Worst and Best Fielders in the MLB this year (C,1b, 2b, 3b)… SS, OF, P ON Wednesday

Posted: 05/07/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

Today I will show the worst and best fielders at each position in the MLB this year. This is not only based on errors, because errors are not the best measure of poor fielding

ALL OF THIS IS AMONG QUALIFIERS (so no fluky guys who have played 10 innings this year)

C-  (21 guys qualified- the rest didn’t have enough opportunities-)

Worst: Geovany Soto, CUBS.. Soto has been just horrible all around at defense, in terms of throwing guys out and also handling his pitching… he has gunned down only 4 of 23 base runners who have attempted to steal on him. The 21 guys he has let steal a base is second worst in the MLB, and his caught stealing % is 4th worst. Worse, he has made 4 errors, tied for the most among catchers. He has the worst fielding % of any qualifying C. When he is behind the plate his pitchers have an ERA worse than 4.50, second worst in the MLB. When his backup is behind the plate, their pitchers have a phenomenal 1.84 ERA. Of course, the backup doesn’t qualify, but it is interesting to note that the 1.84 mark is the 3rd BEST of ANY C. Clearly, Soto is just a bad defensive catcher. DIS-honorable mention: Jared Saltalamacchia

Best: Matt Wieters, ORIOLES.. Matt Wieters has been a great catcher this year. With his great defensive skills, he has helped lead the Orioles to a surprising start, and the best record in the MLB.. Of the 18 guys who have tried to steal on Wieters, he has gunned down 8. He is the fifth best C in terms of caught stealing % and caught stealing #. Wieters has the 4th most putouts among catchers. The most impressive thing about Wieters is how he is handling his pitching staff. When he is behind the plate, O’s pitchers have an outstanding 2.70 ERA. And they don’t have any great pitchers, as they are full of overperforming guys. Some of the credit has to go to Weiters. Wieters is clearly a great fielding catcher, but he barely won this award… Honorable mention (This was very close): Miguel Montero

1B- (25 qualifiers… NOTE: Mat Gamel technically qualifies- and he would’ve been the clear worst- but he is injured and out for a while so I’m not counting him)

Worst: Casey McGehee, PIRATES… 1B fielding is much harder to grade. Basically, you need someone who can catch the ball but more importantly needs the range to stretch for balls. McGehee clearly doesn’t have that kind of range. His range factor (Putouts + Assists) divided by 9 innings is lowest among qualifiers at 8.77. He has made only 1 error, but his fielding % is still one of the worst 5 in the MLB among qualifiers. McGehee isn’t a horrible fielder, but he is definitely one of the worst  1B defensively in the MLB. In his defense, I could have gone with a number of others instead. DIS-honorable mention: Yonder Alonso, Ty Wigginton

Best: Adrian Gonzalez, RED SOX… For years, A-gon has been considered one of the best fielding 1B in the MLB, and this year is no different. He has top 5 range among 1B, and hasn’t made one error. Gonzalez has the most total chances, and is top 3 in putouts and assists. So, he has the best fielding % in the MLB. Gonzalez is a great overall 1B, with a range factor above 10. He has also turned the second most double plays by a first baseman. Honorable mention: Adam Lind, Todd Helton, Casey Kotchman

2B: (25 qualifiers)

Worst: Daniel Murphy, METS.. Murphy’s primary position isn’t 2nd base, so it is hard to blame him. However, he has been pretty bad. He has bad range (one of the 5 worst in the MLB among qualifying second baseman). He has turned only 11 double plays, a dreadful total for someone who has started 27 games. Only 6 players have started 27 or more games. The next worst DP total among those guys is Robinson Cano with 16. Worst of all has been all the errors Murphy has racked up. He is tied for the MLB lead with 5, which looks even worse when you see that he has the WORST fielding % among qualifying 2B. It is depressing that even though Murphy has bad range, he still finds ways to make a ton of errors. Murphy is already allowed 4 runs worse than the average player  this year, and is on pace for 21 runs worse than average. DIS-honorable mention: Ricky Weeks, Dan Uggla

Best: Omar Infante, BRAVES… And it isn’t close. Infante has put up spectacular numbers this year. He has saved 18 (18!) runs more than the average player this year, nearly triple what anyone else has done. He is on pace to save over 100 runs more than the average fielder for the Braves, which he definitely won’t be able to keep up. Infante has probably already won 2 games for the Braves by himself with his defense. Among qualifiers, Infante has the third best fielding %, and only has 1 error. What really blows people away is his range, which is second best in the league. His 5.82 range factor is better than the third place finished by nearly .50. He is only .10 away from the league leader, Marco Scutaro. Scutaro is less sure-handed, but he is expected to have great range because he is a former shortstop. Overall, Infante blows everyone else out of the water, because of how many runs he has saved. Honorable mention: Jose Altuve, Scutaro

3B: (22 qualifiers)

Worst: Pedro Alvarez, PIRATES.. Alvarez has been a great power hitter this year, but his fielding has been awful. His range is the worst in the MLB at third base, and he has the worst fielding % and the most errors. I don’t think I need to say more.. Oh wait, he is 6 runs worse than the average defensive 3B.. DIS-honorable mention: Miguel Cabrera

Best: David Freese, CARDINALS.. Freese has been a great 3B. He has a top 5 range factor, but best of all is that he is 1 of 2 qualifying 3B that hasn’t made an error (Placido Polanco is the other). Considering his range, that is even more impressive. Honorable mention: Brett Lawrie, Chase Headley

  1. Nolan T ucker says:

    Brandon Phillips is WWWAAAAAYYYYYY better than Omar Infante !

  2. Nolan T ucker says:

    thats crap he sucks

  3. Nolan T ucker says:

    Whoever made this answer me why BP isn’t in there

    • 5toolstar says:

      if I’m right, and BP is Brandon Phillips, you have to be kidding me. Rogers Hornsby’s stats and importance are miles ahead of where BP will end up. Robinson Cano is closer, but still not even close

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