by Mike Rogers
Fangraphs just keep getting better. They now have updated the UZR Defensive numbers to include outfield arms and double play runs. Back when The Hardball Times updated their 2008 outfield arms data, Myron looked at it and helped bolster his idea that Brian Giles should be moved off of the right field postion and switch to the oppostie corner. So, lets take a look at Brian Giles now with the UZR outfield arms update.
Brian Giles’ arm is bad. Like, on the extreme end of the worst bad. I’m talkin’ -19.5 runs bad over the last three years. When the talk about outfield arms was being bandied about as being incorporated into UZR, it has been said that it only really effects the guys on the ends of the category — the very good (Jeff Francoeur) and the very bad (Brian Giles). Giles’ arm is averaging -6.5 runs off of his defensive value on average from 2006-08, and that’s not weighting it at all which would change that since he’s declined each of the last three years: -4.2 in 2006, -5.8 in 2007 and -9.4(!) last year. So, let’s just call it -6.5 runs, over his average of 140 games played in those three years. That would then become about -6.9 runs or we’ll just call it -7.
Defensively, as I noted in the comments of Myron’s post I linked to earlier, the arms ratings really puts a dent in Giles overall value. My comment noted that without arms ratings his defense is +4.42 over the last 4 years. Run that to a Wins Above Replacement conversion using CHONE’s projected .346 wOBA (and a league average of .332), and I get +8.52 offense, +4.4 defensively, +20 for replacement level and -7.5 for positional adjustment, converted to wins above replacement I get 2.4 WAR. Multiply by 0.85 to account for playing time and that’s 2.06 WAR — a bit above-average.
However, if you account for his arms ratings, and to keep it on the 4 year average like I used in my comment, his 4 year arms ratings comes out to -19 (2005 was +0.5 for him in RF). Averaged out, that’s -4.75 runs per year with his arm. Run this into a WAR conversion and his WAR drops to +1.97 WAR. A one-year deal on the open market for a 1.97 WAR player is $9.07 million. Value for a 2.4 WAR player for a one-year deal on the open market? $10.96. Basically, his bad arm is worth about $1.89 million to the bad in terms of his value.