2010 Marlins Season Review: Defense

Today we’ll continue our season review with a late series on the Marlins’ defensive play.

Team Runs Allowed: 717
Team UZR runs above average: -24
Team DRS runs above average: -20
Team TotalZone runs above average: -19

Each of these three systems judged the Marlins poorly this season, though this is not terribly surprising. Each of the last few seasons, the Marlins have been at around 20 to 25 runs below average as a team each year, despite the continued talk of improving defense over the offseason via coaching. We saw the early season troubles the Marlins had on defense, especially when it came to throwing errors. It turns out the Fish are at around nine runs below average when it comes to just errors according to UZR breakdown. The lone advantage the Fish had was in the arm department, as it the Marlins were at around +9 runs in that category, good for second best in the majors.

Best Performer: Mike Stanton

One of the interesting things about future phenom Mike Stanton is that he is not your typical lumbering slugger with high strikeout totals. Along with that towering power and equally daunting whiff capability is a very athletic talnet, and that athleticism shows on defense. While I’m sure you may have seen some of Stanton’s excellent throws, much of the praise this season seems to be for his range. Aside from the excellent rangy dives, Stanton has been just flat getting to the ball. Each of the three systems views him highly in that regard, ranging from UZR’s +7 mark to DRS’ +12 and TotalZone’s +15 runs.

It’s a bit questionable whether Stanton was able to play that well defensively in such little time. We’ve seen that from the likes of Brett Carroll and believed it, since he simply looks so fluid on the field. It’s harder to say for sure for Stanton, but it does appear as if he has the range and footspeed to be a future +10 run outfielder every year. Combine that with his power output and he may challenge as the best player on the team in two years. It’s scary how good he could end up being.

Worst Performer: Hanley Ramirez

I did not personally get to see Ramirez much this season, so I am hoping you Marlin Maniacs can help me out on this with your eyes. Has Ramirez been as bad as the defensive PBP stats say he has? It’s hard to imagine that, after two straight seasons of essentially average play at shortstop, Ramirez would fall thorugh the cracks in such an abrupt way. UZR has him at -10 runs this year, with DRS (-15) and TotalZone (-10) in general agreement.

While the range number may be in question, I would not be surprised if his double play runs matched reality. He and Dan Uggla, formerly one of the best double play duos in the business, have really gone south over the last few years. They were not as bad (-1.5 or so runs) this year as last year, but it may be that both are struggling to turn that second out at first into reality on a more consistent basis. I am hoping that this was a one-year fluctuation in the rest of Ramirez’ numbers, however, and that next season brings a return to average play at the position. I know that Hanley has worked very hard since 2007 on improving his defense, I would love to see those results come out on the field

What did you guys think? Has Hanley been worse this year than last year? Having seen him a few times this season, I voted on the Fans Scouting Report essentially the same way I voted last year, as an average or slightly below average SS with a cannon arm with bad accuracy.

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Tags: Miami Marlins Mike Stanton. Hanley Ramirez

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