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View Full Version : ATTN MONEYBALLERS...what is UZR?



Pomp
03-03-04, 09:31 AM
I know it is a defensive measurement. But what does the stat consist of and it is any better than just plain ol' fielding percentage?

Also, what is considered a good UZR rating?

WiffleWOOD
03-03-04, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by Pomp
I know it is a defensive measurement. But what does the stat consist of and it is any better than just plain ol' fielding percentage?

Also, what is considered a good UZR rating?

UZR is Ultimate Zone Rating.


this should explain it better than anyone else can:

http://www.baseballprimer.com/articles/lichtman_2003-03-14_0.shtml

NDBoston
03-03-04, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Pomp
I know it is a defensive measurement. But what does the stat consist of and it is any better than just plain ol' fielding percentage?

Also, what is considered a good UZR rating?

It's the reason ARod should be at SS and Jeter at 3rd.

Pomp
03-03-04, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


It's the reason ARod should be at SS and Jeter at 3rd.

Thanks for the clarification...although I am one to think that Arod would make a better 3rd baseman than Jeter would, but that is a discussion that has already been had.

Chico E
03-03-04, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


It's the reason ARod should be at SS and Jeter at 3rd.


Gah! Probably overstepping here, but the Jeter-bashing is tired as hell. Personally, I'm kind of glad that the choice of who plays where is left up to people like Torre, Cashman, and Steinbrenner and not Sox fans.

Whatever.

SODM
03-03-04, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by NDBoston


It's the reason ARod should be at SS and Jeter at 3rd.

I think UZR is seriously flawed and overexagurates Jeter's deficiciencies while not considering many of his strengths.

Unlike hitting stats, fielding stats take a back seat to watching a player play to properly make a judgement.

NJASDJDH
03-03-04, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by SODM


I think UZR is seriously flawed and overexagurates Jeter's deficiciencies while not considering many of his strengths.

Unlike hitting stats, fielding stats take a back seat to watching a player play to properly make a judgement.

Defensive stats aren't out to "get" Jeter, people don't sit down and create these things to make Jeter look bad, he just IS a bad shortstop, if you use your eyes or any metric.

SODM
03-03-04, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by NJASDJDH


Defensive stats aren't out to "get" Jeter, people don't sit down and create these things to make Jeter look bad, he just IS a bad shortstop, if you use your eyes or any metric.

I'm not saying they are out to get Jeter.
I just think UZR exploits his weaknesses and doesn't account for his strengths....
purely by coincidence.
Not any kind of conspiracy theory.
That is why I don't put much stock in UZR when talking about Jeter.

I like Verducci's take on Jeter.


People may look at Jeterís defense with a more critical eye because it has become a front burner issue, but Jeter never plays the position so awkwardly that you regard him as deficient. The guy is great on pop flies, very good at timing line drives, has very good hands and footwork on slow rollers and has a patent on the jump throw from deep shortstop ó all of which look great on the nightly highlights. He doesnít make a ton of errors. Itís more what you donít see with Jeter, such as range, especially to his left, so thatís more subtle. (I also have to give him a bit of a hall pass because heís had shoulder problems in two of the past three years. He never uses injuries as an excuse, but I believe the injuries have hindered him a bit.) I would not place Jeter in the poor category. Heís better than that. I donít think itís A-Rod so much that will put his defense under the microscope as it is more the Yankeesí staff. Brown, Lieber and Quantrill especially will throw a ton of groundballs. And if the Yankees donít go out and get a glove-first second baseman (which I think they will) their defense up the middle risks undermining the strength of the staff.

Chico E
03-03-04, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by NJASDJDH


Defensive stats aren't out to "get" Jeter, people don't sit down and create these things to make Jeter look bad, he just IS a bad shortstop, if you use your eyes or any metric.

Thanks for sharing YOUR opinion.
And yet, wait for it..............MY eyes tell me quite the opposite. Excuse me whilst I run and poke them out with a pointed stick.

Irabu's Son
03-03-04, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by NJASDJDH

he just IS a bad shortstop, if you use your eyes or any metric.

My eyes have never once told me in my life that Derek Jeter is a bad or inadequate shortstop.

