First off, congratulations to Yadier Molina for winning his 7th straight Gold Glove despite playing in only 110 games.
I’ve already seen, on ESPN, a comment or two saying that while Yadi was excellent others, particularly Jonathan Lucroy were better.
I watched the awards show last night, or at least part of it.
Now keep in mind I’m not a stat geek, I may get a few things wrong. Feel free to point them out to me via the comments or twitter.
The stat most often cited throughout the entire show was DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) it was applied universally, to every position. This made me wonder, is it measured differently for each position? Does DRS for left fielders emphasize the distance said left fielders have to run? In contrast, does it minimize running when it comes to catchers? I’m assuming so, but I’m not sure, as I don’t have a copy of the DRS’ formula, if there is such a thing. Throwing accuracy is important in all positions, but less so at first base, does it consider that? Beyond the obvious stuff, does DRS consider the stuff on the edges?
I have the same question about WAR. Say 2 players both batted .275 with 8 home runs, 50 RBI and a .350 OBP and had the same defensive value. If player A averaged 10 pitches per AB, thus helping to wear a pitcher down quicker, while player B only averaged five pitches per AB, will player A have a higher WAR as a result?
Back to Yadi, in addition to having a well earned reputation as being good at all the obvious catcher things, he’s a coach on the field, often calming a pitcher down. Plus he calls a good game. Is there such a thing as a game calling score? I don’t think so, but I’m not 100 % sure. I know there is Catcher’s ERA, IE what a pitchers’ ERA is with a certain catcher, but given that there’s often several pitchers in a game, especially nowadays where complete games are super rare, how do you measure, game by game, how well a catcher called a game? By how many of his calls were shaken off? By giving him partial credit for hits allowed, total stirekouts and walks recorded? I’m sure I’m missing some factors. The point is, however, if such a thing existed, Yadi’s game calling scores would be very high.
Factor in all of that, and despite the fact that other catchers were better at one facet like pitch framing this year, I still beleive Yadi earned his GG this year on merit, not legacy. I’m sure he received a few legacy votes though. People go with what they know sometimes.
Here’s a question regarding that legacy I’ll save for a future post: How many Gold Gloves, provided the player was at least decent at the plate, does it take to make a Hall Of Famer? Chew on that one.
As always, thanks for reading.