Saturday, December 13, 2008

Total Zone 2008, 1st Basemen

Best:

+18, Albert Pujols
+18, Mark Teixiera
+16, Lyle Overbay
+10, Lance Berkman
+9, Casey Kotchman
+9, Ryan Howard

The one that sticks out like a sore thumb is Ryan Howard, who looks like an awful 1st baseman. Hard to believe this rating when he allowed 17 batters to reach on errors. While the old convenient standby, luck, might explain it, I'll try to go further. For one, TotalZone has not always rated Howard well. It saw him as about average in 2006 and -5 runs in 2007. For 2008, Howard allowed only 5 ground balls to go down the line for extra base hits. Overbay (13) and Berkman (12) had more, and even the Deity, Albert Pujols, allowed 9. Could Howard be playing closer to the line than other first basemen?

If so, we should expect the ground ball singles to right to be an above average amount, but it wasn't, probably even a bit below average. This could mean that Chase Utley covered for him, and Howard is getting credit for Utley's ridiculous range. Utley rated much higher in systems like plus/minus.

I'm confidant that I'm getting the teams rated very well here, but this is a case where the players may not be getting the credit divided properly.

And the worst first basemen:

-8, Ross Gload - KC may need to upgrade this position
-8, Jason Giambi
-11, Ryan Garko
-17, Richie Sexson
-18, Mike Jacobs (so much for an upgrade)

16 Comments:

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Pizza Cutter said...

I was looking at Howard as well last night. He rates out at 10 runs above average in OPA!, mostly on the strength of having the best range(?!) of any first baseman in baseball last year. Your guess is as good as mine...

 
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