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Feb 12

What do DPR numbers mean for Royals?


Yesterday I put up some defensive stats without any attempt
at analysis to accompany them. So today, let’s take a look at what – if
anything – those DPR numbers actually mean for the Royals.

 

Here again, for your handy reference, are the double play
runs for our potential KC middle infielders. Wee Willie Ballgame gets two
entries because he has spent significant time at both 2B and SS:

Player                            2008         
Career
Mike Aviles SS
                0.7            
0.7
Alberto Callaspo 2B       
0.9             1.2
Willie Bloomquist
2B      
0.2             0.4
Willie Bloomquist
SS     
-0.1            -0.9
Tony Pena Jr
SS             
0.1             2.3

 

We know that defensive metrics are to be taken with a grain
of salt, as reader (and prospect guru) Keith pointed out in the comments
yesterday. But Spring Training hasn’t started, so we have a little bit more
time to nitpick various numbers that truthfully go way over my head.

 

Here’s what double play runs are, according to the FanGraphs
glossary
page:



The number of runs
above or below average a fielder is, based on the number double plays versus
the number forces at second they get, as compared to an average fielder at that
position, given the speed and location of the ball and the handedness of the
batter.

 

OK, sorta makes sense. Really, over the course of the
season, none of these Royals’ ability – or inability – to turn the double play
will play a significant role in whether they play or how the team finishes.
Maybe there would be a noticeable difference if we had a whole staff of ground
ball pitchers like Luke Hochevar, or five Brian Bannisters who pitch to contact
and often rely on DPs to get out of innings, but it really looks like they’re
all pretty similar in this part of the defensive game.

 

Well, unless you play the Spork at shortstop. Then you’re
hurting the team, a wee little bit. (HA! A “wee” little bit – because he’s Wee
Willie Ballgame? DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE!)

 

Of course, there are many other factors in a middle infielder’s
defensive game, and we’ll get to compare all of those things as this group
works out in Arizona
together very soon.

 

(Side note: What I wonder is how the other half of a
double-play combo affects a guy’s number. I don’t know exactly what goes into
calculating this number, but will a 2B’s DPR go down if he’s playing alongside
a crappy SS who can’t feed him the ball well? I would like for somebody smarter
to please enlighten me on this.)

Related posts:

  1. A look at double play turning, from FanGraphs
  2. Crisp to the Royals: My immediate reaction
  3. Royals come back despite Emil’s best non-effort

2 comments

  1. terpsfan101

    I’m not sure why the Royals are keeping Tony Pena around. It’s not like Mike Aviles needs a defensive replacement. His UZR was 15.5 runs last year in 72 games. Even if Pena was in Ozzie Smith and Mark Belanger territory defensively, it still wouldn’t make up for his anemic bat. A .255 career on-base percentage. In the minors, he had a .282 on base percentage. How did he even make it to the major leagues? He may very well be the worst hitter (not counting pitchers) of all-time. Royal fans should be out-raged.

  2. terpsfan101

    Aviles actually played 91 games at SS last year. I was looking under the DG (defensive games) heading on the UZR page over at Fangraphs.

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