for a copy of the 2012 Bill James Handbook check out ACTA Sports
My must have book of the baseball off season is the Bill James Handbook (ACTA publishing) and this off season is no exception. I just got my hands on the 2012 edition of the Handbook and as usual it is filled with stats and essay’s that help any baseball fan make informed thoughts when looking at your teams needs for the coming season.
One of my favorite features in the Handbook is The Fielding Bible Awards. John Dewan puts this section together and enlists some of the great baseball minds to vote on the awards. This year the voters are:
Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) Video Scouts
Hal Richman creator of Strat-O-Matic Baseball
Todd Radcliffe Lead Video Scout for BIS
Tom Tango Fan Poll
These ten voters rank players at all nine positions using a 1-10 voting system, the votes are tallied and the top 10 players are listed. For our purposes let’s look at how the Mets defenders faired
At first base Daniel Murphy (yes Daniel Murphy) graded out at #10 with 18 total points. Bill James voted Murph 5th, BIS Video Scouts voted him 10th, Joe Posnanski voted him 5th and John Dewan listed him 6th on his ballot. This is why I won’t be shocked when Murphy is dealt this winter to play 1st or even 3rd base where he grades out positive as well in exchange for one of the many needs the Mets have this off season. It’s at 2nd base where Murphy is a -2 in the Runs Saved (RS) category and why the Mets need to think of defense first at second. By the way Justin Turner grades out at a woeful -11 RS at 2nd base.
So you can see neither Murph nor Ginger Turner rated in the top 10 (Ruben Tejeda by the way was a +1 in RS at 2nd base) my favorite non-Mets player Dustin Pedroia finished #1 with 97 pts
A big surprise was at shortstop where Mets icon, Jose Reyes didn’t come close to a top ten finish with a lowly 6 pts to his name.
I don’t know if this is a surprise or not (I’ll leave it up to you) but at 3rd base David Wright did not garner a single vote. The Wreck of Miguel Tejada received votes from Glanville, Posnanski and Dewan . MIGUEL TEJADA!!!!!! If that doesn’t motivate D-Wright to get his leather groove on, I don’t know what would?
Jason Bay finished out of the money in 15th but at least he was ahead of the 500 lb left fielder a/k/a Carlos Lee
In the section dealing with centerfielder’s I’ve stared at the page for hours, held it up to the light then to a mirror and still not a sign of Angel Pagan, in fact if the Handbook was released on vinyl and you played it backwards you would hear Pagan is dead. Could Sandy Alderson give us a shiny new centerfielder for Christmas? Can he find a way to get Peter Bourjos or Adam Jones ? Hell, I’d settle for Coco Crsip.
In the right field category there isn’t a Mets representative and I have a strong feeling there won’t be one in the 2013 Handbook either.
24 catchers received Fielding Bible Award votes, none were named Josh Thole. Kelly Shoppach received 12 votes and would a perfect tag team partner for Thole who in all fairness is still learning the tools of ignorance trade on the Major League Level.
The highest rated Mets defender is none other than Robert Allen Dickey, R.A. to you and me. I wonder if Dickster can play 2nd base or centerfield on his four days off?
That’s just some of the great features in the 2012 Bill James Handbook and it’s also a very useful reference as we play amateur GM of the Mets this off season.