The Enquirer has an article on defensive stats based on a new book.
The Reds’ two most productive offensive players last year – Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. – were their two worst defensive players, according to a new book by an author who provides defensive analyses to 12 major-league teams.
The Reds are not one of the 12.
Shortstop Felipe Lopez is merely average. Austin Kearns is in the top third of right fielders. The Reds’ other positions – third, second and first – are in flux as platoon-type situations, so no players are rated by name, although they are as a group. The book, “The Fielding Bible – 2006” by John Dewan, doesn’t rate catchers.
I don’t think this is any big surprise to anyone. Maybe that Junior rated this low, but not Dunn.
“Of all the areas to measure statistically, even the experts have the hardest time with defense,” said Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky. “It’s a huge part of the game for me, and one of the most overlooked.
“But it’s hard to quantify with statistics. I have to be at the game scouting, visualize what kind of jump the (defensive player) got, his first-step quickness, things like that. It’s a really difficult thing to measure.”
Krivsky’s comments are remarkably similar to those of great talent evaluator Branch Rickey, who 60-some years ago said, “There is nothing on earth anybody can do with (absolutely quantifying) fielding.”
I do agree with Krivsky on this. Every defensive rating (and I admit to being no expert) requires some type of subjective judgement in compiling the rating.