September 13, 2012
In A Pickle
Defense in the 2012 Pennant Races
I'd like to tell you an introductory anecdote or post a GIF (soft-g) or something to ease you in to what we're about to engage in, but I don't think my chops are up to snuff, so why don't we just dive in?
There's a neat thing we provide in our stat reports on this website. It's called Team Defensive Efficiency and it has two key stats: defensive efficiency (DE), a very basic measure attributable to Bill James that simply says what percentage of balls in play a defense converts into outs, and Park Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (PADE), a metric designed almost a decade ago (gosh I'm old) by James Click, who these days graces the Rays' front office roster, serving as their Director of Baseball Research and Development. PADE, as the name implies, adjusts for each team's park's effect on their defensive performance and spits out a number that represents a percentage above or below average at turning balls in play into outs.1
You could click over to the stat report, but I'm afraid if you do that, you'll never come back here, so I'll reproduce an excerpt. Here's a table of baseball teams showing their defensive efficiencies and their PADEs, as grabbed on Wednesday night (i.e. the stats are updated through Tuesday's games), sorted by DE :