there is something wrong with the way UZR handles park effects in stadiums with short porches and high walls. Since different players have different skill sets, it may have varying degrees of effect on an individual player. And, to be clear, I feel that Nick has average range (or maybe a tick below), above-average sure-handedness, and an above average arm. Nonetheless, this is evidence that there is a problem. The burden of proof is no longer on us to prove that our evidence is valid. The burden of proof is on you to prove that our evidence is invalid.

Thus far, your level of proof consists of, "I can't think of any possible way that UZR or FB could possibly be biased against these players." That isn't exactly convincing.

Just sayin'.

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But you consider him to be average to above average with the glove, correct? And because the defensive metrics show him to be below average,about about -4 RS total, a -10 for range and +6 for arm, give or take a RS, you have serious doubts about the accuracy of the systems and attribute those numbers to unexpalined park effects? Am I correct here? It sure seems to be an accurate picture of Nick's defense to me. You watch Hardy as frequently as you do Nick. Do you have a problems with how the metrics characterize him? It's too bad we don't have more position players who have played for several years, to compare with, and see if the metrics accurately reflect their play in accordance with what we see on the field. Andino is adjusting to 2B, Weiters is a C and the metrics are poor for that. Reimold has SSS problems in LF, and we have only seen Reynolds for one season at 3B and 1B.

The Tango fan poll is very close to my own opinion of Nick. http://www.tangotiger.net/scout/index6.php?prim_fld_cd=9

Reactions/instincts - 60

First few steps - 48

Sprint speed - 51

Hands/catching - 79

Release/footwork - 84

Throwing strength - 82

Throwing accuracy - 91

I think that's a pretty good picture of Nick as I see him, though I might rank his reactions/instincts a little lower and his arm a little better (on release/footwork and strength). Tango takes all that, averages it out, and Nick's overall grade of 66 ranks him 8th among all RFs in the game. Now, one possible anomoly I see in Tango's poll is how he weights the various factors. He doesn't use a straight arithmetic average (which would yield 71), but presumably he is weighting all factors pretty equally, and it could easily be the case that the "first few steps" and "sprint speed" categories are much more important that the arm categories and deserve more weight than he is giving them.

Overall, I see Nick's range as not noticeably above or below average, and I see his sure-handedness and arm as significantly above average, and to me, he plays an above average RF. I feel his biggest weakness (and the area where his performance has gotten worse over time) is on balls hit in front of him, and I feel he is better going towards the foul line than he is going towards the alley. But I almost never see him break the wrong way, bobble a ball that he picks up on a bounce, or not have his body in proper position to throw.

One of the reasons the OPACY UZR bothers me is that I see what happens when visiting players come to OPACY. I see the visitors make some very bothched plays out there, that Nick never makes. And it is just logical to me that when you are judging how an outfielder does in a particular ballpark, the proper basis for comparison is how other fielders do in that ballpark, not how other fielders do generally in all ballparks. It is also logical to me that, in general, a player playing the outfield in his home ballpark has an advantage over the visiting players, since he is far more familiar with the surroundings. I certainly feel that is true for Nick, in spades. If his UZR was always better at home than on the road, that would make a lot more sense to me than the reverse.

By the way, I have not heard back from Michael Lichtman.

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The Tango fan poll is very close to my own opinion of Nick. http://www.tangotiger.net/scout/index6.php?prim_fld_cd=9

Reactions/instincts - 60

First few steps - 48

Sprint speed - 51

Hands/catching - 79

Release/footwork - 84

Throwing strength - 82

Throwing accuracy - 91

I think that's a pretty good picture of Nick as I see him, though I might rank his reactions/instincts a little lower and his arm a little better (on release/footwork and strength). Tango takes all that, averages it out, and Nick's overall grade of 66 ranks him 8th among all RFs in the game. Now, one possible anomoly I see in Tango's poll is how he weights the various factors. He doesn't use a straight arithmetic average (which would yield 71), but presumably he is weighting all factors pretty equally, and it could easily be the case that the "first few steps" and "sprint speed" categories are much more important that the arm categories and deserve more weight than he is giving them.

Overall, I see Nick's range as not noticeably above or below average, and I see his sure-handedness and arm as significantly above average, and to me, he plays an above average RF. I feel his biggest weakness (and the area where his performance has gotten worse over time) is on balls hit in front of him, and I feel he is better going towards the foul line than he is going towards the alley. But I almost never see him break the wrong way, bobble a ball that he picks up on a bounce, or not have his body in proper position to throw.

One of the reasons the OPACY UZR bothers me is that I see what happens when visiting players come to OPACY. I see the visitors make some very bothched plays out there, that Nick never makes. And it is just logical to me that when you are judging how an outfielder does in a particular ballpark, the proper basis for comparison is how other fielders do in that ballpark, not how other fielders do generally in all ballparks. It is also logical to me that, in general, a player playing the outfield in his home ballpark has an advantage over the visiting players, since he is far more familiar with the surroundings. I certainly feel that is true for Nick, in spades. If his UZR was always better at home than on the road, that would make a lot more sense to me than the reverse.

By the way, I have not heard back from Michael Lichtman.

I'd love to respond, but the moderators have told me to give it a rest, so talk among yourselves.
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I don't know much about the numbers in question...I think UZR and the like are very useful tools but there are definitely problems with them. My view on Markakis in OPACY is that the wall is not his problem. I think he's below average on balls hit in front of him and also on balls hit up the alleys. His lateral movement is not that special. Now it could be that he's getting hammered by the system more at OPACY because he could be overcompensating for the wall, although one would think that with the wall there you could play a bit more shallow and cut off more singles hit in front of you. But Markakis doesn't do this well and this may be why he is worse at OPACY. Perhaps he is playing too deep? I have no idea, I'm just speculating.

But tonight watching the Brewers-Cardinals game, in the late innings (the seventh I think) Nyjer Morgan made a catch in right field on a ball hit down the line. He made it look practically routine but I don't think an average right fielder would have gotten to that ball. Markakis would not have reached it. Of course Morgan is a natural center fielder who had been moved to right for defensive purposes late in the game, but I think it's instructive nonetheless to see what a fielder with better range can reach. Balls that you see hit during the regular season that Markakis (or Jones) seem to come up just short on are balls that very well could be caught by other fielders in the league.

Thanks for the feedback. I can't say I disagree with anything you said.

The Niger Wilson analysis you summarized is exactly what the advanced fielding sytsems TRY and capture.... and provide in a statistical format. Instead of comparing Wilson to Nick, he's compared to every RF. The details/accuracy are another matter.

Essentially, the systems are saying Nick is making about 35-40 more plays in away parks than he would in his home park over the course of a single season. Some of us wonder if OPACY is a contributory factor.

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