Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yay For Defense

Apparently it stinks in the minors, too.

Baseball Prospectus
takes a swing at team defensive stats, and says that the Hagerstown Suns were the 3rd worst defensive team in the minors. They argue that it dramatically affected a few semi-prospects, including Marco Estrada, Jhonny Nunez and Cory Van Allen.
The slow resurgence of the Nationals farm system began at its lowest levels this season, and while the play of many among this year's crop of Suns was cause for optimism, the team’s defense was atrocious. The pitcher most affected was Jhonny Nunez, a live-armed hurler acquired from the Dodgers for Marlon Anderson a year ago. While Nunez did manage to allow fewer hits (97) than innings pitched (106 2/3), better defense could have created a better ratio, and generated more recognition. The team also had a pair of pitching prospects stop by briefly, Estrada and Van Allen, and despite good strikeout rates, both players were affected by the team's bad defense. While Estrada has the better arm, Van Allen’s command from the left side (just six walks in 54 2/3 innings at the level) might make him the more intriguing prospect. While the everyday defense didn’t feature any noteworthy prospects, the team had brief help from high 2006 picks Chris Marrero and Stephen King. If the team DER is at all reflective of their play, Marrero has a lot of work to do in the outfield, and King might need to be moved across bag at the keystone.

Here's Hagerstown's team stats.

It looks like there was a lot of shifting players around this season, especially as the few prospects the Nats have passed through town. If you look at centerfield on that link, for example, Justin Maxwell was getting to half a ball more per game than most of the other CFers who played. Obviously, there are lots of factors like who was pitching that affect those kinds of numbers, but Francisco Guzman looks like he's auditioning for Sweeney Todd no matter where he played.

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