Dewan: Cannon arms in 2012

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on January 17, 2013:

The new generation of Major League superstars is heavily concentrated in the outfield with Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jason Heyward, and Giancarlo Stanton leading the way—all 23 years old or younger. A great part of their appeal is their exceptional outfield defense, but the attention there tends to be on range. Heyward and Trout, especially, cover an incredible amount of ground. They were first and third in Plus/Minus Runs Saved among all outfielders in 2012. Plus/Minus Runs Saved is the range component of Defensive Runs Saved, and Stanton (tied for fifth) and Harper (tied for eleventh) were not too far behind. But range is not the only measure of outfield defense.

Mike Trout can cover all the ground in the world, but when he catches a fly ball, baserunners can still tag up. And they can still advance from first to third on a single if they don’t respect his arm. We measure how well an outfielder prevents runners from taking an extra base in Outfield Arms Runs Saved. That prevention can come in different forms. We include instances where an outfielder throws out a runner trying to advance, but we also include how frequently he allows runners to go first to third on a single, second to home on a single, and first to home on a double relative to other outfielders. Those plays do not often show up in the highlights, but they can have a profound impact on runs allowed.

Here were the best outfield arms in 2012.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 17, 2013. Last Updated: January 17, 2013.