If you are statistically inclined, and check FanGraphs religiously, you would know that they rolled out some new features on the site a couple of days ago. They added new statistics called “offense” and “defense,” which try to answer the questions like: Who is the best offensive player in the game? Or: Who is the best defensive player in the game? The offense stat is calculated by combining baserunning and batting to find the total runs a player contributes. The defense stat is an improvement upon Fld, which was featured on FanGraphs for awhile. Defense takes into account a player’s defensive contribution, however the player’s value is adjusted based on the position he plays. I could get more in depth with how these stats are calculated, but there’s a piece on FanGraphs that does just that.
Given that there is a new set of statistics, I thought it would be interesting to see how some of Mets players rate based on the new offense and defense statistics.
|Eric Young Jr.||2.9||-0.3||1.5|
*Byrd and Buck were both traded to the Pirates in August.
It’s not that surprising that Wright is rated as the Mets’ best offensive weapon. Despite being sidelined for almost all of August and the better part of September with a hamstring injury, Wright’s contribution to the team is that of an MVP. He probably would be in the discussion right now with Andrew McCutchen and Joey Votto for NL MVP if it weren’t for his time spent on the disabled list.
The most interesting part of the ratings has to be what follows Byrd‘s and Wright’s performances. Duda and Murphy rate as equals when it comes to offense. However, Murphy has a better WAR because of his defense, and it helps that he plays second base, which is a familiar position to for him — unlike Duda who the Mets tried to hide in outfield. Hiding Duda in the outfield didn’t work out, and it hurt his overall value. When we compartmentalize Duda’s performance, we see the potential he has. He could be a very valuable role player like Murphy, however he has to be used correctly so that his bad weak defense doesn’t offset his potentially powerful offense. The organization seems to be heading in the right direction with how they have been handling Duda, and letting him play first base through September. Hopefully, the front office doesn’t jump on the “We like Ike” bandwagon come April.
Lagares has been praised for his stellar arm in the outfield. If there’s one thing teams should know about Lagares, it’s that you don’t run on Lagares. Lagares’s bat has improved steadily this season, however the offense and defense statistics confirm that he’s really a glove-only player. His defense rating of 21.7 puts him right in between Carlos Gomez (22.7) and Shane Victorino (19.6). Although it takes some time for defensive statistics to stabilize, it’s fair to say that Lagares is a great defender.
These statistics are great tools to look at player performance, however they are not the only two numbers to look at when trying to evaluate a team or player. All statistical models have some sort of flaw, and I am sure these are imperfect, too. However, it’s a nice way to compartmentalize a player’s contributions on both aspects of the game: offense and defense.