Bad Ju JuAugust 23rd, 2012 by terrybenish
An interesting post by Baker about Dustin Ackley’s defensive success contributing towards wins the past couple of games, to which I say hip hip hooray.
Baker cites Ackley’s high ranking in UZR (ultimate zone ranking) as demonstration of his quality. Well, I love Ackley and all and like his August performance, but UZR is a hugely flawed concept that contributes to the breakdown of the whole WAR stat. Google UZR rankings for a position and you will find that fangraphs comes up virtually every time and on the bottom of their page that the numbers are supplied by some guy named Mitch. Further Google UZR flaws and you will see lengthy discussions of its shortcomings as a stat.
Range factor continues to be a simple and direct measurement of how many balls a guy gets to. Ackley at 4.50, is not bad at that, but he is not superlative. The guy on the Mariners who is by far and away the best second baseman is Kyle Seager at 5.91.
Dave Cameron emerged from his commercial website to write a skree about what the Mariners need to add to get better next year, saying the Ms should get a catcher, third baseman and short stop as free agent acquisitions next winter.
There is a couple of ways to look at this. Apart from the pitching staff, the success of the team has been defense and Brendan Ryan at short stop and Kyle Seager at 3b are the going away backbones of this team. Ryan has been consistent and ranks in the top six amongst shortstops who played 100 games in terms of range factor. Using the same filter, Seager is third amongst third basemen.
Offensively, Ackley has been the most productive hitter for the Mariners this season, certainly well beyond Ackley or anyone else. Jaso in limited time is the best hitter on the team and probably the best catcher. Further it would seem obvious that Mike Zunino will be here between the middle of next year to start of 2014. Sort of dumb to buy a high end free agent catcher in the face of that. Maybe a guy that could platoon a bit and hit right handed after Olivo leaves.
Next a look at who’s available in the free agent pool.