Repoz
03-03-04, 11:58 AM
Here is Part 6 of Mike Emeigh's ( of Baseball Primer ) brilliant 8 Part look into the state of defense today....using Derek Jeter as the rangeless guinea pig.

http://www.baseballprimer.com/articles/emeigh_2002-11-21_0.shtml

cubswin
03-03-04, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Chico E



Gah! Probably overstepping here, but the Jeter-bashing is tired as hell. Personally, I'm kind of glad that the choice of who plays where is left up to people like Torre, Cashman, and Steinbrenner and not Sox fans.

Whatever.

Actually, Sox fans probably prefer to have Jeter at short. Check the board - this thread included - for YANKEE fans who agree w/ND...

Chico E
03-03-04, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by cubswin


Actually, Sox fans probably prefer to have Jeter at short. Check the board - this thread included - for YANKEE fans who agree w/ND...

Actually, deep down I think most Sox fans secretly would prefer to have Jeter on their team.

cubswin
03-03-04, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Chico E


Actually, deep down I think most Sox fans secretly would prefer to have Jeter on their team.


Not deep down -- I'd love to have him at 2B or 3B -- he is unquestionably a great player. At SS I'll take Nomar, though (and ARod over both).

Chico E
03-03-04, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by cubswin



Not deep down -- I'd love to have him at 2B or 3B -- he is unquestionably a great player. At SS I'll take Nomar, though (and ARod over both).

Well, if it were up to me, Mr. Rodriguez would be on his way to you right. about. now. ;)

Alas, it isn't.

NDBoston
03-03-04, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by cubswin


Actually, Sox fans probably prefer to have Jeter at short. Check the board - this thread included - for YANKEE fans who agree w/ND...

I want Jeter at short. I doubt he stays there past this year, if that long. IMO

Chico E
03-03-04, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by NDBoston


I want Jeter at short.

As do, apparently, all the people whose opinions count.

cubswin
03-03-04, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Chico E

s do, apparently, all the people whose opinions count.


Talking about Sox fans again?

Chico E
03-03-04, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by cubswin



Talking about Sox fans again?

No, I was actually talking about Torre, Cashman, and Steinbrenner again, but we can talk about Sox fans if you wanna.

cubswin
03-03-04, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by Chico E


No, I was actually talking about Torre, Cashman, and Steinbrenner again, but we can talk about Sox fans if you wanna.

Nah - I think this thread is about UZR.

bakntime
03-03-04, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by NDBoston


I want Jeter at short. I doubt he stays there past this year, if that long. IMO

It hardly matters. The upgrade in overall defense with having Jeter at 3rd and A-Rod at SS is hardly significant. I personally feel that A-Rod is better suited for 3rd than Jeter, but regardless that is the only option the Yankees would have to get Jeter out of SS.

The point is, that even if it were an upgrade in D to switch the two, there are far more critical thing that the Yankees team success will hinge on, such as the team staying healthy.

hugelongtermdeal
03-03-04, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by NDBoston


I want Jeter at short. I doubt he stays there past this year, if that long. IMO


Ditto .. especially when Brown pitches.

hugelongtermdeal
03-03-04, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by bakntime
The upgrade in overall defense with having Jeter at 3rd and A-Rod at SS is hardly significant. I personally feel that A-Rod is better suited for 3rd than Jeter, but regardless that is the only option the Yankees would have to get Jeter out of SS.


The problem with your theory is that SS gets MANY more chances over the course of a season. (So, of course, you'd want the stronger player @ SS)

Also, you're not going to want to hear it, but Bill James did a study showing that a third baseman's range actually does very little to compensate for a SS with poor range.

bakntime
03-03-04, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by hugelongtermdeal



The problem with your theory is that SS gets MANY more chances over the course of a season. (So, of course, you'd want the stronger player @ SS)

Also, you're not going to want to hear it, but Bill James did a study showing that a third baseman's range actually does very little to compensate for a SS with poor range.

That's all nice and cute, but it also doesn't take into account that Jeter might not make a very good 3rd baseman, nor the fact that range is slightly also overrated, as not all balls that a SS gets to can be turned into actual outs, especially balls in the hole.

IMO, having outstanding defense is way overrated, and having a solid glove at 3rd in A-Rod won't necessarily "help" Jeter at SS, but it certainly won't make him any worse.

