This is why defensive metrics are hard. And this is why the season needs to start soon so there will be something to talk about.
Yesterday, mlb.com had an article, “Each team’s best defender.” The Rangers’ might surprise you. But, then again, it won’t because they used a stat called OAA, or Outs Against Average.
OAA? It’s official. Baseball is steeped in stupidity. They ran out of things to measure and are making up new ones.
But, since there is no other news, and since someone made up this way to measure players, and they applied it to actual players, here is the best Rangers glove of 2019, according to this highly valuable research.
Their best defensive player was a tie between Isiah Kiner-Falefa for his play at third and Elvis Andrus. The next two best defenders according to this obscure OAA stat were Rougned Odor then Delino DeShields. The fact Ronald Guzman wasn’t on this list make one suspicious of OAA.
To compare, Kiner-Falefa and Andrus had OOA ranks of +5 to lead the Rangers. The Angels leader was Andrelton Simmons at +16, Oakland’s was Matt Chapman at +14, Seattle’s best defender was Mallex Smith at +10, and Houston’s was Carlos Correa at +9. So, the Rangers were far behind the pack defensively.
Not a surprise since the Rangers have never valued defense. It’s yet another way this team needs vast improvement. Even in made up stats, the are trailing.