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  1. #1
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    Derek Jeter & UZR

    This article was posted in the Yankees forum.
    http://wap.mlb.com/news/article/200907276094262/5
    I thought it might be worth a read to some and some weighing in on. The original poster, generally feels that UZR is a worthless stat, and that it doesn't demonstrate Jeter is a bad fielder.

    Original Post here
    http://www.prosportsdaily.com/forums...d.php?t=390460

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    When someone tries of for a team, lets say a U18 travel team, they are hit 4 groundballs, 1 to the left, right, right at him, and a slow roller. Im assuming MLB scouts use a similar format to judge talent.... Jeter has no range to his left, a little more to his right, but probably impresses people with that jump throw thing he does.

    As of today, I think most people would agree, that the defensive stats are still well behind the offensive stats. That being said I wouldnt totally disregard them, but, as of today, I would take a scouts opinion on someones defense over using stats.

    Im not sure how much the stats take into account "chances". obviously a K pitcher or a high GB or FB pitcher effects how many chances a particular fielder has. Also, the other players on the team can take balls away. IE if you have a stud CF, hes gonna call of a COF on some balls that a "normal" CF wouldnt get to....

    Take Elvis Andrus for example, he committed A LOT of errors in the minors, but the scouts all said he was really good, and he has played up that level thus far in the bigs (has highest RF/9, 3rd in UZR/150, although mid pack in FP)

    Another thing stats cant comprehend is how many mental miscues occur, or how many double plays are not turned due to bad fielding (ie defense recorded an out at 2nd but failed to get runner at 1st).

    Edit: just noticed Jeter is 4th in UZR/150 this year, so its wierd that the OP would say UZR is a bad stat when it backs up his claim that Jeter is good.

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    Jeter is apparently playing deeper this year, which allows him to cover more ground. Better positioning = better UZR.

    What you also need to keep in mind is that we're not talking about Jeter's defense by itself. UZR measures his defense compared to other shortstops. If Jeter is handling balls exceptionally well hit into a particular vector where all other shortstops are having difficulty, his rating will be higher.

    The poster of that thread doesn't seem to realize that defensive stats aren't supposed to be taken as gospel. And that ONE player the system doesn't like does not mean that the system as a whole is flawed.
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    I just find it an interesting discussion. And I think it gets called into question when we see Jeter's UZR swing from -16.7 to 8.7 and in between over the course of his career. And there's several other players whom have been pointed to with similar UZR changes. The OPs case has always been that if Jeter were a bad fielder his UZR would always be bad and not jump all over the spectrum.

    As for the jump throw, it does look good on ESPN, but it seems like it's merely demonstrating he doesn't have enough time to properly plant his feet and throw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rylinkus View Post
    The OPs case has always been that if Jeter were a bad fielder his UZR would always be bad and not jump all over the spectrum.
    Right, but that case isn't a particularly good one. UZR isn't comparing the individual player to himself; it compares the player to others at his position. Defensive performance can fluctuate just like offensive performance. Like I said, if other shortstops are doing poorly with a particular distribution of balls in play that he excels at, he'll receive more credit.

    His point has ALWAYS been that Jeter is a "good" defensive player. Even the simplest of studies show that he's not (go to page 147).
    My blog- analysis of the San Francisco Giants, Baseball, and Sabermetrics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C1Bman88 View Post
    Right, but that case isn't a particularly good one. UZR isn't comparing the individual player to himself; it compares the player to others at his position. Defensive performance can fluctuate just like offensive performance. Like I said, if other shortstops are doing poorly with a particular distribution of balls in play that he excels at, he'll receive more credit
    UZR uses multi-season samples. Therefore, half a season won't really skew the data much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveshane67 View Post
    When someone tries of for a team, lets say a U18 travel team, they are hit 4 groundballs, 1 to the left, right, right at him, and a slow roller. Im assuming MLB scouts use a similar format to judge talent.... Jeter has no range to his left, a little more to his right, but probably impresses people with that jump throw thing he does.

