FanGraphs Positional Power Rankings by Team - Shortstop

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2005
23,641
The gran facenda
FanGraphs has come out with their positional power rankings by team. I thought this could be something we can track for the Sox throughout the season. I recommend reading the Intro section. Short.

Barring another injury to Story, they're pretty optimistic.
79924
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,062
I think their projections are massively underrating Story here. They're only rating his defense as 7th best at the position, behind Nick Allen in Oakland and Masyn Winn in STL.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
20,638
Row 14
I think their projections are massively underrating Story here. They're only rating his defense as 7th best at the position, behind Nick Allen in Oakland and Masyn Winn in STL.
That or they are predicting Story won't be around all season. Boston's depth SS are not good defensively.
 

KillerBs

New Member
Nov 16, 2006
940
The K percentage for Story seems key. It would be great if he could get it back down under 25% where he was the last couple years in Colorado instead of well over 30% since we signed him.

If healthy, I like his odds of being as good or better than most of Swanson, Kim, Crawford, Neto and Volpe, all of which fangraphs rates ahead of him.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
12,192
Story and Whitlock feel like the key guys to me- if borh of them can stay healthy and play towards their more optimistic projections, then the entire outlook on this team changes. A Story who looks like the guy he was in Colorado completely changes this lineup, and of course, the defense.

Ready for some actual games to watch after what felt like an incredibly long offseason.
 

mikcou

Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2007
925
Boston
I think their projections are massively underrating Story here. They're only rating his defense as 7th best at the position, behind Nick Allen in Oakland and Masyn Winn in STL.
This seems about right. I think a lot of people got really riled up by a really small sample last August and September; Story has never really consistently been an elite defensive shortstop. He played five full seasons in Colorado and the COVID shortened season and only in 2019 did he have something that looked like elite defensive by advanced metrics. Outside of 2019 the other five seasons all look like a guy who is clearly well above average, but not someone who is in the top 3 or so defenders.

Winn is a young, super athletic guy who has flashed double plus defense in the minors; its not exactly shocking that someone with that profile would be modeled to be a really good defender.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,062
I couldn't tell you what Story looked like in CO, but he's absolutely excelled at both 2B and SS for us when he's been in the field.

I'll take the eye test backed up by metrics (even in a small sample) over a Fangraphs projection every time.
 

mikcou

Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2007
925
Boston
I couldn't tell you what Story looked like in CO, but he's absolutely excelled at both 2B and SS for us when he's been in the field.

I'll take the eye test backed up by metrics (even in a small sample) over a Fangraphs projection every time.
I agree that he was very good at short in 2023 based on the eye test(which was validated by metrics as well), but it was like 40 games . Performance isn't even though; just like players have better and worse hitting streaks, the same thing happens in the field. Until he consistently plays like that over 150 or so games, I'm not believing that he is in the top tier of defensive shortstops... because he never has been.

His play at second is completely irrelevant - guys can be elite at second and not even be average at short.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,650
Rogers Park
I agree that he was very good at short in 2023 based on the eye test(which was validated by metrics as well), but it was like 40 games . Performance isn't even though; just like players have better and worse hitting streaks, the same thing happens in the field. Until he consistently plays like that over 150 or so games, I'm not believing that he is in the top tier of defensive shortstops... because he never has been.

His play at second is completely irrelevant - guys can be elite at second and not even be average at short.
I’m not sure what you’re looking at, but Savant’s OAA has him as the 54th best defensive player in baseball *at any position* over the Statcast era.

He has absolutely had elite full seasons defensively: 2017 and especially 2019. Then his issues with arm strength started cropping up in 2020 and 2021 after he hurt his elbow, then he was great at 2B for Boston, then he had surgery to repair the injured elbow, and now it’s the present.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
6,029
I'm really excited to see what he does this year. He's healthy, he's raked, the K rate has been at about 25% this spring rather than the 30-32% he put up in his first two years in Boston. Allowing myself to imagine a 3-4 win season or more if he has a great defensive season. Why not us? Or him, I guess.
 

mikcou

Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2007
925
Boston
I’m not sure what you’re looking at, but Savant’s OAA has him as the 54th best defensive player in baseball *at any position* over the Statcast era.

He has absolutely had elite full seasons defensively: 2017 and especially 2019. Then his issues with arm strength started cropping up in 2020 and 2021 after he hurt his elbow, then he was great at 2B for Boston, then he had surgery to repair the injured elbow, and now it’s the present.
I dont see these as inconsistent at all? A consistent top 10 defensive shortstop is almost certainly going to trend around the top 50 defensive players in baseball. I didnt say he was bad; hes very clear a good defensive shortstop. I dont understand the confusion as to why a ranking in between 5-10 of the top shortstop defensive values is a reasonable estimate of where he is at this point. For what its worth there are 10 names above him who are either primary shortstops or have spent ~50% of the time there (Lindor - 2, Ahmed -4, Baez - 10, Simmonhs -12, Crawford - 20, Russell -24, Lopez - 25, Edman - 27, Swanson - 28, Hoerner - 40). Now certainly some of those guys are either no longer shortstops or are retired. I think its fair to take Baez, Simmons, Russell and Crawford all out due to trending and retirement and Hoerner and Edman out as they arent close to primary shortstops.

That still leaves Lindor, Ahmed, Lopez, and Swanson as veterans who have consistent performance above Story. Then you have the young guys such as Witt, Tovar and Winn who look they are going to be quite good and Kim moving back to SS in SD.

Really what are we discussing here? Do you think its just his arm that is keeping him from the absolute top echelon? Because he was a bit above average prior to 2019 and I never said he was bad or even average; only that a ranking somewhere slightly outside the top 5 made sense.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
21,650
Rogers Park
I dont see these as inconsistent at all? A consistent top 10 defensive shortstop is almost certainly going to trend around the top 50 defensive players in baseball. I didnt say he was bad; hes very clear a good defensive shortstop. I dont understand the confusion as to why a ranking in between 5-10 of the top shortstop defensive values is a reasonable estimate of where he is at this point. For what its worth there are 10 names above him who are either primary shortstops or have spent ~50% of the time there (Lindor - 2, Ahmed -4, Baez - 10, Simmonhs -12, Crawford - 20, Russell -24, Lopez - 25, Edman - 27, Swanson - 28, Hoerner - 40). Now certainly some of those guys are either no longer shortstops or are retired. I think its fair to take Baez, Simmons, Russell and Crawford all out due to trending and retirement and Hoerner and Edman out as they arent close to primary shortstops.

That still leaves Lindor, Ahmed, Lopez, and Swanson as veterans who have consistent performance above Story. Then you have the young guys such as Witt, Tovar and Winn who look they are going to be quite good and Kim moving back to SS in SD.

Really what are we discussing here? Do you think its just his arm that is keeping him from the absolute top echelon? Because he was a bit above average prior to 2019 and I never said he was bad or even average; only that a ranking somewhere slightly outside the top 5 made sense.
Oh, if slightly outside the top five is what you’re saying, that’s pretty much what I’d say, too. Nevermind.

I’ve been feeling like he’s being seriously underrated in assessments of this team, and so I was perhaps a bit touchy on his behalf.
 

mikcou

Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2007
925
Boston
Oh, if slightly outside the top five is what you’re saying, that’s pretty much what I’d say, too. Nevermind.

I’ve been feeling like he’s being seriously underrated in assessments of this team, and so I was perhaps a bit touchy on his behalf.
Yes, I was responding to a post that thought SS defensive being 7th in MLB seemed too low. Seems pretty much right on the mark to me.