Simon: Why Mike Trout’s defense is down in 2013

From SABR member Mark Simon at on August 30, 2013:

You might recall on Aug. 16 when Mike Trout made a couple of “Web Gem”- worthy plays against the Astros, including this home run robbery. Maybe you saw the highlights on “SportsCenter.” They were the sort of plays you’ll see repeated many times.

You probably don’t remember too much about the July 28 Angels-Athletics game in Oakland. There were a lot of highlights for the Athletics that day: 10 runs and 10 hits in a 10-6 win on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It’s the latter game that helps us understand why Trout’s overall advanced defensive metrics aren’t as good as last season.

We promised an updated look at Trout’s stats when we took a peek at his surprising struggles a couple of months ago, and now seems a good time for that.

Trout stands at minus-8 Defensive Runs Saved, with all eight of those negative runs coming in center field (in his 343 innings in left, he rates as average, with zero runs saved, one run better than 2012).

But Trout is trending in a positive direction. Days like Aug. 16 have been big gainers. Trout was at minus-14 Defensive Runs Saved after that July 28 game, so he gained six runs.

But the overall body of work is still eight runs negative, after posting a plus-21 last year. How can that be?

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 30, 2013. Last Updated: August 30, 2013.