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March 12, 2006

What Cost Jeter

One of the things that The Fielding Bible provides is a team-by-team analysis of where hits landed against teams in 2005. Here, the Yankees biggest issue (last year) was their infield.

In the grass of the infield, they allowed 85 hits - and the big league average is 89. That's fine - it's close. Down the 1st base line, they allowed 21 and the average was 22. Cool there too. But, it's not pretty elsewhere.

In the 1B/2B hole, the Yankees allowed 106 hits - which was 12 more than average. Down the 3rd base line, they allowed 51 hits - which was 10 more than average. Clearly, there's room for improvement there. But, it's not as bad as what's coming next......

The 2005 Yankees allowed 196 hits up the middle of the infield diamond - which is 19 more than average. And, in the SS/3B hole, they allowed 131 hits - which is 16 more than average.

Let's say that the fault in this latter data set is split equally between 3B, SS, and 2B. This means that Derek Jeter allowed about 18 hits to get through the infield that an average infielder would have made plays - last year.

And, it's probably worse than that - using The Fielding Bible's "Plus/Minus System," Jeter was at -34 in 2005. This says that there were 34 times in 2005 that Derek had a ball near him where he failed to turn it into an out - where an average SS would have done it.

Just for fun, take the 18 and the 34 and determine the average - it's 26. If you use that number, it says that, on average, once a week Jeter lets a ball slip through where it could have been turned in an out.

But, what does this all mean? Well, one study says that a batted ball out is worth -.299 of a run. So, we can say that Derek Jeter costs the Yankees (saving) about 5 to 10 runs a year (in the games that he plays).

Take the high number of 10. Over 150 games, that's .0667 runs per game. So, playing Jeter at SS costs the Yankees 1/15th of a run per game - thereabouts.

Considering the offense that Jeter provides from SS, over the average batter playing there, I'm beginning to see why the Yankees are willing to live with his defensive shortcomings.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at March 12, 2006 10:05 AM

Comments

You stats guys drive us old timers nuts! You reduce everything to numbers BUT your analysis of the results are based on( and I quote) -

"Let's say that the fault in this latter data set is split equally between 3B, SS, and 2B"
"LET'S SAY" isn't a science

and

"using The Fielding Bible's "Plus/Minus System,"

even the Holy Bible has it's failings and detractors, why do I have to accept this one.

and

"Just for fun, take the 18 and the 34 and determine the average - it's 26"

Try this "JUST FOR FUN" approach in a math final

and

"But, what does this all mean? Well, one study says that a batted ball out is worth -.299 of a run"

and what do other sudies say, and do I give a
s---- !

and

"about 5 to 10 runs a year (in the games that he plays)"

can't get more precise than that ! and then you take the high number to support your very weak premise !

and

"So, playing Jeter at SS costs the Yankees 1/15th of a run per game"

or mayber 1/30th if you take the lower number, even if it's inaccurate as indicated above !

You seem to want to conclude that Jeter's fielding really isn't so bad but judging by this analysis we really have to question how you reach other conclusions !!!!

Oh for the days of Reese, Marion, Rizzouto and the like. They won pennants and WS without you stat guys hounding them.


Posted by: Southern Yankee [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 11:42 AM

Oh for the days of Reese, Marion, Rizzouto and the like. They won pennants and WS without you stat guys hounding them.
========================

That's because we weren't around back then :D

But seriously, defense is but one metric to measure the worth of a ballplayer. And a very subjective one at that.

Despite the "infield fielding woes" the Yanks were able to win 95 games. Not too shabby in my book.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 12, 2006 12:47 PM

My eyes tell me that Jeter is average at SS. Said so last season.

However I don't see how stats can really quantify his (or any other players) defensive shortcomings.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 02:39 PM

Don, actually, the Fielding Bible goes by "eyes" too - and then converts that to data, FWIW.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2006 03:11 PM