Friday, February 01, 2008

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.