Comments on: Players with -100 career fielding runs This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Doug Fri, 11 Mar 2011 06:58:14 +0000 @61. I think you've got it Artie Z.

Assuming DHs are DHs because they can't field (almost certainly true), then you're creating selection bias compared to a non-DH environment by removing the worst fielders from the comparison pool. So, the remaining bad fielders who have to play the field (there are more bad fielders than DH positions) will look worse than if they had more of their ilk in the comparison pool.

By: Artie Z Thu, 10 Mar 2011 15:52:23 +0000 I would almost have to believe a big part is due to the introduction of the DH, as mentioned in post #20. Here are the number of players who had an Rfield <=-20 for each decade:

1900-1909 3
1910-1919 2
1920-1929 3
1930-1939 4
1940-1949 4
1950-1959 4
1960-1969 3
1970-1979 23
1980-1989 14
1990-1999 38
2000-2009 33

It's pretty constant until the 1970s. I understand that expansion and longer schedules will add some players, but probably not triple or 10 times the amount as in earlier seasons. My thinking is this: David Ortiz and Frank Thomas are going to play baseball because there are not many guys who can hit like that. Without the DH, they play first base (or RF, or LF, or maybe 3B if the team is really desperate). We know this to be true because of the Ralph Kiners and Dick Stuarts and Frank Howards of years past - if you can hit 35-50 HR in a year, you tend to play baseball. Without the DH, these players are being compared to each other as fielders so they do not look as bad (perhaps Pujols would look even better if there was no DH as he'd be compared to Ortiz and Thomas). With the DH someone like Doug Mientkiewicz might play 1B, which makes the poor guys who are like Ortiz and Thomas who get stuck playing the field (think Adam Dunn or Manny or Sheffield) look even worse because now instead of being compared to Ortiz they get compared to Mientkiewicz. And now they look truly awful.

By: Paul E Wed, 09 Mar 2011 22:25:02 +0000 @55 - Senor Flyingelbowsmash

Point taken. And, I agree that fielding effects are overstated. If UNEARNED runs are less than 10% of all runs scored, how can a 156 OPS+ guy like Dick Allen produce 71 WAR from the offensive side, yet be assessed --10 WAR from the defensive side when playing end of the spectrum positions like LF and 1B? It seems to me these fielding effects are exaggerated at the least.
I think the NYY have survived their limited range SS in large part by him hitting at a 125 + OPS; batting .315 with 70 BB

By: stevebogus Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:08:35 +0000 Re: fielding runs before 1955

I believe the issue is the scarcity of detailed game descriptions (including hit locations) in earlier seasons. Total Zone fielding runs have only been calculated back to the mid-1950s. I'm not sure how Fielding Runs are calculated before then, but that method must be coming up with more conservative figures.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 09 Mar 2011 13:43:38 +0000 @ 57,

I understand your point, and partially agree, but Bonds was a great fielder, or should I say a potentially great fielder, with an indifferent attitude.
I think he could of fielded any position, just a bit below average on the left side of the infield (being a lefty and all) - or at least as god as the worst of them. So your arbitrary #'s are twice as 'bad' as the average and I don't think Bonds would be twice as bad; maybe a Thome or a Dunn would.
But do you guys remember Bill James' Offensive Win Percentage?
It would assume 8 players with identical offensive #'s played 162 games together vs the league average. Bonds hypothetically 'won' 90%+ of his games, granted that was with his bat alone, but even if you cut that number by a third, 60% is still a playoff team. I wonder if we could extrapolate James' Offensive Win Percentage of 8 identical hitters, but some how give them all a glove and a position and see if offense and defense can be incorporated into that theory.
I know it is hard to guess or assume a players value at a position he will never play, but guys have switched before. Ruth. Ankiel. Wakefield.
Or take guys like Robin Yount or Dale Murphy or Craig Biggio. They all played multiple 'high value' offensive positions, with both Yount and Biggio making BIG changes late in their career.
I think if we had identical pitching and played the 'all bad fielding team'- but guys with great bats, vs. say, GGers with slightly above average hitting, the bats beat the gloves.
True though, that the pitching could not be identical if the team committed error after error, creating more outs and more pitches, but we can't clone Barry anyway.

By: aweb Wed, 09 Mar 2011 12:49:20 +0000 Jeter is less than 10 runs a year negative in the field - he has more than made up for that with a great bat (almost always for a SS, some years for any position).

Playing guys who would be unable to field a postion properly would be exploited pretty quickly by opposing teams - they don't do so much these days, but if a groundball to the left side produced a basehit/error 30% of the time instead of 15%(both numbers pulled out of the air), major league hitters would hit a lot of balls there. Bonds wouldn't be able to play third and field bunts or play a reasonable SS, so I think there is a chance a team of Ichiros and Juan Pierres could beat the all-Balco Barry team, just by bunting and slap hitting over and over and over.

By: dukeofflatbush Wed, 09 Mar 2011 03:47:58 +0000 If we allowed BALCO to clone 8 Barry Bonds-es, wouldn't that make a pretty unbeatable team, even if Barry fielded as well as he told the truth?

Would the 80's Cardinals (pretty good teams) be better or worse if we magically substituted Pujols for Oz?

By: flyingelbowsmash Wed, 09 Mar 2011 01:36:19 +0000 Paul E @ 29

Howard would need Prince Fielder to make the movie. . . Though I'm not going to rate anyone's VORP in that one. . .

So, how do the Yankess win so much with such an awful shortstop who causes all those runs to be be scored? Is SS not as vital as assumed? Or is Jeter over-devalued by these statistical approaches?

By: Lawrence Azrin Tue, 08 Mar 2011 23:09:26 +0000 @52/John Autin - good points*; I had considered the lack of HRs till the 1920s, but not the large increase in teams since 1969. I still don't understand why the likes of Babe Herman and Ralph Kiner do not appear on the list of -100 fielders at the top.

* especially #3!

By: John Autin Tue, 08 Mar 2011 21:55:09 +0000 And ... 3. I don't know how to count. 🙂