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 Chase Utley can run well too.in the top 15 and the bottom 15 being 47% AL Central. Turns out
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.