Tom Tango has released the annual Fans’ Scouting Report, which lets baseball fans rate players on defense. The idea is to appeal to the “wisdom of the crowd,” and try to move beyond the weaknesses of both conventional wisdom and defensive statistics. Turnout wasn’t especially high, but it’s interesting to look at, anyway.
Brandon Phillips was rated the Reds’ best defender, with an excellent overall score of 78 (average is 50, and one standard deviation is +20). BP ranked third among all 2bs, behind Mark Ellis and one point behind Orlando Hudson. And he’s basically the only Red who ranks in the upper tier at his position. I don’t think we need anything else to tell us that we were watching a bad defensive club, once again.
Our buddy Adam Dunn ranks last on the team, with a score of 21, which seems low, even for Dunn. He scored only 11 for both “instincts” and “first step,” which might be reasonable, but a 10 for “hands” is just wrong. Dunn pretty much catches what he gets to – it’s just getting to it that’s the problem.
Griffey and Hopper both scored 55, which we know can’t be correct (many ballots may have been cast before Hopper got significant playing time). Griffey’s being carried by excellent scores in “insticts” and for his throwing arm. His “speed” score of 32 is worse than Dave Ross’.
Freel’s 54 is dragged down by below-average throwing figures (and he’s lucky “decision-making” and “threat to others” aren’t categories).
Josh Hamilton was second the club in defense, with absurdly high throwing scores, and very good scores on everything but instincts and hands. I think that’s pretty accurate.
Alex Gonzalez did very well, but I really don’t know how. It seemed like he was always out, and when he was around, he played poorly in the field. I don’t think he’s nearly as bad as he showed, but there’s no evidence that showed he was good, either.
EE scored above average, at 54. His glove-based and instinct scores were very good, as was arm strength. But 28 on throwing “release” and 22 on “accuracy” bring him down. Seems fair.