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John Dewan: Wieters is the favorite for the Fielding Bible/Gold Glove awards


Frobby

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Catchers: Last year marked the first time ever that a player was chosen unanimously as a Fielding Bible Award winner when the voters all selected Yadier Molina as the top defensive catcher in the majors. He also won the NL Gold Glove Award. It was his fourth consecutive Fielding Bible Award and third consecutive NL Gold Glove. That's quite a reign of dominance. However, in my book, Yadier has slipped. Here are the key factors:

He has his lowest percentage of runners caught stealing (25%) and the most stolen bases allowed (44) in his career. Both pedestrian numbers for catchers.

He only has two catcher pick-offs this year after averaging six per year in his career.

The ERA of pitchers he has caught this year is 3.97 compared to his backup catcher’s Catcher ERA of 3.57 (Gerald Laird). That’s 40 points worse. Through a complicated formula taking into account the quality of the pitchers they caught, this leads to an estimate of five runs that Molina has cost the Cardinals this year as a result of his pitcher handling. For comparison purposes, Matt Wieters has allowed an ERA 40 points better than his backup Craig Tatum (4.62 vs. 5.03).

Combined, these factors lead to an estimated four runs that Yadier has cost the Cardinals this year (-4 Runs Saved).

Based on what I’ve researched thus far, Matt Wieters with nine Runs Saved and a 34% caught stealing percentage, among other things, is the choice.

Favorite Other Contenders

Fielding Bible Award: Matt Wieters (9) Chris Iannetta (6) Miguel Montero (6)

AL Gold Glove: Matt Wieters (9) Jeff Mathis (4) Joe Mauer (1)

NL Gold Glove: Chris Iannetta (6) Miguel Montero (6) Yadier Molina (-4)

*Data through games of Thursday, 9/15/11

http://www.billjamesonline.com/who_are_the_fielding_bible_award_gold_glove_contenders_part_i/

Dewan does not mention Hardy, Jones or Markakis at their respective positions.

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The Fielding Bible has ripped Jeter a new one, more than once, and, despite that, he still has five Gold Glove awards on his mantle.

Frankly, I'd be happier if Wieters won the Fielding Bible Award than if he won the Gold Glove. The FB award includes 9 knowledgeable voters (Dewan, Bill James, etc.), plus the Tango fan poll.

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I think the comparison to the back up C is significat here. Plus they seem to have a formula for taking into account the quality of the pitching staff.

Ehh, that's the basis of CERA, so I don't know how significant it is. Anyways, it's apparently too "complicated" for us peons to understand and therfore a secret formula. Hopefully it involves comparing real skills like framing, holding runners, preventing WP/PB's and other tangible skills rather than the pitch calling ability nonsense.

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Ehh, that's the basis of CERA, so I don't know how significant it is. Anyways, it's apparently too "complicated" for us peons to understand and therfore a secret formula. Hopefully it involves comparing real skills like framing, holding runners, preventing WP/PB's and other tangible skills rather than the pitch calling ability nonsense.

Using CERA as a relevant factor seems highly questionable, but there is so much else in Wieters' favor that it shouldn't matter whether CERA is considered or not.

There was a very interesting study done recently regarding framining pitches, in which Wieters came out slightly above average but there were others well above him. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093 I doubt that factors in to whatever Dewan did here.

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Using CERA as a relevant factor seems highly questionable, but there is so much else in Wieters' favor that it shouldn't matter whether CERA is considered or not.

There was a very interesting study done recently regarding framining pitches, in which Wieters came out slightly above average but there were others well above him. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093 I doubt that factors in to whatever Dewan did here.

Why would CERA be highly questionable as a relevant factor? From my perspective, it is the only relevant factor and things like framing pitches are of secondary importance.

It seems to me that the ultimate defensive metric for any position is the expected number of runs scored by the opposition when the player is on the field compared to when an alternative player is playing. I understand it may be difficult to estimate that directly, but that's no reason to give up the ghost. In addition, if the difference in expected runs scored is not significant, that is not an indictment of the method, but rather an indictment of the defensive influence of the position.

Maybe if have time later in the offseason I can make a more quantitative contribution.

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Why would CERA be highly questionable as a relevant factor? From my perspective, it is the only relevant factor and things like framing pitches are of secondary importance.

It seems to me that the ultimate defensive metric for any position is the expected number of runs scored by the opposition when the player is on the field compared to when an alternative player is playing. I understand it may be difficult to estimate that directly, but that's no reason to give up the ghost. In addition, if the difference in expected runs scored is not significant, that is not an indictment of the method, but rather an indictment of the defensive influence of the position.

Maybe if have time later in the offseason I can make a more quantitative contribution.

There have been a number of studies done that conclude that there is a ton of "noise" in CERA. Here's a good article discussing it: http://bb_catchers.tripod.com/catchers/cera1.htm

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Why would CERA be highly questionable as a relevant factor? From my perspective, it is the only relevant factor and things like framing pitches are of secondary importance.

Short answer. You need to know if any performance differential is based on quantifiable skills or not.

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Using CERA as a relevant factor seems highly questionable, but there is so much else in Wieters' favor that it shouldn't matter whether CERA is considered or not.

There was a very interesting study done recently regarding framining pitches, in which Wieters came out slightly above average but there were others well above him. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093 I doubt that factors in to whatever Dewan did here.

Yeah, Dewan and his crew aren't dummies. I'm sure they put something intelligent together here. But getting back to your point about transparency, I'd like to see a lot more detailed information about how they do a lot of this stuff.

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