Sunday, June 13, 2004

Dodgers Vs. Red Sox, 13 June 2004

Pokey Reese just made a breathtaking Spud Webb jump to prevent Dave Roberts from hitting a gapper with two men on. I'm reminded of this game. Kip Wells took a no-hitter into the eighth despite not throwing particularly well, largely because Reese made about four similarly amazing plays to prevent base hits.

I was at that game, and I later told Ryan (the quiet one, over to your right) about Pokey's heroics and argued that if Reese could prevent even a half a hit per game, he'd be an above average second baseman overall. Mainstream saber writers at the time (read: Rob Neyer) often argued that the conventional wisdom crowd overvalued defense, and Ryan looked at Reese's anemic offensive numbers and told me I was out of my mind, and that Reese's defense couldn't possibly be that valuable.

Well, the CW crowd and I were probably right on this one, at least given what we know now. Baseball Prospectus thinks Reese saved nine runs more than the average second baseman over the past three years despite missing most of 2003 to injury, and even that seems conservative. Range Factor (a measure of the number of plays a fielder makes per game) says he's made about one more play per game than the average second baseman over that period. There are a lot of problems with Range Factor, such as the fact that it does not account for the number of balls hit in a fielder's direction. The fact that Jack Wilson has a slightly above-average Range Factor over the same period serves as a warning that Pokey's RFs might be a bit overblown, since most serious defensive metrics rate Wilson a below-average defender and Wilson and Reese played behind the same pitching staffs in 2002 and 2003.

So let's look at Mitchel Lichtman's Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) stat, which not only factors in the number of balls hit a fielder's way but also park effects, groundball-to-flyball ratios of pitching staffs, and the types of balls (line drives, etc.) hit in the direction of each fielder. Reese's UZRs at second base have been fantastic - he was twenty runs above average in 2003 (or he would have been, if he'd played 162 games), and twenty-six runs above average per 162 games from 1999 to 2001.

The point is that by any serious metric I'm aware of, Pokey Reese is simply an excellent defender, excellent enough to more than offset his poor hitting. In the case of his defense, the stats confirm what the observational evidence tells us. His hitting is still another story, of course (although he did hit an impressive drive off the Green Monster today), but there's at least a small chance that even his offense may eventually be respectable. According to Baseball Reference, the player most similar to Reese through age 30 is Tony Phillips. If Reese can learn to control the strike zone like Phillips did, he'll be nearly as valuable with his bat as he is with his glove. Of course, Phillips was a very unusual player; it's much more likely that Reese's career path will follow those of his second- and third- most-similar players, the weak-hitting Andre Rodgers and Billy Martin. Both of them flamed out by age 33. Enjoy Reese's spectacular defense now: there may not be too many years of it left.


Blogger Blog World said...

i was just browsing through the blog world searching for the keyword posters and it brought me to your site. You have a great site however it is not exactly what i was looking for. Good luck on your site.

11:17 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

wedding dresses, louis vuitton, links of london, bottes ugg, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, doudoune canada goose, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, thomas sabo, swarovski crystal, moncler, pandora jewelry, pandora charms, canada goose, moncler, moncler, canada goose, moncler outlet, canada goose, hollister, swarovski, moncler, ugg boots uk, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, sac louis vuitton pas cher, replica watches, pandora jewelry, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, coach outlet, moncler

11:40 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

abercrombie and fitch, hollister, birkin bag, nfl jerseys, ray ban, nike roshe, montre pas cher, instyler, ghd, converse outlet, mac cosmetics, north face outlet, jimmy choo shoes, ferragamo shoes, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, nike air max, ralph lauren, wedding dresses, reebok shoes, insanity workout, vans shoes, lancel, soccer shoes, converse, p90x workout, babyliss, asics running shoes, bottega veneta, supra shoes, herve leger, baseball bats, hollister, nike air max, karen millen, north face outlet, toms shoes, soccer jerseys, chi flat iron, beats by dre, oakley, valentino shoes, gucci, new balance, mont blanc, mcm handbags, vans, louboutin, celine handbags, timberland boots

11:50 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

burberry, burberry outlet online, north face, oakley pas cher, timberland, michael kors, mulberry, nike trainers, true religion outlet, nike air max, ray ban uk, sac guess, nike air max, vans pas cher, hollister pas cher, new balance pas cher, ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, michael kors, michael kors outlet, longchamp, michael kors outlet, hollister, hermes, michael kors outlet, michael kors, nike huarache, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, nike air max, michael kors outlet, air force, hogan, ugg boots, coach purses, converse pas cher, nike free run uk, lacoste pas cher, tn pas cher, ralph lauren uk, nike blazer, ugg boots, hollister, michael kors outlet, lululemon, nike roshe, north face, vanessa bruno, michael kors

11:50 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, uggs on sale, coach outlet, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, replica handbags, ugg boots, jordan shoes, nike air max, louboutin shoes, nike roshe run, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, nike free, nike air max, gucci outlet, longchamp pas cher, tiffany and co, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry, longchamp, louboutin pas cher, air max, ugg boots, tiffany jewelry, coach outlet, replica watches, sac longchamp, prada outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louboutin, chanel handbags, air jordan pas cher, michael kors, kate spade handbags, replica watches, nike free, ralph lauren pas cher, tory burch outlet, louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet

11:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from
Listed on Blogwise Weblog Commenting and Trackback by