    As of today, I think most people would agree, that the defensive stats are still well behind the offensive stats. That being said I wouldnt totally disregard them, but, as of today, I would take a scouts opinion on someones defense over using stats.
    Eh, I'm not sure how much I agree with the latter. While UZR is flawed, and limited as a defensive metric, a scout's opinion is still very subjected and vulnerable to a small sample.

    I will say, though, that a scout can be a great indicator of different defensive tools. Heck, projects like the Fans Scouting Report are very useful, and I try to implement them along with UZR/other defensive metrics when doing a semi-serious analysis.

    http://www.tangotiger.net/scouting/

    Im not sure how much the stats take into account "chances". obviously a K pitcher or a high GB or FB pitcher effects how many chances a particular fielder has. Also, the other players on the team can take balls away. IE if you have a stud CF, hes gonna call of a COF on some balls that a "normal" CF wouldnt get to....
    I believe UZR and or plus/minus adjust for GB/FB tendencies per staff.

    Take Elvis Andrus for example, he committed A LOT of errors in the minors, but the scouts all said he was really good, and he has played up that level thus far in the bigs (has highest RF/9, 3rd in UZR/150, although mid pack in FP)
    Well, I think we can all agree errors are a LIMITED fielding metric.

    Another thing stats cant comprehend is how many mental miscues occur, or how many double plays are not turned due to bad fielding (ie defense recorded an out at 2nd but failed to get runner at 1st).
    I really don't know how UZR treats double plays.

  8. #8
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    I remember someone saying something about this in the Derek Jeter is overrated thread. They asked why is UZR is so good this year but not others. Why cant a player have fluke years with the glove the same they do with the bat?

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    They can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C1Bman88 View Post
    Right, but that case isn't a particularly good one. UZR isn't comparing the individual player to himself; it compares the player to others at his position. Defensive performance can fluctuate just like offensive performance. Like I said, if other shortstops are doing poorly with a particular distribution of balls in play that he excels at, he'll receive more credit.

    His point has ALWAYS been that Jeter is a "good" defensive player. Even the simplest of studies show that he's not (go to page 147).
    For one, UZR still ignores factors that are very crucial to fielding a ball (spin that is put on the ball, field conditions, etc.).

    Two, of the short stops that have played behind Clemens, Jeter has fielded the most balls. THe law of averages would say that the player who has played more balls (and thus had more chances) will inevitably make more errors.

    Lastly, (and you stat ppl will hate this) but UZR MOST DEFINITELY does not take into account clutchness. The other night Jeter misplayed a double play ball that was thrown to him from the pitcher, missing the catch causing all players to be safe. The very next batter hit a sharp shot to Jeter and he turned a very difficult double play, ending the inning and thereby erasing the previous mistake. If a run had scored because of that miscue, then you say that's Jeter's fault. But NOTHING changed as a result of the first error due to the second chance (which was a much harder play). When it comes down the crunch time, certain players like Jeter will play outside of what the UZR ratings say they are capable of.

    Now how about you watch some games and stop with the equations....

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinskik View Post
    Lastly, (and you stat ppl will hate this) but UZR MOST DEFINITELY does not take into account clutchness. The other night Jeter misplayed a double play ball that was thrown to him from the pitcher, missing the catch causing all players to be safe. The very next batter hit a sharp shot to Jeter and he turned a very difficult double play, ending the inning and thereby erasing the previous mistake. If a run had scored because of that miscue, then you say that's Jeter's fault. But NOTHING changed as a result of the first error due to the second chance (which was a much harder play). When it comes down the crunch time, certain players like Jeter will play outside of what the UZR ratings say they are capable of.

    Now how about you watch some games and stop with the equations....
    So Jeter made a mistake and made up for it. Big frickin' deal. It's relatively easy to quantify "clutch" plays made- just use a win probability chart.

    I do watch Baseball, religiously. A lot of SABR fans do. Don't be ignorant.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by C1Bman88 View Post
    So Jeter made a mistake and made up for it. Big frickin' deal. It's relatively easy to quantify "clutch" plays made- just use a win probability chart.

    I do watch Baseball, religiously. A lot of SABR fans do. Don't be ignorant.
    No! That's exactly the point you're missing. Clutchness doesn't determine wins or loses so definitively. His play saved runs, that's clutch. The same play, however, was not the reason for the win entirely. And excuse me if I don't know precisely what a win probability chart is, but it sounds like more bull.

