# Offense vs. Defense

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Offense vs. Defense

Why is it we put so much emphasis on offense, and so little emphasis on defense?

Maybe it's because there's no easy, quantifiable number we can hang our hats on to rate a player's defense. We know that if a player has an OPS of .800 he's solid offensively, but if we want to find out how good that player is defensively we have to look up what someone else has said, based on someone's opinion of how much range he has as compared to the average player. That's pretty voodoo stuff for most of us. I would go out on a limb and say that there's not one of us here who could take a team's box scores for a year and determine a player's range value, but darn near all of us could compute his OPS.

Didn't anyone other than me notice that during the first part of the year JBJ was keeping the team in games with his defense? And then he got the blame for the team's losses because he wasn't hitting. Why? Because his hitting shows up in the box scores but his defense doesn't. If he hits a double it goes down in the book as a 2B and he may get credit for RBI's - all of which show up in the box score, but if he robs another player of a double with a running, diving catch with the bases loaded it goes down in the book as <ho-hum> F8 with no mention of the fact that he may have saved three runs with that catch.

If there were an easy way to quantify defense with the average defensive player receiving 50 on a scale of 1-100 we may be saying that we don't care if JBJ is only hitting .200 because he's got a defensive value of 92, which is in the top 5% of all ML CF's. But we don't have that metric so instead we go with what's easy. Offense.

When do we figure out that having a great defensive player who plays like JBJ but only hits .200 may be more valuable than having an offensive player with an OPS of .900 who plays the OF like Johnny Gomes?

Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big \$\$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

And I have never posted here under any other names.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to S5's comment:

Why is it we put so much emphasis on offense, and so little emphasis on defense?

Maybe it's because there's no easy, quantifiable number we can hang our hats on to rate a player's defense. We know that if a player has an OPS of .800 he's solid offensively, but if we want to find out how good that player is defensively we have to look up what someone else has said, based on someone's opinion of how much range he has as compared to the average player. That's pretty voodoo stuff for most of us. I would go out on a limb and say that there aren't three of us here who could take a team's box scores for a year and determine a player's range value, but darn near all of us could compute his OPS.

Didn't anyone other than me notice that during the first part of the year JBJ was keeping the team in games with his defense? And then he got the blame for the team's losses because he wasn't hitting. Why? Because his hitting shows up in the box scores but his defense doesn't. If he hits a double it goes down in the book as a 2B and he may get credit for RBI's - all of which show up in the box score, but if he robs another player of a double with a running, diving catch with the bases loaded it goes down in the book as <ho-hum> F8 with no mention of the fact that he may have saved three runs with that catch.

If there were an easy way to quantify defense with the average defensive player receiving 50 on a scale of 1-100 we may be saying that we don't care if JBJ is only hitting .200 because he's got a defensive value of 92, which is in the top 5% of all ML CF's. But we don't have that metric so instead we go with what's easy. Offense.

When do we figure out that having a great defensive player who plays like JBJ but only hits .200 may be more valuable than having an offensive player with an OPS of .900 who plays the OF like Johnny Gomes?

Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big \$\$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

And I have never posted here under any other names.

[object HTMLDivElement].  The thing is, if you watch enough baseball, you will see that there is a lot of great defense being played in both leagues. Bradley and the Sox are not all that unique in that regard. You still have to score runs. The great defensive plays are relatively few compared to the many wasted at bats. Where has our defense gotten us this year?  The web gems are much appreciated, but it still mainly comes down to the battle between the pitcher and the batter. No fielder is going to save more runs than a good hitter produces. Not even close.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to S5's comment:

Why is it we put so much emphasis on offense, and so little emphasis on defense?

Maybe it's because there's no easy, quantifiable number we can hang our hats on to rate a player's defense. We know that if a player has an OPS of .800 he's solid offensively, but if we want to find out how good that player is defensively we have to look up what someone else has said, based on someone's opinion of how much range he has as compared to the average player. That's pretty voodoo stuff for most of us. I would go out on a limb and say that there's not one of us here who could take a team's box scores for a year and determine a player's range value, but darn near all of us could compute his OPS.

