December 16, 2005
Bubba Can Really Chase It Down
David Gassko of The Hardball Times recently came up with a way to measure a player's range in the field. It's called Runs Above Average - or "RAA" for short.
And, anyone who bought a copy of The Hardball Times Annual 2006 also gets online access to 2005 RAA stats for everyone who played last season.
So, I decided to use this data to look at those who played at least 100 innings in CF last year to see who had the best range.
When you look at RAA on a "Per 150 Games" ratio, Bubba Crosby was by far the leader of the pack. Here's all the leaders, min. 100 innings, per 150 games, in CF RAA last year:
If you're interested in how "other" Yankees centerfielders did in this stat last year, here they are:
Cabrera, M -93.6
Womack, T -41.1
Matsui, H -38.4
Williams, B -20.6
And, no, those are not dashes - they're negative numbers.
If the Yankees really just want a guy to catch the ball in CF during 2006, Bubba is not a bad choice - in fact, he's a great choice. Just be sure to tell the LF and the RF to get out of his way.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 16, 2005 03:34 PM
Too small a sample size to jump to any broad conclusions, but it is further evidence that he's a viable option, if he can keep above the Mendoza line at the plate. I'm perfectly happy leaving him out there, but we still need a backup OF.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at December 16, 2005 04:38 PM
Does RAA equate to actual runs? I wrote something recently about the same thing (it'll be posted on the front page of www.nyyankeeboards.com tomorrow... but you beat me to it).
Let's say that it was really a small sample size and Bubba isn't worth 100 runs... but he is definately an excellent centerfielder. Let's say he saves 50 runs.
He'll create probably -15 runs. That is still +35 runs. Bernie created -10 runs this season and had -20 with his glve. That is a +65 run improvement. That's six or seven wins!
I believe the intent is to have RAA equate to actual runs - above average.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at December 16, 2005 09:05 PM