    The big "frickin'" deal is that Jeter erased the miscue, essentially giving no value to these measurements which would say that because of that play he's a bad SS. Point being, the end result is the same whether he makes the first play or not. Many shortstops would be flustered after the mistake and unable to redeem themselves.

    My only real question to you is: Do you watch every play made by every shortstop? If not, which is understandable, which shortstop do you watch on the most regular basis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by colinskik View Post
    No! That's exactly the point you're missing. Clutchness doesn't determine wins or loses so definitively. His play saved runs, that's clutch. The same play, however, was not the reason for the win entirely. And excuse me if I don't know precisely what a win probability chart is, but it sounds like more bull.
    You do realize that runs lead to wins...right?

    The big "frickin'" deal is that Jeter erased the miscue, essentially giving no value to these measurements which would say that because of that play he's a bad SS. Point being, the end result is the same whether he makes the first play or not. Many shortstops would be flustered after the mistake and unable to redeem themselves.
    ...Jeter ****ed up, and as a result, put his pitcher in a worse spot than before. He increased the pitcher's pitch count. How does him making a "difficult double play" negate the increased workload and stress level for his pitcher? It doesn't. He ****ed up, he gets docked for it. He makes a good play, he gets points for it. And how the hell do you know that any other shortstop would be unable to redeem themselves?

    My only real question to you is: Do you watch every play made by every shortstop? If not, which is understandable, which shortstop do you watch on the most regular basis?
    Omar Vizquel, Adam Everett, Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colinskik View Post
    No! That's exactly the point you're missing. Clutchness doesn't determine wins or loses so definitively. His play saved runs, that's clutch. The same play, however, was not the reason for the win entirely. And excuse me if I don't know precisely what a win probability chart is, but it sounds like more bull.

    The big "frickin'" deal is that Jeter erased the miscue, essentially giving no value to these measurements which would say that because of that play he's a bad SS. Point being, the end result is the same whether he makes the first play or not. Many shortstops would be flustered after the mistake and unable to redeem themselves.

    My only real question to you is: Do you watch every play made by every shortstop? If not, which is understandable, which shortstop do you watch on the most regular basis?
    Every play saves or loses runs.

    That's the point of both run probability and win probability matrices. You obviously have an opinion about it that isn't going to change despite the great evidence any one of us could show you, so really it's not worth the discussion you are trying to have.

    And as for Jeter's "clutch" play....you remember that one time when he made up for something by making an awesome play, but I'm sure there are plenty of times where he messed up and didn't redeem himself. UZR is about the culmination of all of the plays, not just a few.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by C1Bman88 View Post
    You do realize that runs lead to wins...right?



    ...Jeter ****ed up, and as a result, put his pitcher in a worse spot than before. He increased the pitcher's pitch count. How does him making a "difficult double play" negate the increased workload and stress level for his pitcher? It doesn't. He ****ed up, he gets docked for it. He makes a good play, he gets points for it. And how the hell do you know that any other shortstop would be unable to redeem themselves?



    Omar Vizquel, Adam Everett, Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria.
    Now you're really just being a *******. I am familiar with the most basic of rules as they pertain to baseball, yes. But what I said is that one play, one run-saving play, still is not the end all be all to determining a win.

    As for Jeter's difficult double play, it was literally the NEXT pitch, so your theory of increasing the pitcher's workload etc. is entirely moot. However, I understand that is an isolated incident, but it's the incident that we're discussing. Furthermore, the point was that UZR is bogus because the first missed DP would show up in those stats even though the second, and completed, DP erased any potential ill effects from the error. As far as I know, UZR does not deal with a pitcher's level of energy or stress. However, again, I don't mess around with these dork stats but it seems you're getting a little off topic as it relates to UZR.

    And finally, I don't know that any other shortstop would be unable to redeem themselves, but I do know that Jeter will 9 times out of 10 redeem himself.

    Have you watched Jeter at all on a regular basis? Also, how do you have the time to watch every game of four different teams?

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