The State of the Defense, Part 1

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If you asked me about the quality of defense in the league, I would have guessed it was below average if not bad. However, that impression was anecdotal at best. I wanted to get a better feel of what the real averages of the league are. So I took the 12-16 players at each position who have logged enough innings to qualify as regulars and took the average of their each of their defensive ratings to provide a league-specific average defensive player for each position. The rating are also separated by league. The study will be divided into two parts. Part 1 will focus on the positions as a whole. Part 2 will look at the best and worst fielders being employed by teams.

Here are a few hypothesis' or assumptions that I thought I would find:
  • AL Defense on a whole would be better. This is for a few reasons: AL has the DH and its much easier to hide a bad fielder as the NL is forced to put bad fielders at LF and 1B. Also because of the lack of a DH, NL team would be more willing to sacrifice defense in order to get more offense, especially at C.
  • OF defense would be closer to or better than the recs than IF defense. Baseball favors LH hitters due to the platoon advantage. There are simply more RHPs. In real life 4 out of 5 people are right handed, however its so advantageous to be a left handed hitter that only about 2 out of 3 players are RH. As advantageous as it is to be a LH hitter, there are only 4 and maybe 5 positions on defense that left handers can play: LF, CF, RF, 1B, and maybe C. With the abundance of lefties in baseball, there are more players capable of playing OF than IF so thus OF defense will be better.
  • SS would have the furthest deviation from the recs. Aside from C, SS is the most difficult position to play. If you are a SS and can't throw, you're a 2B or a CF. An SS who with no range, is a 3B. There are more people available to play the other positions.
These are just assumptions and not necessarily true. On to the data!

We all know the recommended values for each position:
POS Range Glove ArmS ArmA PC
C 10 30 75 75 50
1B 40 40 40 40 0
2B 80 75 55 65 0
3B 65 70 75 70 0
SS 80 85 85 85 0
LF 55 55 50 50 0
CF 85 85 60 65 0
RF 65 50 70 65 0


Plumpy Rules!!!111 League Averages

POS R G AS AA PC
C 10 30 75 75 50

AL: 12 27 70 68 70

NL: 11 30 71 69 73


POS R G AS AA
1B 40 40 40 40

AL: 53 46 47 46

NL: 44 41 45 44


POS R G AS AA
2B 80 75 55 65

AL: 79 71 59 63

NL: 78 72 55 60


POS R G AS AA
3B 65 70 75 70

AL: 73 73 75 74

NL: 67 70 73 72


POS R G AS AA
SS 80 85 85 85

AL: 84 80 87 84

NL: 84 82 89 84


POS R G AS AA
LF 55 55 50 50

AL: 62 62 55 57

NL: 66 62 55 58


POS R G AS AA
CF 85 85 60 65

AL: 84 79 61 61

NL: 85 81 55 58


POS R G AS AA
RF 65 50 70 65

AL: 66 61 70 66

NL: 69 61 71 65


On the whole, the world is pretty average. The biggest gaps are in CF, 2B, SS, but they are only slight and the league is pretty far ahead of the averages in LF and 1B. Coming soon: Part 2: The Best and Worst Fielders.

mattwithanh

Developer

Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111

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