Friday, September 23, 2011

Mark Reynolds: A Defensive Standpoint

Mark Reynolds' first year as an Oriole has certainly been a roller coaster ride. While he has mashed 36 HR, he has also committed 30 Errors. Most of those errors however, have been at the hot corner. I want to take a look at Reynolds at 3rd Base vs 1st Base and see if there really is a significant difference in his level of defensive play between each position.

3rd Base

Lets be honest. He was a little worse than atrocious at times on the hot corner. In 984.1 Innings so far, he has compiled 16 fielding errors and 10 throwing errors. That's a grand total of 26 errors. His UZR rating is not much better at -23.1 (That is not an error). Clearly he was struggling at 3rd Base. 2011 has actually been his worst year at 3rd Base. His lowest UZR in past seasons was -10.3 in 2008. Another crazy statistic that jumps out is his RngR(Range Runs above Average) at 3rd, which was -15.5. This screams to me that he was not getting to a lot of balls as well as being a well below-average fielder.

1st Base

Reynolds has played 329.1 innings so far this season at 1st. He has 3 fielding errors and 1 throwing error for a total of 4 errors. His UZR at 1st is -3.5, which is a lot better than the dreadful UZR at 3rd. Reynolds has clearly played a lot better at 1st, and genuinely looks more comfortable as well. His RngR was -3.1

Now lets take a look at these two positions compared.

If you think about it, Reynolds has played 3rd base about triple the amount that he has played 1st this year.
If we triple Reynolds error total from 1st base, he would still only have 12 errors. That is much better than the 26 he had at 3rd. I realize this calculation is also somewhat misleading and not fully plausible, but it gives us a general idea that he has been much better at first. So from a little recap we gather that:

Position   Innings   #Errors     Error*3      UZR       RngR
3rd                984.1         26            -            -23.1        -15.5
1st                 329.1          4            12            -3.5          -3.1

Overall, it seems the Orioles have found a home for Mark Reynolds at 1st base.
All statistics were taken from Fangraphs (One of my favorite websites)

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