The BoSox “lineup” above isn’t a legitimate one, I just ordered it that way for an easy comparison.
All the UZR/150 figures are based on a three-year period (collected via FanGraphs), though there were some players that simply did not offer much in the way of fielding data at their respective positions. For instance, prior to 2009, the last time Nick Swisher was a regular right fielder was in 2005, during his tenure in Oakland, therefore, three-year UZR/150 measures were difficult to compile. In such cases (Swisher, Gardner, Scutaro, Ellsbury), which are demarcated via an asterisk (*), I opted to utilize Jeff Zimmerman’s UZR/150 projections for the upcoming season. Not sure if that was the best method to employ, but the numbers are fairly conservative, so it seems to work.
With that said, what is to make of the numbers? What we can glean from this comparison is that while the Yankees are not a poor defensive team by any means (and Mark Teixeira is likely underrated here), they do have troubling matching up against Boston’s group of gold gloves. Losing Jason Bay, adding Mike Cameron, shifting Jacoby Ellsbury to left, and installing Adrian Beltre at third so as to replace the aged and fragile Mike Lowell has significantly improved the club’s ability to prevent runs. The Yankees will most likely improve, defensively, with Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner (his projection is, again, conservative), but, beyond that, there isn’t much to write home about, really.
Any thoughts on the defensive differences between the two teams (or on the numbers featured)?
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