Didn't anyone other than me notice that during the first part of the year JBJ was keeping the team in games with his defense? And then he got the blame for the team's losses because he wasn't hitting. Why? Because his hitting shows up in the box scores but his defense doesn't. If he hits a double it goes down in the book as a 2B and he may get credit for RBI's - all of which show up in the box score, but if he robs another player of a double with a running, diving catch with the bases loaded it goes down in the book as <ho-hum> F8 with no mention of the fact that he may have saved three runs with that catch.

If there were an easy way to quantify defense with the average defensive player receiving 50 on a scale of 1-100 we may be saying that we don't care if JBJ is only hitting .200 because he's got a defensive value of 92, which is in the top 5% of all ML CF's. But we don't have that metric so instead we go with what's easy. Offense.

When do we figure out that having a great defensive player who plays like JBJ but only hits .200 may be more valuable than having an offensive player with an OPS of .900 who plays the OF like Johnny Gomes?

Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big \$\$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

And I have never posted here under any other names.

I could be wrong but my money is on 9 guys who bat 900 and are sub-par fielders than 9 guys who bat 200 (OPS) who are well above average fielders (everything else being equal of course)

900 VS 200 is kind of a no-brainer

but 800 vs 600 is more of a discussion

no time to get into now but it's a great discussion but regardless of how great your glove is, you still need to be able to hit 250 in the majors; there are exceptions but they are few.  I'd take a team of 275 hitters if they were all gold glovers over a team of 325 hitters who couldn't catch a cold in the field......again, it's much more complicated than this:  different positions require different skills, how your team is constructed (DH no DH, platoons), your pitching staff and even your ball park factor in...

Best way to evaluate Defense though with your eyes and not by #'s...........

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to dgalehouse's comment:

[object HTMLDivElement].  The thing is, if you watch enough baseball, you will see that there is a lot of great defense being played in both leagues. Bradley and the Sox are not all that unique in that regard. You still have to score runs. The great defensive plays are relatively few compared to the many wasted at bats. Where has our defense gotten us this year?  The web gems are much appreciated, but it still mainly comes down to the battle between the pitcher and the batter. No fielder is going to save more runs than a good hitter produces. Not even close.

ecccch... If I buy into that, and I'm not sure I do, it's for one reason.  It's because the hitter has an advantage in that he can hit a ball that the no fielder has a chance at.  It's called a Home Run. But on playable balls I'd wager that an outstanding fielder will save more runs than an outstanding hitter will create.

This doesn't even begin to get into the arena of sub-par fielding.  People underestimate how devastating an error can be.  An error does three things, all of which are bad for the defensive team.  It allows a runner to reach base, it may allow other runners to advance, and most importantly it extends the offensive team's inning by 1/3.  It's the equivalent of almost 1 1/3 hits that inning.  The runner reaches base on the error AND another batter gets to hit  - and if that batter is hitting .300 there's almost a 1 in 3 chance that he'll get a hit too.

OTOH, an outstanding defensive play will keep the batter off base, the runners only chance to advance is on a SAC - which is situational, and it "robs" the offense of 1/3 of an inning.  The offensive team only has two outs that inning as compared to what they'd have if an average fielder were there AND the batter gets what would otherwise be a base hit taken away from him.  Huge stuff.

Recognizing the perils of anecdotal evidence...

I remember several games this year where JBJ kept the team in games with outstanding catches.  The biggest problem wasn't JBJ, it was everyone else's failure to hit.  In one game in particular I remember that went into extra innings, JBJ made a diving, flat out catch early in the game that prevented two runs from scoring.  <Ho-hum.  F8>  Had he been an "average" OFer the Sox would have lost that game in regulation (rather than in extra innings. Ugh.)  But my point is that he gave them a chance to win it.

In another game Bogaerts threw a ball away that resulted in two runs scoring, and the Sox lost by one run. In fact... as little as I like to pick at this scab, the argument can be made that an error by the opposing SS was instrumental in the Sox advancing to the WS.  The SS got credited with an error but no place did it get recorded that the error probably cost the Tigers the game.

IMO defense, whether it's outstanding defense or average defense is underrated because, again, we have no way to quantify it.  So we go with what's easy. Offense.  And great defense gets statistically ignored.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to andrewmitch's comment:

In response to S5's comment:

Why is it we put so much emphasis on offense, and so little emphasis on defense?

