Simon: Mapping defensive value — and the wizardry of Andrelton Simmons

From SABR member Mark Simon at on May 9, 2013:

The most common complaint we run into when discussing advanced defensive metrics is that there isn’t a full grasp of how these ratings are computed.

With the help of Baseball Info Solutions, we’re going to write a few articles that attempt to go “under the hood” when it comes to looking at advanced defensive metrics.

In other words, why does a player rate as well or as poorly as he rates?

We’re going to begin with a look at the amazing stats compiled by Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Simmons is a player for whom there is agreement between the scouts and the advanced stats. Scouts describe him as an amazing defender. The numbers show that to be true.

Entering Wednesday, Simmons had played 680 innings in his major league career and the Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) numbers have him with 30 defensive runs saved. He had 19 in 426 innings last season and already has a major-league best 11 in 254 innings in 2013.

For a little perspective, that’s an incredible number for what amounts to less than half a season’s worth of play. No shortstop has had 30 defensive runs saved in a full season since Troy Tulowitzki had 31 in 2007.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 9, 2013. Last Updated: May 9, 2013.