Defensive metrics are far from a finished product. Looking at a player’s UZR/150 or defensive runs saved aren’t the only things defense should be evaluated on. So, let’s have a look at Inside Edge Fielding.
Quick primer: Inside Edge Fielding “is a set of statistics that measures how often a player has made a defense play of a particular difficulty. There are six categories of plays based on how often a fielder at that position would make the play in question.”
The categories are broken down by the likely percentage a player can make a play. It is as follows:
- Impossible (0 percent)
- Remote (1-10 percent)
- Unlikely (10-40 percent)
- About Even (40-60 percent)
- Likely (60-90 percent)
- Almost Certain/Certain (90-100 percent)
Let’s see how the Dodgers’ defenders stack up in terms of the last category — Almost Certain/Certain.
Adrian Gonzalez – 97.5 percent, 20th out of 26 first basemen
But it’s first base, who really cares?
Howie Kendrick – 99.1 percent, 3rd-best in MLB
Kendrick was the 3rd-worst making plays in the 60-90 percent range (68.8 percent)
Justin Turner – 95.8 percent, 3rd-worst in baseball
Conversely, Turner was third-best making plays in the 60-90 percent range (87.5 percent)
Corey Seager – 96.3 percent, would be tied for 21st-best in baseball (only had 192 innings at short)
With the way he should hit, this should be fine … right?
Andre Ethier – 100 percent!
He was also 100 percent in right field
Joc Pederson – 99.2 percent, 18th out of 27 center fielders
He made all his 60-90 percent plays, though
Yasiel Puig – 100 percent!
Like Pederson, he made all his 60-90 percent plays
At first glance, the outfield defense seems to be ahead of the infield defense. The eye test backs that up, as do some of the numbers. With the Dodgers’ partial emphasis on ground ball pitchers (Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, etc.), having rangier infielders could help. But know that when the pitching staff gives up fly balls/line drives that have at least a 60 percent chance of being caught, there’s a really good chance that ball will be tracked down.