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Hanley's Defense


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I wanted to see how Hanley is doing defensively this year compared to last year. Defensive stats all have flaws but I think the best ones are the Revised Zone Rating (RZR) and Out of Zone (OOZ) published by the Hardball Times. They suggest to use both stats together. I decided to combine them and see where Hanley ranks this year compared to last year.

 

The RZR simply calculates the plays made divided by the balls in his zone.

 

The OOZ are the plays made by a player outside his zone.

 

I adjusted the RZR by difference between the OOZ plays made by a player compared what the average player would have made.

 

For example, Jeter has made 19 out of 24 plays in his zone for a .792 average and has made 9 plays outside his zone in 117 innings (one every 13 innings). The average player has made one play out of his zone every 25 innings so the average player would have made 4.7 OOZ plays in Jeter's 117 innings. To adjust his RZR for his proficiency in making plays OOZ, I added 4.3 to Jeter's 19 plays made in the zone and came up with the adjusted RZR. I did the same for all the qualified SS in both '07 and '08.

 

In '07, Hanley ranked 24th out of 25 qualified SS with an adjusted RZR of 74.3%.

In '08, Hanley ranks 4th out of 28 qualified SS with an adjusted RZR of 93.3%.

 

The sample size is small but that's a pretty dramatic improvement.

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Yeah, it is a small sample size, but I think Tommy mentioned that Andy Fox said Han-Ram is starting to let his talent dictate his defensive play. IMO that's the best thing that could happen, because just like his offense, once the natural talent takes over his game, Ramirez becomes good to very good. Heck, even if he just ends up defensively neutral he'll be a monster (even more so than he already is)

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I wanted to see how Hanley is doing defensively this year compared to last year. Defensive stats all have flaws but I think the best ones are the Revised Zone Rating (RZR) and Out of Zone (OOZ) published by the Hardball Times. They suggest to use both stats together. I decided to combine them and see where Hanley ranks this year compared to last year.

 

The RZR simply calculates the plays made divided by the balls in his zone.

 

The OOZ are the plays made by a player outside his zone.

 

I adjusted the RZR by difference between the OOZ plays made by a player compared what the average player would have made.

 

For example, Jeter has made 19 out of 24 plays in his zone for a .792 average and has made 9 plays outside his zone in 117 innings (one every 13 innings). The average player has made one play out of his zone every 25 innings so the average player would have made 4.7 OOZ plays in Jeter's 117 innings. To adjust his RZR for his proficiency in making plays OOZ, I added 4.3 to Jeter's 19 plays made in the zone and came up with the adjusted RZR. I did the same for all the qualified SS in both '07 and '08.

 

In '07, Hanley ranked 24th out of 25 qualified SS with an adjusted RZR of 74.3%.

In '08, Hanley ranks 4th out of 28 qualified SS with an adjusted RZR of 93.3%.

 

The sample size is small but that's a pretty dramatic improvement.

 

I commend the amount of time and effort that you took to crunch those numbers. However, did you really need to go through all of that to realize that Hanley has improved defensively so far this season? You can't just tell by watching him play? He's had the ability all along but now he has the confidence. He's looked terrific so far, and will probably continue to improve.

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The improvement in Hanley's defense from 2007 to 2008 has been stellar and no disrespect meant* when I say you don't need stats to confirm the obvious (although I suppose it doesn't hurt). He is making himself into an all-star for many years to come now that his whole game is finally coming together.

 

I still wonder in the back of my mind whether last season he was instructed not to attempt certain plays because of his shoulder which translated into the appearance that he was unable to field a ball to his right. Just a hunch, could be 100% wrong, but he seemed almost immobile to that side. This year he's playing the position remarkably well.

 

 

* literally no disrespect meant

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The improvement in Hanley's defense from 2007 to 2008 has been stellar and no disrespect meant* when I say you don't need stats to confirm the obvious (although I suppose it doesn't hurt).

 

* literally no disrespect meant

Yes, I agree, I just worded it poorly. It's obvious he's playing imporved defense. I just like to quantify things.

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