Fielding Runs for Minor League Infielders
Dan Fox has been doing very similar work to what I've been doing with the retrosheet data. Results are pretty similar to what I came up with, but he takes it a step further - the minor leagues. Its pretty cool. For infielders just knowing rough hit location gets you very close results to the best of the play by play systems.
Here's some highlights:
Angels have some good defensive shortstops on the way. Sean Rodriguez is +7.4, Brandon Wood +2.8 in limited time, and Hainley Statia +21. I have no idea how that translates to the major leagues. Is a +7 shortstop in AA a good major league shortstop? Average? Useless? We'll need to see more years of this data to figure it out. Wood (-3.5) did not do so well at third base, a position he was playing for the first time.
The only shortstop ahead of Statia was a guy in the Mexican league, Ivan Cervantes. Matt Sweeney (-17.5) was a terrible 3B and if he has a future, it will be at first. He wasn't the worst though. Mat Gamel was -24 runs for the Brewer's FSL affiliate. He did this by making 53 errors in 113 games, an .826 fielding percentage.
If the Brewers set a goal of proving that Ryan Braun is not the worst defensive 3rd baseman in the history of the galaxy, I think this guy can help their case.