Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

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PhillyDynasty
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Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by PhillyDynasty » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:16 am

Hey all,

This is one of those times that I wish the old forums were available, so that I could search. But, I'll come to the group with my question!

Shortstop and third base seem to require strong skills in both range and arm, as opposed to first base, for example, where range is very much the key defensive skill.

Between the two of them, for which position is range more important, and for which is arm more important? I would assume range for shortstop and arm for third base, but this is a hunch based on my knowledge of baseball, and not the sim.

So, if I have Player X with an A+ range, B arm, and Player Y with a B range, A+ arm, both trained at both SS and 3B, should player X start at short and Player Y at third?

Thanks for the info!

spiderrtp
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by spiderrtp » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:33 am

I've been a late convert to how much defensive ratings mean in the sim... I used to try the 'softball league style' of putting the best hitters out there and pray that they scored more than they allowed. By embracing defense as important, I've substituted slightly worse hitters that were good with the glove, especially in the IF and seen the ERA of my pitchers go down by a full run.

With the 2 players you listed it should be X at short and Y at 3rd... however, in a perfect world, you should be trying for even better. X should be a 2nd baseman and get someone with A- or better arm to go along with high range for SS. You want at least A arm with at least B+ range at 3rd.

WillyD
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Location: New England

Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by WillyD » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:53 am

SS is the most important, with 2nd base right behind it. The shortstop's range is a major factor in turning double plays. Overall, range is more important than arm for infielders, but arm is still important (with the exception of 1st base).

Both SS and 2nd base are much more important than 3rd base! The amount of chances they get compared to 3rd is substantial.

PhillyDynasty
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by PhillyDynasty » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:48 am

WillyD wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:53 am
Both SS and 2nd base are much more important than 3rd base! The amount of chances they get compared to 3rd is substantial.
You're right! I hadn't considered this aspect, but the data bears you out.
spiderrtp wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:33 am
I've been a late convert to how much defensive ratings mean in the sim... I used to try the 'softball league style' of putting the best hitters out there and pray that they scored more than they allowed. By embracing defense as important, I've substituted slightly worse hitters that were good with the glove, especially in the IF and seen the ERA of my pitchers go down by a full run.

With the 2 players you listed it should be X at short and Y at 3rd... however, in a perfect world, you should be trying for even better. X should be a 2nd baseman and get someone with A- or better arm to go along with high range for SS. You want at least A arm with at least B+ range at 3rd.
I've also only begun to seriously weigh defensive stats recently. They used to be far down the list of factors I'd consider when deciding which player t start. But, I do think it can make a significant difference!

loonatic
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by loonatic » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:00 pm

It is definitely better to put your better defensive players at SS and 2B. And don't underestimate the importance of arm in the outfield. It makes a big difference in keeping runners from advancing extra bases, such as from 1st to 3rd on a single. This benefit is "hidden" in the sense that you can't see it in the accumulated defensive stats for outfielders (i.e., errors, plus/minus, assists).

bahstonwedsawks
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by bahstonwedsawks » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:40 pm

Defense is very important. I value range about twice as much as arm at SS, 2B, and 3B. The order of importance is SS, 2B, 3B. I only look at range for 1B (ignore arm). I can't begin to tell you how many 1-run playoff games I have won due to my defense being above par.

To answer your question, I'd have the A+ range / B arm guy at SS and the B range / A+ arm guy at 3B. I would avoid having B range at 2B.
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WillyD
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by WillyD » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:45 am

loonatic wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:00 pm
And don't underestimate the importance of arm in the outfield. It makes a big difference in keeping runners from advancing extra bases, such as from 1st to 3rd on a single. This benefit is "hidden" in the sense that you can't see it in the accumulated defensive stats for outfielders (i.e., errors, plus/minus, assists).
This is important for those of you that care about defense! Loonatic told me this years ago, shortly after the stretching rules were implemented.
I've avoided using below average arms in the OF whenever possible, and I've seen a big difference! Try to have a least an A- arm (no worse than B+), and never use a C+ or worse arm unless you're rebuilding.

bahstonwedsawks
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by bahstonwedsawks » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:21 pm

WillyD wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:45 am
loonatic wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:00 pm
And don't underestimate the importance of arm in the outfield. It makes a big difference in keeping runners from advancing extra bases, such as from 1st to 3rd on a single. This benefit is "hidden" in the sense that you can't see it in the accumulated defensive stats for outfielders (i.e., errors, plus/minus, assists).
This is important for those of you that care about defense! Loonatic told me this years ago, shortly after the stretching rules were implemented.
I've avoided using below average arms in the OF whenever possible, and I've seen a big difference! Try to have a least an A- arm (no worse than B+), and never use a C+ or worse arm unless you're rebuilding.
Agreed. It's the little things like this that make a big difference when all added together.

Third inning, man on 1st with no outs, single to right field, runner advances aggressively to 3rd (RF has B arm... likely wouldn't have even tried to get to 3rd if he had A arm). Next batter grounds into double-play, runner scores with 2 outs. Next batter flies out. Result: 1 run. Six innings later game ends in a 4-3 win. Nobody even notices the 3rd inning scenario.

Or...

Third inning, man on 1st with no outs, single to right field, runner stays at 2nd (RF has an A arm). Next batter grounds into double-play, runner moves up to 3rd with 2 outs. Next batter flies out. Result: 0 runs. Game goes to extra innings and who knows who will win or lose.

And this stuff is often magnified in the playoffs because you're usually facing much better pitching and runs are at a premium.

Become a master at the little things and the big things have a much higher chance of falling into place in beautiful fashion.
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phen0m
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by phen0m » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:40 pm

hmm i think 2B is more important than SS. They get more chances and also seem to have better odds of getting '+' plays per chance, given the same ratings. I guess given that a SS needs both good range and arm you could consider them more important, but just going by chances its 2B.

allenciox
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Re: Defensive Skills--Shortstop and Third Base

Post by allenciox » Mon May 07, 2018 3:16 pm

phen0m, my experience is the same as yours. I did some regression analysis awhile back on about 40 years worth of data, and found that better defense matters for Catchers the most, then 2B, then SS, then 3B and all three outfielder positions about the same, then P, then 1B (1B had a very insignificant effect on team success in holding down runs for other team).

It appeared that the amount of runs given up by a team depended about 70% on pitching, 30% on fielding.

As far as range and arm are concerned: for both 2B and 3B, range was about twice as important as arm. At SS, it's about 55% range, 45% arm. In the OF, C, and P, arm is most important: for outfielders, arm is about 70%/30% range, for P it's about 80%/20%, and for Catchers it's more than 90% arm --- if you totally ignore range in a catcher it won't really hurt you.

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