AL Central Defensive Rankings by UZR After Two Months

Last month, Royals Review took a perhaps too early look at the AL Central's defensive rankings via UZR. Back then, Detroit, Minnesota & Kansas City all had similar profiles somewhere in the good-to-average range in the American League, while Chicago and especially Cleveland looked horrible.

So with twice as much information now on record, has anything changed?

Before we get to the answer, it is again worthwhile to lay out there a kind of general statement of agnosticism regarding defensive statistics, one that should be especially considered given that we're still early in the season. I offer this rankings as a starting point for discussion, not the final word on the subject. I've listed the UZR/150 rankings instead of the raw numbers to further convey a sense of fuzziness, as opposed to a specious precision. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we go, division leaders are in bold:

KC CWS CLE DET MIN
1B 7th 4th 10th 5th 13
2B 11th 12th 14th 1st 13th
SS 12th 2nd 3rd 11th 9th
3B 9th 12th 8th 3rd 1st
RF 13th 12th 6th 11th 7th
CF 2nd 6th 11th 5th 7th
LF 10th 12th 11th 5th 13th
OF* 10th 11th 9th 6th 8th
Overall 13th 10th 11th 2nd 9th
Overall on 4/30 6th 10th 13th 5th 4th

 

* overall outfield ranking

  • As you can see, in May the Royals slid from the middle of the league to the bottom of the league. That overall ranking of 13th you see is actually a t-13th, which is the same as tied for last. I'll leave it up to you if you want to consider them above or below the Boston Red Sox. Chances are, the Royals were the worst defensive team in the AL in May, at least according to UZR.
  • The biggest positional declines for the Royals were at shortstop (5th to 12th), third (2nd to 9th) and left field (3rd to 10th). Very minor improvements in the rankings at 2B and RF (Jermaine Dye versus Jose Guillen!!!) hardly overcome these drastic declines.
  • The defensive strides the Tigers attempted this off-season continue to appear in the statistical record.  
  • Cleveland meanwhile, though better off than they were a month ago, appear to remain a weak defensive club, though now their overall profile is ahead of our Royals.
  • Overall, the AL Central looks like a very weak division defensively, with three bad teams dragging the division down.
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