Responding to a challenge from Christina, Keith posted the best and worst outfield arms for 2006. Keith took a look at the criterion of preventing runners advancing from second on a single but of course there are other scenarios one could include. Recently, John Dewan published a similar metric in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2007 that included all advancement scenarios on singles and doubles. The top and bottom five outfields by his measure were:
Top 5 Outfields 2006
Team Opps Extra Bases Kills Pct
Blue Jays 410 180 24 .439
A's 474 220 15 .464
Tigers 411 193 18 .470
Mariners 486 229 20 .471
Rangers 517 244 28 .472
The strength of this measure is that it includes a larger sample size and can therefore be said to be more accurrate. However, Keith’s measure is more granular in that it look at distinct trios of outfielders. In either case the Blue Jays, A’s, Tigers, and Mariners come out looking good while the Giants and Nationals are on the bottom on both lists.
The other aspect that the above lists capture are the kills, which in a run expectancy sense, carry much greater weight than simply preventing advancement. Although not on the list, the Cardinals had just 4 kills (no other team had fewer than eight) while ranking 24th at .527 and so from an overall perspective one could argue that the World Champs had the worst outfield in baseball in terms of preventing runner advancement.