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Trout's Defense


VariousCrap

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Don't trust defensive metrics, at least not yet.  I don't trust anything that tries to tell me Mike Trout is a far below average defensive CF.  Mike has more range, greater closing speed, glove and leaping ability than anyone that plays his position.  The only one I've seen in MLB who is legitimately better is Peter Bourjos.

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Don't trust defensive metrics, at least not yet.  I don't trust anything that tries to tell me Mike Trout is a far below average defensive CF.  Mike has more range, greater closing speed, glove and leaping ability than anyone that plays his position.  The only one I've seen in MLB who is legitimately better is Peter Bourjos.

At the time of the all star break in 2013 Fangraphs considered Trout to be a slightly above average centerfielder. Baseball reference considered him the worst defensive player in baseball based on the same data. 

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I trust my eyes and there's a very noticeable difference from 2012 and the last two years. He was nearly flawless in 2012 with a number of homer robbing catches. The last two years he has misplayed more balls than an above average CFer should, plus baserunners seem to run at will on him. Love Trout, but will admit he's currently just an average CFer. I don't know about the defensive metrics calling him way below average though.

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Defensive metrics are complete screwed up and I can't take them seriously.

 

That said, Trout was probably average at best on D this year. His arm is terrible, and he has misplayed a lot of otherwise catchable balls. Hell even his catch the other night should have been a routine rundown play but he misjudged it which made it look amazing.

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Defensive metrics are complete screwed up and I can't take them seriously.

 

That said, Trout was probably average at best on D this year. His arm is terrible, and he has misplayed a lot of otherwise catchable balls. Hell even his catch the other night should have been a routine rundown play but he misjudged it which made it look amazing.

You mean he Byrnes'd it?

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Don't trust defensive metrics, at least not yet.  I don't trust anything that tries to tell me Mike Trout is a far below average defensive CF.  Mike has more range, greater closing speed, glove and leaping ability than anyone that plays his position.  The only one I've seen in MLB who is legitimately better is Peter Bourjos.

 

Evidently you haven't seen Jackie Bradley play. Of course his bat isn't good enough to stick, but he's incredible in the field. I'd say that Adam Jones, Jacoby Ellbury, Carlos Gomez, Billy Hamilton, and Leonys Martin are all at least in the same league if not better than Trout.

 

But yeah, I do agree that defensive metrics are trickly. Fangraphs recommends that you look at three years, and for Trout we have three that, all together, rate him above average, although with a downward trend. I still think the metrics underrate him, though. At the least he's above average, at best he's very good. But again, he's no Bourjos or Bradley, and probably not as good as a few others.

 

But of course the best defensive center fielder in the majors by a long-shot is Matt Kemp.

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That said, Trout was probably average at best on D this year. His arm is terrible, and he has misplayed a lot of otherwise catchable balls. Hell even his catch the other night should have been a routine rundown play but he misjudged it which made it look amazing.

 

 

I disagree about that catch you are talking about.  That ball was hit so hard, it was anything but routine.

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I trust my eyes and there's a very noticeable difference from 2012 and the last two years. He was nearly flawless in 2012 with a number of homer robbing catches. The last two years he has misplayed more balls than an above average CFer should, plus baserunners seem to run at will on him. Love Trout, but will admit he's currently just an average CFer. I don't know about the defensive metrics calling him way below average though.

 

 

That is the part that bugs me.  You can say Trout has an average year defensively, but to say he is below average is BS in my opinion.

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If he has to have a shortcoming then arm strength is as good a place to have it as any.

 

 

I believe he gets dinged for range because he lets the corner guys take a lot of balls he could easily catch. I only watched about 50 games this year but I don't remember seeing too many balls get through the gaps unless they were over their heads. 

Edited by arch stanton
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defensive metrics still suffer from small sample.  it's generated only from defensive plays from a single position.  If someone makes an tremendous play, everyone else's value goes down.  It can also vary tremendously based on the quality of defenders that year.  one player might account for 5% of the entire metric for all of baseball at that position.  It's wrought with potential sampling error due to there being such a small sample with potential for a huge degree of variability within that sample.  Imagine if you pared out WAR by each individual position.  But if you try to compare defensive prowess of a LFer to a catcher, then you aren't comparing apples to apples.  

 

Take a look at someone like Legares vs. Trout.  

UZR

25.6 vs. -8.1.  That's a 33.5 run differential or a little over 3 wins.  

 

but lets look at inside edge fielding and compare the plays made vs. not.  

 

neither player made plays where a fielder had a 0% chance.  Nor did they make an out on any of their 1-10% chance plays.  Trout 0-11.  Legares 0-17

 

On plays made 10-40% of the time, Legares was 4-8 and Trout 2-3

On plays made 40-60% of the time, Legares was 2-3 and Trout 5-5

On plays made 60-90% of the time, Legares was 8-8 and Trout 16-17

On plays made 90-100% of the time, Legares was 280-280 and Trout 355-358.  

 

Now by all accounts, Legares has the better arm so he gets some runs added and Trout some taken away, But the difference is really only those 3 routine and 1 semi-routine plays that Trout didn't make.  Even taking the arm factor out, Legares range is 20 runs higher than Trouts by UZR.  

 

Yep. I'm pretty much calling bullshit on this.  

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At the time of the all star break in 2013 Fangraphs considered Trout to be a slightly above average centerfielder. Baseball reference considered him the worst defensive player in baseball based on the same data.

I remember that. DRS had him at -9 to finish the year. UZR? 3 runs above average. And as you mentioned.. it's based on the same data. What a ridiculous discrepancy. Something is broken.

Edited by Angels
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