There has been a lot of talk this season about the team's defense, and how it compares to other teams and last year. Sky has introduced us all to Justin Inaz's Total Value list and it's defensive analysis. It seemingly has the best rating system for a player's defense because it uses the average of two measures and converts it to runs. Looking at the player ratings, the Rays seem to be about average as far as defense goes. Subjectively this does not make sense. Let's take a look at how defenses around the league look compared to their pitcher's true abilities.
The following table shows the difference between the real runs allowed by a team versus the hypothetical runs the pitcher has allowed. Using the formula for tRA, I found the utRA for each team's pitching staff (utRA is unadjusted tRA because I did not want to introduce parkfactors because the real runs were scored in the real environments the LD, SO, BB, GB, etc. data came from). It also shows team FRAA, which is the sum of all players for each team's Fielding Runs according to Justin Inaz.
|Team||RA||utR||tFR||tFR%||tFR Rank||Team FRAA||FRAA Rank|
The interesting thing here is that a lot of these rankings are very similar to what the Fielding Ratings are. The outliers are the most interesting, though. The big movers are Houston and Atlanta that both drop considerably. This seems to make sense looking at the rosters of the two teams.
The Rays climb up the ratings into the top 5. Looking at the top and bottom 10s of each list the tFRA list seems more in-line with what I would consider the better fielding teams. One thing that sticks out is the teams with the strength up the middle tend to do fairly well.
It's too bad I'm not better with stats because I think some useful information might be gleaned from this. Maybe the statcorner guys want to embark on a true fielding measure next.
This makes me wonder even more about the reliability of any defensive metrics we currently have. HitFX!!!!!