Maybe it's because there's no easy, quantifiable number we can hang our hats on to rate a player's defense. We know that if a player has an OPS of .800 he's solid offensively, but if we want to find out how good that player is defensively we have to look up what someone else has said, based on someone's opinion of how much range he has as compared to the average player. That's pretty voodoo stuff for most of us. I would go out on a limb and say that there's not one of us here who could take a team's box scores for a year and determine a player's range value, but darn near all of us could compute his OPS.

Didn't anyone other than me notice that during the first part of the year JBJ was keeping the team in games with his defense? And then he got the blame for the team's losses because he wasn't hitting. Why? Because his hitting shows up in the box scores but his defense doesn't. If he hits a double it goes down in the book as a 2B and he may get credit for RBI's - all of which show up in the box score, but if he robs another player of a double with a running, diving catch with the bases loaded it goes down in the book as <ho-hum> F8 with no mention of the fact that he may have saved three runs with that catch.

If there were an easy way to quantify defense with the average defensive player receiving 50 on a scale of 1-100 we may be saying that we don't care if JBJ is only hitting .200 because he's got a defensive value of 92, which is in the top 5% of all ML CF's. But we don't have that metric so instead we go with what's easy. Offense.

When do we figure out that having a great defensive player who plays like JBJ but only hits .200 may be more valuable than having an offensive player with an OPS of .900 who plays the OF like Johnny Gomes?

Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big \$\$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

And I have never posted here under any other names.

I could be wrong but my money is on 9 guys who bat 900 and are sub-par fielders than 9 guys who bat 200 (OPS) who are well above average fielders (everything else being equal of course)

900 VS 200 is kind of a no-brainer

but 800 vs 600 is more of a discussion

no time to get into now but it's a great discussion but regardless of how great your glove is, you still need to be able to hit 250 in the majors; there are exceptions but they are few.  I'd take a team of 275 hitters if they were all gold glovers over a team of 325 hitters who couldn't catch a cold in the field......again, it's much more complicated than this:  different positions require different skills, how your team is constructed (DH no DH, platoons), your pitching staff and even your ball park factor in...

Best way to evaluate Defense though with your eyes and not by #'s...........

Absolutely right.  That's exactly my point.  While offense is something we can hang our hats on, defense is subjective, and as such it doesn't get as much credibility as does offense.  That doesn't mean it's less important, it just means we don't give it as much weight - which is totally unfair to the player (JBJ comes to mind) whose forte is defense.  And in addition to being unfair it doesn't begin to indicate his value to the team.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Run differential is the ultimate goal.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

I would venture to guess that JBJ saves maybe a run that your above average CF WOULD NOT GAVE MADE about once or twice / week.  REMEMBER!!!!!    A RUN THAT YOUR ABOVE AVERAGE (NOT EXCEPTIONAL) CF'r WOULD NOT HAVE MADE!!!!!!

OVER 26 WEEk, That's 26+ runs he is responsible for off-setting in a season.  When you consider all the extra rallies he's responsible for killing over the year, it's a wash..

JBJ is most certainly in a tough spot.  If the rest of the team is hitting at the clip most modern day Red Sox teams have hit, nobody notices!  THIS YEAR......  given the fact that there have been countless other rookies / youth, I.e.  Middy, Holt, Vaz, Betts, & XB, combined with a team full of underperforming vets, his EXTREME LACK OF OFFENSE becomes magnified.

HE SIMPLY NEEDS ANOTHER FULL YEAR IN PAWTUCKET!  He absolutely needs to learn how to read pitches more effectively, as he seems lost with big leaguers mixing pitches so effectively, and every pitcher being well informed as to his inability to hit the breaking ball, inability to id the changeup, and to slow to catch up with the heat.

HE ABSOLUTELY MUST GET A FULL YEAR UNDER HIS BELT IN AAA.  HE NEEDS INTENSIVE WORK WITH A HITTING COACH, & a slowed down game to do it in.

The good news???   There is no question about his superior D in CF!!!!

IF we secure a superior offense for 2015, not reliant on all this poor hitting youth, then perhaps he could stay up, but Istill say he NEEDS another year in triple-A.

We most certainlg seem to be committed to staying with XB.  Tgat's 1 strike against JBJ.

We also seem to be committed to going forward with Vaz.  Strike 2!