Anyway, if the Yankees are unsuccessful this year for whatever reason, there's basically NO WAY that putting Jeter somewhere else on the field would have made a difference. To say so is being oblivious as to how important all the other factors in the game are.

NJOBP36
03-03-04, 09:59 PM
Even if Jeter was a worse 3rd baseman, it wouldn't be by a huge margin. And as it's been mentioned, you want your best defender at short.

hugelongtermdeal
03-04-04, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by NJOBP36
Even if Jeter was a worse 3rd baseman, it wouldn't be by a huge margin. And as it's been mentioned, you want your best defender at short.


Well put .... You want your best defensive player getting the most chances. (not the other way around)

SODM
03-04-04, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by hugelongtermdeal



Well put .... You want your best defensive player getting the most chances. (not the other way around)

Jeter is the heart and soul of the team so keeping him at SS is ultimately the best thing for the Yankees.

I'm going to take cover in a bunker now.

LoneRedSeat
03-04-04, 10:50 AM
Saying Jeter is a good defensive shorstop because you can see it "with your eyes" is fine. It just means you're turning a blind eye to the mountain of statistical data that indicates the opposite.

From Larry Mahnken's Replacement Level Yankee Weblog: "In the past three seasons, Derek Jeter has had three of the seven worst defensive seasons at SS, including the two worst. He was 31 runs below average in 2002, and 28 runs below average in 2003--but in 36 fewer games. He's so bad, that his defense completely negates his offense, making him a shorstop of average value. Last season, he was worth .016 runs per game over the average shorstop, or about 2.5 runs over the entire season."

Verducci prefers to use the "what I see with my eyes" argument. His comments are actually quite humorous and contradictory. He say's Jeter is great on pop flies and slow rollers, but has no range. That's like praising a terrible hitter for being able to bunt well when he gets a meatball down the middle. Verducci goes on to say the Yankees should get a gold glove caliber middle infielder to shore up their defense. Hey Tom, were you aware the Yankees have the reigning gold glove SS at third base?

The Yankees didn't make a change in the past, because they didn't have another option. With ARod (ARod's defense was 47 runs better over 162 games than Jeter's last season) they have the ability to substantially upgrade their defense. Not doing so means the Yankees are pandering to Jeter, and hurting their team defense as a whole.

OilCan
03-04-04, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by LoneRedSeat
Saying Jeter is a good defensive shorstop because you can see it "with your eyes" is fine. It just means you're turning a blind eye to the mountain of statistical data that indicates the opposite.

From Larry Mahnken's Replacement Level Yankee Weblog: "In the past three seasons, Derek Jeter has had three of the seven worst defensive seasons at SS, including the two worst. He was 31 runs below average in 2002, and 28 runs below average in 2003--but in 36 fewer games. He's so bad, that his defense completely negates his offense, making him a shorstop of average value. Last season, he was worth .016 runs per game over the average shorstop, or about 2.5 runs over the entire season."

Verducci prefers to use the "what I see with my eyes" argument. His comments are actually quite humorous and contradictory. He say's Jeter is great on pop flies and slow rollers, but has no range. That's like praising a terrible hitter for being able to bunt well when he gets a meatball down the middle. Verducci goes on to say the Yankees should get a gold glove caliber middle infielder to shore up their defense. Hey Tom, were you aware the Yankees have the reigning gold glove SS at third base?

The Yankees didn't make a change in the past, because they didn't have another option. With ARod (ARod's defense was 47 runs better over 162 games than Jeter's last season) they have the ability to substantially upgrade their defense. Not doing so means the Yankees are pandering to Jeter, and hurting their team defense as a whole.

Trust me, you're tilting at windmills.

For some real fun, I would recommend bringing up Aaron Gleeman's study of Jeter's postseason hitting w/RISP numbers. That's always good for a five or six page thread. ;)

bakntime
03-04-04, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by LoneRedSeat
Saying Jeter is a good defensive shorstop because you can see it "with your eyes" is fine. It just means you're turning a blind eye to the mountain of statistical data that indicates the opposite.

