Leveraging Speed and Defense

(bumped from FanPosts. --eric)

Lots of people, here and elsewhere, say that the Mets need players that fit Citi. The idea is that the better defensive players can cover the fly balls hit deep and run down balls in the gap and at the wall. There is more space to cover and good defense takes advantage of that. In addition to good defenders usually being speedy, stolen bases have a lager impact in low run environments. But does anyone have any evidence that this assumption is actually true? Is a fast, good defensive player, but worse offensively in a large park more valuable than an equal overall player (in normal parks) who is slower and worse defensively, but better offensively? Similarly, is a higher OBP, lower SLG player more valuable in Citi than an overall equal low OBP, high SLG player?

The only thing I have read about this is at the Book Blog (which I FanShot a little while ago). In the comments, they don't reach any conclusion. It is a very complicated question that is hard to answer. This would be a good thing to determine before making personnel decisions on this assumption. I think the best idea is just to get the best player, and not worry about tailoring to Citi. I do think, however, that more specific tailoring would be successful, such as pairing fly ball pitchers with good defensive outfielders or good ground ball pitchers with good defensive infielders. Or, good right handed hitters in a stadium with short left field fences. As MGL said:

BTW, one sign of a really poor manager or GM is when they make definitive statements about something that they clearly know nothing about. If they do that for one thing, how many other things do you think they do it for? Successful people in all fields always question what it is they know and don’t know and why. Ignorant and unsuccessful people do just the opposite (think they know lots more than they really do).

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