I would bet on Holt at 3rd.  Strike 3.

We absolutely CAN NOT go with 3 poir hitting young guys again next year.  At least Holt can most definitely hit mlb pitchingband be a table setter along with Pedey for our newly aquired power surge 3 - 6 in the lineup with the addition of Cespy & Castillo.  Not a bad power surge, w / Naps, Papi, Cespy, & Castillo.  Not a bad 1 - 6.  I like Craig as #7. Vaz # 8, & it looks like XB as #9.

Middy's gone.

JBJ stays in Pawtucket all year, building his plate discipline & mechanics.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to S5's comment:

In response to dgalehouse's comment:

[object HTMLDivElement].  The thing is, if you watch enough baseball, you will see that there is a lot of great defense being played in both leagues. Bradley and the Sox are not all that unique in that regard. You still have to score runs. The great defensive plays are relatively few compared to the many wasted at bats. Where has our defense gotten us this year?  The web gems are much appreciated, but it still mainly comes down to the battle between the pitcher and the batter. No fielder is going to save more runs than a good hitter produces. Not even close.

ecccch... If I buy into that, and I'm not sure I do, it's for one reason.  It's because the hitter has an advantage in that he can hit a ball that the no fielder has a chance at.  It's called a Home Run. But on playable balls I'd wager that an outstanding fielder will save more runs than an outstanding hitter will create.

This doesn't even begin to get into the arena of sub-par fielding.  People underestimate how devastating an error can be.  An error does three things, all of which are bad for the defensive team.  It allows a runner to reach base, it may allow other runners to advance, and most importantly it extends the offensive team's inning by 1/3.  It's the equivalent of almost 1 1/3 hits that inning.  The runner reaches base on the error AND another batter gets to hit  - and if that batter is hitting .300 there's almost a 1 in 3 chance that he'll get a hit too.

OTOH, an outstanding defensive play will keep the batter off base, the runners only chance to advance is on a SAC - which is situational, and it "robs" the offense of 1/3 of an inning.  The offensive team only has two outs that inning as compared to what they'd have if an average fielder were there AND the batter gets what would otherwise be a base hit taken away from him.  Huge stuff.

Recognizing the perils of anecdotal evidence...

I remember several games this year where JBJ kept the team in games with outstanding catches.  The biggest problem wasn't JBJ, it was everyone else's failure to hit.  In one game in particular I remember that went into extra innings, JBJ made a diving, flat out catch early in the game that prevented two runs from scoring.  <Ho-hum.  F8>  Had he been an "average" OFer the Sox would have lost that game in regulation (rather than in extra innings. Ugh.)  But my point is that he gave them a chance to win it.

In another game Bogaerts threw a ball away that resulted in two runs scoring, and the Sox lost by one run. In fact... as little as I like to pick at this scab, the argument can be made that an error by the opposing SS was instrumental in the Sox advancing to the WS.  The SS got credited with an error but no place did it get recorded that the error probably cost the Tigers the game.

IMO defense, whether it's outstanding defense or average defense is underrated because, again, we have no way to quantify it.  So we go with what's easy. Offense.  And great defense gets statistically ignored.

[object HTMLDivElement]

[object HTMLDivElement].  Your argument comes across as more of a plug for Jackie than about an argument of the importance of defense vs offense. Many things cannot be objectively quantified. UZR is a weak attempt to do that. Most , if not all major league centerfielders are great defenders who make great plays all of the time. Even if we agree that Bradley is the best, the difference is not nearly enough to justify the lack of offense. While he has made some memorable plays, there really has not been all that many to make a big difference. Other centerfielders make great plays too. And they can also hit. In big league baseball, good defense is expected, especially at certain positions. Offense is essential, more difficult to do and much easier to quantify objectively.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Offensive stats are more OBJECTIVE; defensive stats are more SUBJECTIVE (and therefore less reliable). Its pretty clear that JBJ plays exceptional defense; its also pretty clear that he cannot as yet hit the baseball. Now if the other 8 guys in the lineup do not have that problem we can afford ONE JBJ in the lineup. But we have Vasquez and Middlebrooks and Bogaerts, none of whom is adequate with the bat. I can buy a single black hole in the lineup, but not more than that. I have learned that from this season. One black hole, no matter how good his defense is, #2 black hole doesn't play on my team.