From Larry Mahnken's Replacement Level Yankee Weblog: "In the past three seasons, Derek Jeter has had three of the seven worst defensive seasons at SS, including the two worst. He was 31 runs below average in 2002, and 28 runs below average in 2003--but in 36 fewer games. He's so bad, that his defense completely negates his offense, making him a shorstop of average value. Last season, he was worth .016 runs per game over the average shorstop, or about 2.5 runs over the entire season."

Verducci prefers to use the "what I see with my eyes" argument. His comments are actually quite humorous and contradictory. He say's Jeter is great on pop flies and slow rollers, but has no range. That's like praising a terrible hitter for being able to bunt well when he gets a meatball down the middle. Verducci goes on to say the Yankees should get a gold glove caliber middle infielder to shore up their defense. Hey Tom, were you aware the Yankees have the reigning gold glove SS at third base?

The Yankees didn't make a change in the past, because they didn't have another option. With ARod (ARod's defense was 47 runs better over 162 games than Jeter's last season) they have the ability to substantially upgrade their defense. Not doing so means the Yankees are pandering to Jeter, and hurting their team defense as a whole.

I've become tired of UZR and "runs above/below average" being considered the be all end all determination of how good a player is. Just because one guy proclaims that "runs below average" makes him a worthless SS doesn't make it true. I'm amazed at how nobody talks about what these numbers truly mean... "runs below average" can't be proven. It's a hypothetical, theoretical stat that's based on "would be's, if's, and what if's" rather than actual performance. You cannot possibly say how any player would have done in his shoes, simply because no other SS in baseball plays SS for the Yankees behind the Yankees pitchers.

There's no way in hell that Jeter is allow an extra 30 runs or whatever to score just because his defense is arguably "bad". Anyone who watches him will clearly see that his range is lacking, but he does nearly everything else at or above average. IMO, defensive stats such as UZR, etc, are much too dependent on a pitching staff for anyone to claim that they have "definitively" shown that "He's so bad, that his defense completely negates his offense."

Basing a claim like that on a single defensive metric alone shows just how "out there" some of these esoteric stats have become. Not that they shouldn't be working to come up with better ways to measure a players worth, but some of these numbers are so "overprocessed," derivitave, and speculative, that they lose considerable value.

NJOBP36
03-04-04, 12:55 PM
UZR adjusts for pitching staff, is the metric perfect? No, but it's the best out there. And I would agree that quoting one stat is stupid, but all defensive stats show Jeter to be below-average.

bakntime
03-04-04, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by NJOBP36
UZR adjusts for pitching staff, is the metric perfect? No, but it's the best out there. And I would agree that quoting one stat is stupid, but all defensive stats show Jeter to be below-average.

Below average? Ok. No problem... The "worst" in baseball, and costing the Yankees 30 runs vs. the average guy? BS. Pure and simple.

LoneRedSeat
03-04-04, 03:08 PM
Range factor, UZR, runs above/below average all have their discreditors. I chose the runs above/below to compliment the UZR material that was previously posted.

The bottom line is, ALL of the statistical data indicates Jeter is a poor defensive SS. These metrics were not created to discredit Derek Jeter, or act as some sort of cosmic slap in the face to Yankee fans.

The best comparison I can think of is the Red Sox Jason Varitek. Sox fans will argue until they are blue in the face that Varitek is an incredible defensive catcher -- all based on the same types of "intangibles" Yankee fans use to defend Jeter's defense.

These "intangibles" are why metrics like Range Factor, UZR, and Runs above/below average were created in the first place -- to legitmatley measure each and every aspect of a players performance.

got it
03-04-04, 03:41 PM
All these new stats that are being invented in recent years, to me, are ridiculous. UZR, VORP? Gimme a break. These are the most nonsensical tools to rate a player i haveever seen. Also, I don't see how the majority of baseball "experts" use OPS as the main stat to rate a player's worth. Would you rather have Tim Salmon over Ichiro? I guess "statheads" would. All I have to do is look at a player to know how good he is or not, I don't need to check his VORP. And defensive stats are even more ridiculous.........range factor and all that other crap. How can someone possibly calculate how far a given player can go to get to a ball. there are a million factors, stupid.

SODM
03-04-04, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by LoneRedSeat
Range factor, UZR, runs above/below average all have their discreditors. I chose the runs above/below to compliment the UZR material that was previously posted.

