Friday, December 12, 2008

2008 Team Defensive Ranking by UZR

posted by Jon Williams
The chart below is a ranking of every Major League Baseball team by UZR. UZR is one of the best statistical measurements of defense yet created. Please note however that defense statistics stil have a long way to go. Still, examining this chart and ones like it that you can find on sites like FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus and others when your ranking your potential pitching selections can be quite valuable when it comes to guessing on potential breakouts and sleepers.

A team that has dramatically improved it's defense is more likely to findpitching breakouts than the other way around. For those of you unfamiliar with UZR I've borrowed a description from Baseball Think Factory (this link is a good one to read) :

UZR rate is expressed as a fraction of 1, the same as a simple ZR (ZR). A UZR rate means essentially the same thing as a simple ZR � namely the number of balls fielded (turned into at least one out) divided by the number of chances; however, UZR rate is a weighted average of a player�s ZR in each of several zones.

As you will see, UZR rate is really a by-product of UZR runs, and UZR runs is the heart of the UZR system. It represents the value of a fielder�s performance expressed as runs saved or cost, in comparison to an average fielder (actually in comparison to the mean performance of all fielders) at that position, in that player�s league, and during that particular year. UZR runs is the defensive counterpart of Palmer�s offensive linear weights (lwts); thus it can be combined with lwts (among other things) to give you an estimate of a player�s total offensive and defensive value. Any player with an average defensive performance will, by definition, have exactly zero UZR runs.



Team G E DP FP UZR
Rays 2080 90 429 0.985 70.6
Phillies 2181 90 380 0.985 48.5
Red Sox 2146 85 399 0.986 44.3
Athletics 2126 98 467 0.984 31.5
Astros 2125 67 379 0.989 30.8
Cardinals 2297 85 430 0.986 30.4
Nationals 2160 123 387 0.98 29.1
Brewers 2002 101 425 0.984 21.7
Giants 2216 96 341 0.984 21.3
Royals 2124 96 431 0.984 19.2
Blue Jays 2042 84 366 0.986 19
Mets 2194 83 344 0.986 14.8
Cubs 2180 99 311 0.983 9.8
Indians 2010 94 498 0.985 6.2
Marlins 2221 117 328 0.98 0.8
Angels 2030 91 441 0.985 -0.5
Braves 2161 107 404 0.983 -0.8
Orioles 2126 100 441 0.983 -2
Padres 2097 85 401 0.986 -14.5
Pirates 2092 107 504 0.983 -17.8
White Sox 2134 108 427 0.983 -18
Twins 2078 108 465 0.983 -25.5
Diamondbacks 2073 113 374 0.981 -25.8
Mariners 2075 99 430 0.984 -32.8
Dodgers 2205 101 376 0.984 -35.8
Rangers 2107 132 528 0.979 -35.8
Tigers 2122 113 466 0.981 -38
Yankees 2143 83 366 0.986 -39.4
Reds 2204 114 414 0.981 -41.7
Rockies 2122 96 466 0.985 -70.9

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