Some Astros “fans” have been quoting an article by Larry Dubrow (who usually writes for “men’s magazine” Maxim) on cbs.sportsline.com, in which he lists Adam Everett as one of the 10 worst players (not hitters, mind – players) in MLB.
Many fans do not believe that defense matters a plugged nickelunless they player makes an error. They don’t mind if a defender misses a ball for a hit – or throws badly and lets a run score. That doesn’t count. Problem is that most fans play fantasy baseball and there, defense counts for exactly zero. It matters none if a center fielder can’t throw and runners easily turn singles into doubles, score easily from first on a single, advance from second to third on an easy flyout.
These days when too many Gold Gloves are won with batting average (yeah Jeter, I’m lookin at you) too many people think that you ain’t all that if you don’t win a GG.
But too many people are wrong about Adam, currently mired in the team wide hitting slump that has only not affected Carlos Lee. And here to defend Adam is well know defense wizard Mitchel Lichtman, inventor of the well known UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating)
“It is hilarious how much Everett does not belong on the list. You have to have some knowledge of the advanced defensive metrics and a knowledge and understanding of how many runs a good, great, poor, horrible, etc. defender actually saves a team, as well as a knowledge and understanding of how any reasonable hitting metric translates into runs, not to mention the relative value of the positions on the defensive spectrum, in order to make a list like this.
While I give this author cedit for not just presenting players who are having a bad season (IOW recognizing the fluctuations that go along with 150 AB’s or so), he obviously has no idea as to how an offensive metric translates to runs and how many runs a particular player may be worth on defense. Nor should ANY catcher or SS (especially catcher) probably be on a list like this, as it is REALLY hard for a player at those positions to hit and field bad enough relative to the average player at that position to be “one of the worst players in baseball.”
Again, not only is Everett not one of the worst players in baseball, he is actually an above average player (SS), not withstanding his hitting performance thus far in 2007 (I assume that the author is talking about true talent and not what they have performed thus far this year). Everett is a once in a generation defensive player, maybe the best ever at any position. Even if that is an exaggeration, ALL of the advanced metrics (and not-so-advanced ones) have Everett at somewhere north of +20 runs a year in defense. I have him projected going into 2007 as +23. There is no possible way that a player can be a poor enought hitter to make a plus 23 defense turn into one of the worst players in baseball. Even if he were -25 in offense, which is about as bad as you can get (true talent-wise), and which he probably is, that makes him around -2 overall. The AVERAGE SS is -9 overall! That would make him an above average SS!
In order for Everett to be even replacement level, and there are lots of those in MLB, even as evereyday players, he would have to be over -50 in offense! There is no such animal in MLB. Not even close. Even if you are a skeptic of the +20 or so on defense (although I have never heard anyone credible NOT admit that Everett is one of the best if not the best defensive players in baseball), there is still NO POSSIBLE WAY that he can be close to one of the worst everyday players in baseball. Let’s give him +15 on defense. In order to be a replacement level SS overall, he would have to be -43 on offense. Again, no such animal in baseball. The last 4 years, Everett has been -19, -11, -30, and -25 on offense. Those are some of the worst offensive numbers in baseball. There is no doubt that he is one of the worst hitters in baseball. That still makes him AT LEAST and above average SS, again, given that he is plus some high number (15, 20, 25) on defense. There is simply no way to spin this to make Everrett anything less than an average player at worst and NO POSSIBLE WAY ON THE PLANET to make him a replacement level player (one of the worst everyday players in baseball), unless you make him an average SS on defense.
If someone wants to hail him as an average SS, that person has zero credibility anyway.”