2009 Mets CHONE Defensive Projections

Chone Smith has released his 2009 defensive projections. His methodology:

These are based on 5 years of data from 2004-2008, weighted 1, .8, .6, .4, .2. The numbers are a combination of Stats ZR, Revised Zone rating, and Totalzone (which is not available for 2008). Instead of regressing these to a league average, the regression is to a run value derived from the Fan's scouting report. The more a player has played, the more his rating is based on his stats. The less he has played, the more it is based on his scouting report.

Many consider these defensive projections to be the best available. Most of the advanced fielding stats you see (UZR, PMR, +/-) do a very good job of telling us what a player has done; Chone's projections aim to tell us what he is likely to do.

So that's the background; here come the Mets projections. All numbers are runs saved per season

Outfielders

corner outfield rating, centerfield rating

Marlon Anderson, -9, -22
Carlos Beltran, +14, +9
Endy Chavez, +20, +17
Ryan Church, +5, -3
Nick Evans, -2, -12
Daniel Murphy, +1, -9
Fernando Tatis, -11, -23

Nothing too surprising here. Endy Chavez is worth carrying as a defense-only fourth or fifth outfielder. Carlos Beltran remains awesome. If you asked me before looking up these numbers I would've said the same about those two, that Anderson and Tatis were slugs, that Church was better than average and that Evans and Murphy were at or below average. Neither of the latter two has much data to go on, and neither looked especially adroit out there.

Infielders

Luis Castillo, -8
Carlos Delgado, -3
Argenis Reyes, +5
Jose Reyes, -5
David Wright, +2

Again, few surprises. The rating for Jose Reyes is not an aberration; he consistently ranks below average in defensive valuations. CHONE has him around a half-win liability with the glove. Hanley Ramirez is -11 and Derek Jeter is -13, so it could be worse. Carlos Delgado actually isn't quite as bad as I expected. The 2008 numbers I had seen were actually quite favorable, though he has historically shown awful range at first.

Here are a few guys the Mets have been rumored to have varying degrees of interest in.

Milton Bradley, +5
Pat Burrell, -14
Adam Dunn, -13
Jose Guillen, -11
Orlando Hudson, +3
Raul Ibanez, -13
Manny Ramirez, -15
Brian Roberts, +2
Mark Teixeira, +6

Egads. There are some defensive sinkholes here. Dunn, Burrell, Ibanez and Ramirez are all more than a win to the bad in a corner outfield spot, which are easier to play than anywhere else on the diamond save first base.

Albert Pujols is a +12 at first base. He is the best all-around player in baseball and it isn't even close.

EDIT: The good folks at South Side Sox have compiled the projections into a sortable Google spreadsheet.

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