Thursday, December 13, 2007

2007 Total Zone, Shortstops

A quick overview on Totalzone: I first introduced this while writing for MVN, and you can find it here. The data comes from the retrosheet play by play database, and what I look for, in the case of shortstops, is how many groundballs they made outs on, how many went as singles to left, singles to center, infield singles to short, and how many batters reached base on errors. From this I compute the totalzone rating, and convert it to runs after comparing to the league average. Groundballs hit by lefthanded and righthanded batters are accounted for separately. I also do separate calculations depending on whether a runner is on first - not just because of potential double plays, but it gives the shortstop an extra option to record an out. If he makes a diving stop on a groundball hit by a speedy runner, he may not have a chance at first, but might have enough time for a quick flip forceout to secondbase. Shortstops tend to make plays slightly more often with a runner on first. Any way, once I get those 4 ratings I park adjust them and sum them up.

I have ratings for 2003 to 2006, and this year I've added a double play measure, also from retrosheet. Pretty much I just look at how often a groundball hit in a double play situation is turned into an actual double play.

The results, at least for the infield, match up well with the zone ratings and more detailed play by play methods. Omar Vizquel leads at +24, followed by Troy Tulowitzki at +23. Jose Reyes is +16 and John McDonald +15. Adam Everett, now with the Twins, gets a +9 rating despite missing half the season to a broken leg. Last year Everett was a +40, which has got to be one of the best of all time.

Down at the bottom you have Brendan Harris (-18), who isn't really a shortstop, Carlos Guillen (-17), who isn't a shortstop anymore, Hanley Ramirez (-16), who can really hit, and Derek Jeter (-12), who is Derek Jeter.

Here's all shortstops with 75 or more chances last year, and I've given all the splits I can provide.

For example, Derek Jeter is -15 overall in range (the -12 includes a +3 from turning DP's), but Jeter is -18 with 1B unoccupied, and +3 with a runner on. With a runner on, he of course is playing closer to the bag. Jeter's poor range to his left is well-known (pasta diving Jeter) and it shows here, nobody allowed more groundball hits to center than Jeter's 155. Perhaps Jeter should position himself closer to second.

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