Sunday, June 29, 2008

More on Shortstop

In their Saturday game previews, Baseball Prospectus evaluates the potential Felipe Lopez trade for the Orioles:

The Nationals and Orioles have been engaged on the field and on the phone lines this weekend, as FOX Sport's Ken Rosenthal has reported that Baltimore is moving towards acquiring Washington's Felipe Lopez to play shortstop. Baltimore has gotten nothing offensively from their shortstops this season–just a single homer, and a .196 EqA–so Lopez, with his two homers and .233 EqA, would fit right in. Where he wouldn't match up as well is on defense, which should give the Orioles brass pause before making the deal. Lopez has played just two games at shortstop this season, but 591 over the course of his career, and he has been well below average at the position, by both Range Factor (4.18, compared to the average of 4.47), fielding percentage (.959 to .974), and FRAA (90 Rate, or -53 runs below average). He has also produced -22.9 SFR in his career at shortstop, with his only season in the black being 2003. To this point, Baltimore is first in the majors in defensive efficiency, and has managed to stay above .500 in part because of such outstanding defense. In that light, it would seem that adding such a poor glove at such an important defensive position might well upset that fragile harmony. Orioles shortstops have not been great defensively thus far, but they have put up an above-average Range Factor and have been a bit better than average by FRAA.

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