Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Colour Me Encouraged
There will be plenty of time for me to pull out Arman's copy of Swank, grab my container of expired Crisco, dim the lights and rosterbate the night away; something interesting caught me eye this week.
It seems freezer-shaped franchise hope Travis Snider may just have turned himself into something of a fielder! Some of the numbers at seasons end are pretty...not terrible!
Snider leaders the team with just around 6 runs saved by UZR, also adding a sweet +6 on the Dewan +/- scale as a left fielder - with two more in right! While his arm (unsurprisingly) rates below-average, his range runs are a team high +8.
One season of numbers aren't worth much, especially if you're prone to extrapolate using UZR/1501 or skeptical of advanced defensive numbers on the whole. If you use the "plus or minus 5 runs" rule when applying UZR, Snider still grades out as either average or slightly above. Much higher than many thought when he made his debut in 2008 at Yankee Stadium, in bizarre-routed style.
Looking at his young career, Snider is on the happy side of par for his career in left field after about 1000 innings. That isn't quite a full years worth but it is certainly a start.
Snider's athleticism is quite the divisive topic, often saying more about the speaker/writer than the athlete himself. Not only does improved outfield defense help else assign him higher esoteric number values (WARZZZZ!!1) and help his team win ballgames, it shows a very important side of Snider: the one willing to work.
No high school kid can or should be expected to develop into a big league outfielder in just two years. The difference of surroundings along must take thousands of hours and repetitions to become second nature. If Snider is willing to put the work in (assuming he has improved - defensive numbers y'all!) and make himself a better baseball player in all facets of the game, those of us hoping to pin the fate of the franchise on him can rest a little easier.
1 - Just a tip, a personal thing really. UZR/150 works when your scale backwards, dividing to get such a number. Use this number to project (extrapolate!) at your own peril.
Image courtesy of Your Toronto Star
Labels: Travis Snider