I picked this up on ESPN New York this morning.
By one measure, baseball statistician Bill James has determined the Mets had the worst middle-infield combination in baseball last season, at least when Jose Reyes was paired with Justin Turner. Here’s what James and colleagues wrote …
In The Bill James Handbook 2012, Bill James and Baseball Info Solutions track Defensive Runs Saved to see who the best-fielding shortstops and second basemen were in 2011. In short, Defensive Runs Saved is an estimate of the number of runs each fielder saves with his defense, combining John Dewan’s Plus/Minus System with analyses of bunts, double plays, and more to form a complete evaluation of a fielder.
Among all 30 double-play combinations in the majors last season, here are the top five and bottom five ranked by Defensive Runs Saved.
Shortstop Second Baseman Team DRS Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler Rangers 29 Brendan Ryan Dustin Ackley Mariners 28 Reid Brignac Ben Zobrist Rays 25 Troy Tulowitzki Mark Ellis Rockies 16 Erick Aybar Howie Kendrick Angels 15
Shortstop Second Baseman Team DRS Derek Jeter Robinson Cano Yankees -12 Jason Bartlett Orlando Hudson Padres -17 Ryan Theriot Skip Schumaker Cardinals -18 Starlin Castro Darwin Barney Cubs -20 Jose Reyes Justin Turner Mets -22
Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) captures a player’s total defensive value and is comparable to UZR. Due to methodology differences (and the fact that defensive measures are still not 100% accurate), DRS and UZR will disagree on how to rate certain players, but they agree more often than they disagree. In instances of disagreement, it’s best to take an average of the two values and to seek out scouting reports.
In 2010, the advanced metric “Defensive Runs Saved”, indicated that Ike Davis was best first baseman in the NL and second-best in baseball, having saved 14 runs.