WE ARE ALL JUST POPPYSEEDS IN THE BAKERY OF LIFE

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Much more succinctly...........,

How many runs does he "save," above and beyond the runs that would have been saved by your average very good fielding CF'r?????

BOTTOM LINE.......

NOT NEAR ENOUGH TO OFFSET HIS ATROCIOUS HITTING!!!!

***  That doesn't mean I'm giving up on him, I simply want him to work his arss off in AAA, with a skilled hitting coach, in a slowed down game!!!

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

A hitter has three to five chances to make a contribution from the plate in a typical game.

A fielder may have more or fewer chances to make a contribution from the field in a typical game.

And most position players can contribute both ways in a typical game.

In his career, Troy Tulowitzki has 4,064 plate appearances but 4,497 chances in the field.

Jacoby Ellsbury has 3,740 career plate appearances and 2,062 chances in the field.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

Offensive stats are more OBJECTIVE; defensive stats are more SUBJECTIVE (and therefore less reliable). Its pretty clear that JBJ plays exceptional defense; its also pretty clear that he cannot as yet hit the baseball. Now if the other 8 guys in the lineup do not have that problem we can afford ONE JBJ in the lineup. But we have Vasquez and Middlebrooks and Bogaerts, none of whom is adequate with the bat. I can buy a single black hole in the lineup, but not more than that. I have learned that from this season. One black hole, no matter how good his defense is, #2 black hole doesn't play on my team.

WE ARE ALL JUST POPPYSEEDS IN THE BAKERY OF LIFE

Exactly!

1)  JBJ.   2)  Vaz.   3) XB.    4) Holt.    5) Betts

Who is READY & QUALIFIED to stay up, & who goes down?

Looks like they're committed to XB staying up, so what happens with the other 4?   I would be inclined to keep Holt either at 3rd, or at least utility infield & OF.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to redsoxdirtdog's comment:

Much more succinctly...........,

How many runs does he "save," above and beyond the runs that would have been saved by your average very good fielding CF'r?????

BOTTOM LINE.......

NOT NEAR ENOUGH TO OFFSET HIS ATROCIOUS HITTING!!!!

***  That doesn't mean I'm giving up on him, I simply want him to work his arss off in AAA, with a skilled hitting coach, in a slowed down game!!!

I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying that's your opinion and you don't have any way to quantify that because we don't have any reliable way to quantify defense.

[object HTMLDivElement]

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to hill55's comment:

A hitter has three to five chances to make a contribution from the plate in a typical game.

A fielder may have more or fewer chances to make a contribution from the field in a typical game.

And most position players can contribute both ways in a typical game.

In his career, Troy Tulowitzki has 4,064 plate appearances but 4,497 chances in the field.

Jacoby Ellsbury has 3,740 career plate appearances and 2,062 chances in the field.

[object HTMLDivElement].  Most of the defensive chances are routine or relatively easy plays.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Great defense is not just about spectacular plays. It is about consistency. Truly great defensive players are as rare as consistently great hitters.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

Offensive stats are more OBJECTIVE; defensive stats are more SUBJECTIVE (and therefore less reliable). Its pretty clear that JBJ plays exceptional defense; its also pretty clear that he cannot as yet hit the baseball. Now if the other 8 guys in the lineup do not have that problem we can afford ONE JBJ in the lineup. But we have Vasquez and Middlebrooks and Bogaerts, none of whom is adequate with the bat. I can buy a single black hole in the lineup, but not more than that. I have learned that from this season. One black hole, no matter how good his defense is, #2 black hole doesn't play on my team.

WE ARE ALL JUST POPPYSEEDS IN THE BAKERY OF LIFE

I could live with two, but not four.

Remember, a "black hole" will probably hit ~.200 and a solid hitter will hit ~.300.  In a week a player will probably get 20 official AB''s. For a .200 hitter that's 4 hits.  A .300 hitter will get 6 hits.  Having two "black holes - .200 hitters - costs the team 4 hits a week or about .5 per day.  I can live with that for outstanding defense.  The problem comes when they hit back-to-back in the order.  So obviously the more "black holes" you have the more solid hitters you need 1-7 to offset them.  I don't see why that's not doable given the Sox budget.

