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Corner Outfield Defense

Still more PMR, this time looking at left fielders and right fielders. In terms of outs recorded above/below positional average per 150 games:

Left Fielders:

Randy Winn: +12.0
Raul Ibanez: -6.9
Reed Johnson: +36.7
Coco Crisp: +22.9
Podzilla: +11.2
Adam Dunn: -11.3
Manny Ramirez: -26.2
Miguel Cabrera: -36.8

Right Fielders:

Ichiro: +11.5
Dustan Mohr: +70.1 (inserted for shock value; tiny sample size skews rating)
Mike Cameron: +25.3
Vlad Guerrero: +16.8
Brian Giles: +10.7
Jeromy Burnitz: +3.0
Jacque Jones: -2.4
Bobby Abreu: -1.3
Matt Lawton: -23.8
Wily Mo Pena: -56.3

A few things - first of all, yeah, I'd be better off adjusting to a constant number of balls in play, rather than innings played, because the way I'm doing it now is affected by the tendencies and handedness of the pitching staff. I just don't want to go back and change the previous posts. For what it's worth, such an adjustment wouldn't significantly change the values or order of rank.

Secondly, the hypothesis is that these outfielder values fail to account for player positioning, which makes some guys look better or worse than you'd expect. For example, you might have Ichiro playing deeper than most right fielders to cut off extra-base hits at the expense of allowing a few extra singles, and the result is that he'll field fewer balls in his zone than you'd expect. So take that into consideration as well. Pinto guesses as much at the bottom of his post:

I'm always a bit surprised that Ichiro isn't right at the top of these lists. I wonder if he plays deep and lets some balls fall in front of him? Or maybe age caused him to lose a step.

If it has to be either of those two things, it's probably going to be the former, because I don't see any real indication that Ichiro is getting slower. Let's take a look at his year-by-year Speed Score:

2001: 8.6
2002: 7.2
2003: 8.0
2004: 6.7
2005: 8.5

I don't see any downward trend in there.