Best & Worst In Hidden Value, 2009

Baseball players can make contributions in a number of different ways, the most obvious and talked-about of which is how they do at the plate. Defense, position, and baserunning tend to be brushed off as secondary concerns. What follows are the top and bottom 15 in the sum of these latter three values, as determined by UZR, Fangraphs' position adjustment, and Baseball Prospectus' EQBRR.

Note that catchers aren't measured by UZR, so the worst ones are getting a boost and the best ones are getting it in the shorts. However, no catchers are likely to deserve placement on either list, except maybe Gerald Laird. So.

TOP 15 BOTTOM 15
Franklin Gutierrez 35.2 Bobby Abreu -20.3
Nyjer Morgan 27.3 Nick Johnson -20.3
Michael Bourn 26.0 Carlos Quentin -20.4
Ryan Zimmerman 26.0 Carlos Lee -20.5
Ben Zobrist 25.1 Aubrey Huff -20.8
Evan Longoria 23.8 Ryan Braun -21.3
Chone Figgins 22.3 Adam Lind -22.0
Chase Utley 22.0 Delmon Young -22.5
Ryan Sweeney 21.9 Andre Ethier -22.9
Elvis Andrus 21.7 Jose Guillen -24.8
Rajai Davis 20.7 Billy Butler -25.7
Brendan Ryan 18.5 Michael Cuddyer -25.8
Jack Wilson 17.9 Jermaine Dye -27.2
Adrian Beltre 17.4 Brad Hawpe -27.5
Ian Kinsler 17.0 Adam Dunn -48.0

Neither Guti's placement at the top of the list nor Dunn's placement at the bottom should come as a shock; Guti plays a mean center field and runs pretty well, while Dunn's an athlete in the way people used to think glass is a liquid. The 29-run gap between them with the bat is erased here by the nearly threefold difference in "hidden" value. Franklin Gutierrez is awesome. Adam Dunn is not.

I don't think any names here really stand out. At least, they shouldn't. Notice the three Mariners in the top 15 and the bottom 15 being 47% AL Central. Turns out Chase Utley can run well too.

The best way to look at this would be to take a multiyear window such that we could smooth out statistical anomalies or misleading UZR. However, for whatever reason I can't load BP's '07 and '08 baserunning data, so we're stuck with what we have. If you ignore baserunning and focus on UZR + Position, then the 07-09 top three come out as Utley/Gutierrez/Hardy, while the bottom three are Dye/Hawpe/Dunn.

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