Sunday, November 11, 2007

Golden Boy

David Wright won a Gold Glove for National League Third Basemen in 2007.
As with many awards that are voted on by writers, this makes no sense. While I love Wright, and think he is a great player, his defense is his weakness.
Wright made 21 errors this year (including a couple key ones during the collapse), more than 8 other qualifying third basemen.
But errors aren't always the best indication of defense because they are subjective and not everyone has an equal number of chances.
Fielding percentage removes the number of chances from the debate, but again Wright finishes 9th.
How about some more sophisticated statistics? Range factor counts the number of plays someone makes, as opposed to those they don't. There Wright improves to 7th. But range factor may be biased against Wright since he plays on a team with a lot of fly ball pitchers.
Let's look at zone rating which determines the number of plays a player makes on balls hit in a certain "zone." Wright finishes 8th in the NL in that category.
Adding that, and my own view of his performance from having seen 90% of the games and the evidence doesn't seem to indicate that Wright was the best defensive third baseman in the NL this year.
I don't want to say who deserved it more because I haven't seen the other guys play (and that's exactly why I'm complaining about the voters), but based on these stats Pedro Feliz and Scott Rolen were definitely more deserving, and Ryan Zimmerman despite 23 errors was even more deserving that Wright.

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