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Checking In On The Royals Outfield Defense

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Here are the top AL OFs as ranked by UZR:

  1. Rangers: 25.2
  2. Rays: 23.8
  3. Mariners: 18.6
  4. Yankees: 6.9
  5. Tigers: 5.2
  6. Royals: 3.6

The Royals are 6th, as you can see above. Sixth is alright. The Royals are the last team with a positive number (i.e. their outfield is still saving runs defensively as opposed to giving them up) but they're also well behind the top three.

Still, considering where we've been, this is progress. Of course, the outfield the rest of the way will look very different, so who knows where we'll be at the end of the season.

 

Here are the individual numbers, by innings played:

  1. Pods (808 innings): -1.5
  2. DDJ (762): 3.0
  3. MITCH (581): 2.0
  4. Ankiel (209): -2.3
  5. Bloomy (189): -0.3
  6. Guillen (161): 2.6

Yes, that's Guillen with a positive 2.6, the second best figure on the team.

Basically, here's how I look at it: to begin with, the Royals had/have a decent OF foundation with DDJ & MITCH. Those guys ended up playing a fair amount, and it helped the defense be competent. Pods shows up with a slight negative number here, which may be a little harsh, may not be. Given how much he played, a negative -1.5 isn't the end of the world. Ankiel/Bloomy/Guillen... well, all kinds of weirdness there. It's important to keep in mind that those three guys, combined, have just 659 OF innings, less than Pods or DDJ had individually. Their numbers perfectly wash each other away.

So about Guillen... what do you guys think? It wouldn't stun me if he was legitimately better this season, but I'm having a hard time buying that he's a defensive ace out there.

Moving forward, we're looking at two months of Gordon/Blanco/Grab Bag. It'll be a small sample, and I don't expect much difference. I'm guessing Gordon will post Pods like numbers, Blanco will be ok, and RF will be it's own weird universe.