The bottom line is, ALL of the statistical data indicates Jeter is a poor defensive SS. These metrics were not created to discredit Derek Jeter, or act as some sort of cosmic slap in the face to Yankee fans.

The best comparison I can think of is the Red Sox Jason Varitek. Sox fans will argue until they are blue in the face that Varitek is an incredible defensive catcher -- all based on the same types of "intangibles" Yankee fans use to defend Jeter's defense.

These "intangibles" are why metrics like Range Factor, UZR, and Runs above/below average were created in the first place -- to legitmatley measure each and every aspect of a players performance.

You prove my point.
Most people will tell you the most important skill a catcher has is how he handles the pitching staff.
This, in no way can be measured, thus making all defensive metrics pretty useless when looking at catchers.

LoneRedSeat
03-04-04, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by SODM


You prove my point.
Most people will tell you the most important skill a catcher has is how he handles the pitching staff.
This, in no way can be measured, thus making all defensive metrics pretty useless when looking at catchers.

LOL. I walked right into that one.

If a single position has any type of intangibles, it's catching. I would agree how a catcher handles a staff is very important, and does not have a metric.

However, I believe my example - not my premise is - is off.

djhitman01
03-04-04, 07:15 PM
Well it's good to know you can win titles with a "horrible defensive" ss.:rolleyes: Please

NJOBP36
03-05-04, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by djhitman01
Well it's good to know you can win titles with a "horrible defensive" ss.:rolleyes: Please

That's one of the worst arguments, no one is saying that this is going to make or break the Yankees just that when you have a chance to uprgrade your team you should do it. And this "heart and soul" of the Yankees doesn't make any sense either, sure he's a great player, great Yankee, etc. But so is Bernie and he was moved. For Kenny Lofton..not the best shortstop in the game.

Vile Tom
03-05-04, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by bakntime


There's no way in hell that Jeter is allow an extra 30 runs or whatever to score just because his defense is arguably "bad". Anyone who watches him will clearly see that his range is lacking, but he does nearly everything else at or above average. IMO, defensive stats such as UZR, etc, are much too dependent on a pitching staff for anyone to claim that they have "definitively" shown that "He's so bad, that his defense completely negates his offense."



UZR isn't perfect but it's much better than using fielding% or even just watching the player. The "highlight reel" play for one SS may be a routine grounder to a different one. The other problem with just watching is people tend to see what they want to see and discount what they don't want to see.

According to the defensive metrics Jeter gives up an extra single around 1 time per 3 games in the field compared to an average SS. That would add up to 20-30 extra runs per season.

Evaluating individual defense is very difficult and subject to a lot distortions that have little to do with defensive ability. The best way to come up with a good rating would be to have cameras installed at every park and have software that can judge the speed and trajectory of the balls hit, how quickly the fielder reacts etc. Supposedly this type of system will be put in place in the next couple of years throughout MLB.

Vile Tom
03-05-04, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by SODM


You prove my point.
Most people will tell you the most important skill a catcher has is how he handles the pitching staff.
This, in no way can be measured, thus making all defensive metrics pretty useless when looking at catchers.

Sure it can. If "ability to handle the pitching staff" had a major impact on how well a staff pitches it would show up in the amount of runs given up when different catchers play. It would also show throughout a pitchers career when he pitched to different catchers.

SODM
03-05-04, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Vile Tom





According to the defensive metrics Jeter gives up an extra single around 1 time per 3 games in the field compared to an average SS. That would add up to 20-30 extra runs per season.



And according to my eyeballs Jeter makes outs when he makes spectacular over the head catches into the stands and flips balls incredibly to home to nail guys at the plate.

By the way both those plays wouldn't show up in UZR since relay throws aren't considered as any part of playing defense and fouls are not considered in a "zone"

So defensive metrics are severely flawed for those reasons any many others.

Anyone who watches Jeter play can tell you that Jeter is among the best at short in making accurate and quick relay throws.IMO top 5 in the game.
However, Jeter's range deficiency is held against him without acknowledging any of his strengths.
I'm not saying that these defensive metrics are used to discredit Jeter only, but that Jeter has a lot of immeasurable quantities that skew a tangible analysis.