Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro

DMZ · November 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Ichiro was the 2nd-best center fielder in baseball according to PMR. Then again, B.J. Upton got a top place too, which surprised me.

Fun update: In this thread at Inside the Book, MGL offers UZRs for the AL winners: (the numbers are their runs above or below average for each year, starting with 08 and then 05-07).

3RD – ADRIAN BELTRE – MARINERS +29, 05 +5, 06, +15, 07 +7. He and Rolen (and Feliz) are probably the best 3B in baseball.
OF – ICHIRO SUZUKI – MARINERS -18, 05 0, 06, +1, 07, -14. At the very best, I think he a good corner outfielder and a below-average CF.

Dissent between advanced metrics! PMR thinks Ichiro was awesome and UZR thinks he was horrible! Dun-dun-dunnnnn.

Also: Beltre at +29 at third is stellar. In total contribution, it puts him up with Alex Rodriguez among the best in baseball.


20 Responses to “Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro”

  1. HeffMariner on November 8th, 2008 10:53 pm

    look at Nate McLouth on that list and explain to me how he won a gold glove. Actually, just point me in the direction of that stellar shortstop from Texas and I guess I will start to see this whole thing a little more clearly….

  2. Typical Idiot Fan on November 8th, 2008 10:54 pm

    Upton has not been beloved by any of the defensive metrics except this one. Also Ichiro, while being a fine defensive player, was far from the favorite of other metrics in center.


  3. vj on November 9th, 2008 1:47 am

    Another oddity: Mike Cameron ranked in the bottom half, slightly below 100.

  4. Milendriel on November 9th, 2008 2:50 am

    Anecdotally, from references to defense I’ve seen on USSM, it seems like the CF rankings tend to be more volatile among different ranking systems than for other positions. Gomez is only 5th, Sizemore and Adam Jones are a ways down, McLouth is higher than Granderson. I wonder if there are any aspects of playing CF that exacerbate differences in methodology between the defensive metrics?

  5. msb on November 9th, 2008 8:31 am

    how much you have to cover for your right and/or left fielders?

  6. joser on November 9th, 2008 8:51 am

    how much you have to cover for your right and/or left fielders?

    You know, it might be interesting to compile total outfield defense for each team, and then break out each fielder’s percentage contribution to that total. You could also look at how team outfield ranked among the 30 teams, and then how each outfielder on those teams ranked vs the other players at his position on the other teams. Both of those would give you a better sense of which players are excelling despite the “contributions” of their teammates.

    Are the complete PMR tables downloadable at baseball musings somehow? I looked around but couldn’t find that.

  7. draketw206 on November 9th, 2008 9:51 am

    ESPN found that Beltre was the best 3rd basemen last year…

  8. Sports on a Schtick on November 9th, 2008 11:24 am

    UZR has always hated Ichiro. But other defensive metrics like ZR, PMR and +/- rank him highly.

  9. Westside guy on November 9th, 2008 1:06 pm

    Ichiro may have lost a step or two in the past couple years, and we fans may not see our own boys quite as clearly – especially if it’s possible to cherry-pick a few metrics that miss our guy’s small declines.

    It’s a bit sad that some people (not here) see Beltre as some sort of failure simply because they’ve only focused on his 2004 bat – he’s not hitting anywhere near .334 for us, so that means he’s a bust. Heck, those of us who remember the M’s playing in the dome… we’ve seen truly bad third basemen! Actually, I guess we’ve seen them more recently than that…

  10. skyking162 on November 9th, 2008 2:05 pm

    MGL is working on computing UZR with BIS data instead of the usual STATS data. That comparison should provide some awesome insight into the data providers.

  11. marc w on November 9th, 2008 6:54 pm

    Skyking –

    That’s really great news. I’ve worried that a lot of the discrepancy between the defensive metrics is due to the different ways zones/balls are classified. The OF rankings (and 3B ones, to a lesser degree) don’t correlate well – MGL’s work should clear up a lot of questions.

  12. naviomelo on November 9th, 2008 10:42 pm

    According to the comments, they rated Darin Erstad way above average at 105.93 in CF. Can we take PMR seriously, or is this just small sample size theater noise?

  13. DMZ on November 9th, 2008 10:53 pm

    Which Erstad?

  14. Mat on November 10th, 2008 1:30 am

    Erstad in CF for the Astros in 2008.

    Erstad played a measly 304 innings in CF for Houston. Erstad had 97 putouts, so a 105.93 would mean that PMR had him at roughly 91-92 expected putouts. It may be somewhat improbable for Erstad to have been a handful of plays above average, but given such limited playing time, it’s hardly a crazy result.

    Jamie Burke had an OBP 7% better than league average in 2007–can we take OBP seriously? (Sorry, I know you left open the possibility for small sample size as an explanation, but the general willingness to dismiss defensive stats over a few stray data points is a sore spot for me. The same thing happens with offensive stats all the time and we’re willing to take those seriously–sometimes much too seriously over small sample sizes.)

  15. vj on November 10th, 2008 1:58 am

    As far as I know, Erstad has a pretty good reputation as a defender and UZR has liked him. See for instance this comment by tangotiger in last year’s free agent thread at insidethebook.

  16. vj on November 10th, 2008 2:02 am

    The link doesn’t go directly to the comment but the thread’s start. I am referring to comment #318. {BTW the edit function isn’t working for me. I am on IE 6 here at work.}

  17. philosofool on November 10th, 2008 5:51 am

    This is worrisome news for the idea that PMR and UZR are actually measuring defensive performance. If these metrics are able to disagree so wildly about the very same performance, why do we think that they are measuring the same thing, viz. defensive performance?

  18. DMZ on November 10th, 2008 6:52 am

    They’ve diverged greatly before on players and positions. Like all stats, it’s important to look at them with open eyes and knowing their limitations. With defensive stats, which are still the roughest of our statistical tools, even more so.

  19. msb on November 10th, 2008 8:19 am

    but Derek! I thought we only looked at numbers and nothing else, blindly ignoring real baseball.

    I’m so confused.

  20. naviomelo on November 11th, 2008 4:24 pm

    Thanks Mat. I wasn’t trying to dismiss defensive metrics, but some of the results just seemed like oddities to me based on what our common perceptions are of the players in question.

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