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Is the shifty Brett Lawrie truly the amazing fielder that some defensive metrics claim he is?

Let’s play a game called “Which one of these is not like the others?”

Culled from Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and yours truly, defensive ratings for Brett Lawrie:

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How do you watch a ball and mark it down?

One of the things about being a baseball analyst as a writer is that I have the luxury of taking the broad view. If I am right about most players, I’m doing a pretty good job. If I miss on a player here or there…I don’t enjoy it, and I try and learn from it, but it’s not devastating.

A general manager, on the other hand, is responsible for about 25 players or so—more if you include everyone who could conceivably play on a team in one season, fewer if you limit it to players who will end up having (or missing) enough playing time to have a real impact. Missing on one player can, in fact, be devastating.

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An attempt to construct a defensive metric without bias.

I have been making something of a ruckus recently about where I feel the state of current defensive analysis is. I have been long on listing problems, and short on proposing solutions.

Well, allow me to make amends there. I don’t pretend to have the problem solved. I’m not sure any of us will ever see it truly solved. But I think—or at least, hope—this can point us in the right direction.

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April 3, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Reminiscing with SFR, the Sequel


Dan Fox

A continuing stroll through the defensive data of yesteryear with SFR, covering 1957-83.

"Aw, how could he lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."
--Harry Caray, on a Jorge Orta feat in the field.

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January 31, 2008 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Back to the Drawing Board


Dan Fox

With a nod to the wisdom of crowds, Dan revisits Simple Fielding Runs and outfield defense.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
--Thomas A. Edison

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