We have been talking about what kind of D Bay will be bringing to our LF for the next couple of years... while giving the statistical data and whatnot.
However, even the biggest stat nerd, with the biggest basement apartment and softest underware (just playin) will agree that Defensive Metrics are far from perfect.
So I went over to the Red Sox Blog Over the Monster and asked the posters there for their oppinion on Bays D... The reports were what you would expect.
Here is the link: http://www.overthemonster.com/2010/1/6/1237869/jason-bay-defense
they stayed on point most of the Post, while deviating slightly to talk about their DH situation. Some highlights:
But exactly how bad has been a subject of some debate in these parts. Some think the UZR is reflective of his skills, given that he was consistently bad over the last three years between Pittsburgh and Boston. Others (like me) think his Pittsburgh numbers were hurt by his knee problems and that his Boston numbers were hurt by Fenway.
We’re all curious to how he’ll do in 2010.
But you’ll love his bat. He carried us a couple of months last year. Hopefully he ages well.
Manny ain't the only bad man.
He’s bad. He’s slow and doesnt come in on balls well at all. He’s not a butcher – not noticably terrible, but he doesnt cover much ground anymore. I think he never really came back from his knee problems in Pittsburgh. We had high hopes when he arrived in Boston, but his defense was pretty bad the entire time. I wrote it off in 08 to SSS and adjustment issues. I was wrong.
This was the major reason I was praying we would let him walk. I would get giddy when I heard other teams interested. Nothing would have upset me more than giving 5 years to a guy on the wrong side of 30 with poor defense, who strikes out >30% of the time and who has a bad aging profile. Should have known Theo wouldnt fall for it – but the Mike Lowell deal (signing him after 07) scared me. I was strongly against re-signing Lowell then because I thought this is exactly what would happen. He actually was surprisingly good until the labrum surgery, but hey, if its not one thing its another with players his age, and he’s really not much of a hitter anymore despite the surface numbers looking deceivingly good.
Bay does some things well – he’s a good source of power and a potent offensive player in general. He’s a great guy and a nice teammate. He’s a good baserunner despite his lack of speed. As I said above, he’s a capable fielder who doesnt make atrocious errors or butcher balls, but his lack of speed and range is damning and the overall defensive package is poor to very poor. I really have terrible concerns about how he will age. He has already shown signs of decline in his peripherals – contra Mike Cameron, who has been more valuable than Bay every year for the last three and who, despite a far more advanced age than Bay, has shown absolutely no signs of decline. Bay’s component factors have been getting worse since he was 29 and trying to project him 3 years from now (nevermind 5!) scares the crap out of me, to be frank.
That’s one thing. He’s just not going to get to many balls. His throws are usually accurate, but it’s just a matter of him getting to balls. He’s not a stupid player, though.
by Randy Booth
Let’s just say it’s not a plus arm out there. He’s also a bit slow. Not Adam Dunn slow, but slow nonetheless.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put up a 0>x>-5 UZR/150 next year and then decline from that.
say he is better defensivelt than Holliday. He basically stinks. Really really reluctant to aggressively move up/down to get to balls (moves ok laterally). Has a slow release on throws and a below average arm. Had a ton of assists, probably a function of people running on him and the Monster.
Thank you for asking for observations, not defensive stats. I would sum it up like this – Bay will neither hurt or help the Mets with his glove. There were some balls hit to left that I thought could have been tracked down by better outfielders than Bay over the past season and a half, but I don’t recall any real bad plays.
Obvioulsy, his bat more than makes up for any minor defensive issues he has, I don’t care what the UZR ratings say. The Sox just did not want to go four years for Bay. Of course they couldn’t come out and say that, so we get all the defensive issues and bogus injury issues thown out there to the voracious media, blogger and stat hounds. Sorry, I know I’m a nearderthal here, but I would prefer to have Bay in left next season. Just silly me.
even though his D was frustrating, I could never dislike the guy. And he can really go on some crazy streaks (both amazingly good and bad). He is a top notch offensive player.
I never saw him make the amazing play out there in left, but I never saw him make the bonehead play either ala Manny.I feel like this is the major problem
with judging fielding by eye. It is human nature to remember the seemingly amazing plays (Ellsbury) or the boneheaded errors. When you have players that don’t make the boneheaded plays (like Bay) we tend to think they are somehow “ok.” We are conditioned to remember obvious errors but don’t pay much attention to balls that players should make plays on but don’t (afterall, these are not usually judged as errors). Thus, a guy like Alex Gonzalez, who if we pay attention, does not get to a lot of balls that he should, is deemed a great fielder. He is surehanded, and sometimes slick, and does not make boneheaded plays. On the otherhand Nick Green made some memorable boneheaded throwing errors. But Green had obviously superior range. The gap in fielding as it impacted the Sox was probably much smaller than we realize (as backed up by UZR) but our eyes and memory may disagree.