[object HTMLDivElement]

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to dgalehouse's comment:

In response to hill55's comment:

A hitter has three to five chances to make a contribution from the plate in a typical game.

A fielder may have more or fewer chances to make a contribution from the field in a typical game.

And most position players can contribute both ways in a typical game.

In his career, Troy Tulowitzki has 4,064 plate appearances but 4,497 chances in the field.

Jacoby Ellsbury has 3,740 career plate appearances and 2,062 chances in the field.

Most of the defensive chances are routine or relatively easy plays.

And most plate appearances end in failure for even the greatest hitters.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to hill55's comment:

In response to dgalehouse's comment:

In response to hill55's comment:

A hitter has three to five chances to make a contribution from the plate in a typical game.

A fielder may have more or fewer chances to make a contribution from the field in a typical game.

And most position players can contribute both ways in a typical game.

In his career, Troy Tulowitzki has 4,064 plate appearances but 4,497 chances in the field.

Jacoby Ellsbury has 3,740 career plate appearances and 2,062 chances in the field.

Most of the defensive chances are routine or relatively easy plays.

And most plate appearances end in failure for even the greatest hitters.

[object HTMLDivElement].  Not at all the same thing. Even an average high school player can catch a routine fly ball. But nearly all of his plate appearances would end in failure. It is infinitely harder to hit a baseball than it is to catch it.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Once again, I think questions like this are exactly why WAR is a useful number.  JBJ's WAR is a +1.4, which is all, needless to say, attributable to his defense.  If he was a bad or even average defender he would have a negative WAR.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to S5's comment:

Best way to evaluate Defense though with your eyes and not by #'s...........

You need a combination of both.

I find it funny that those who don't like defensive metrics state that they are too subjective. Yet, you are willing to trust the subjective, biased judgment of your own eyes? People state that "they know what they see". Well, so do the many scouts who are highly trained whose judgment goes into determining these defensive stats.

The defensive stats that are available are really quite refined. They are not perfect, but they are pretty good, taken in a large enough sample size. Certainly a much better assessment than a fan's eyes. Just because a stat has a degree of subjectivity to it does not mean that it is not good.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

Your best defensive players are not going to contribute as much defensively as your best offensive players will contribute offensively.

Using wRAA, which measures how many runs above average a player contributes offensively, Stanton leads MLB  at 43.2 runs above the average player.

Using DRS, which measures how many runs above average a player saves defensively, Heyward leads at 33.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to RedSoxKimmi's comment:

Your best defensive players are not going to contribute as much defensively as your best offensive players will contribute offensively.

Using wRAA, which measures how many runs above average a player contributes offensively, Stanton leads MLB  at 43.2 runs above the average player.

Using DRS, which measures how many runs above average a player saves defensively, Heyward leads at 33.

There you go.  WAR-type stats have the answers to a lot of these questions.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

More games are lost on the routine plays on Defense. Plays that all Major League Players should make. Hitting is not routine, hardest part of the game.

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

Once again, I think questions like this are exactly why WAR is a useful number.  JBJ's WAR is a +1.4, which is all, needless to say, attributable to his defense.  If he was a bad or even average defender he would have a negative WAR.

At the risk of being blasphemous, I don't see WAR as being the be-all, end-all that some people do, mostly because it factors in defensive "metrics" that aren't really metrics at all.

WAR has always struck me as an equation that was probably created backwards.  Rather than try to quantify players strengths and weaknesses and give them a grade that way the creators of WAR took the highest rated players and created statistics to assure that the calculations demonstrated that they WERE the highest rated players.  And of course the "lesser" players all fell into line behind them.  The creators then said, "There.  It proves it so it must be right!"

That's not to say it's useless.  I'm sure it rates Mike Trout higher than JBJ and justifiably so.  I just believe that the margin of error in the calculation is such that it's very far from an exact science, mostly because of the subjectivity of the defensive metrics.

WAR is another of those things most of us don't really understand.  I'd venture a guess that only a very few of us could actually calculate WAR even if we had all the box scores and other pertinent information to do it with.  It's another of those things that we look up and then treat as if we actually know how it was arrived at.  The older I get the less faith I have in other people's work.  :-)

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Re: Offense vs. Defense

That also explains Jeter's high WAR over the years.  His offense at the SS position outweighed his defense.

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