UZR Doesn’t Suck, Addison Russell’s WAR Isn’t a Fluke

Addison Russell’s overall performance is on par with the great shortstops of the last 70 years. So says WAR, one of the latest controversial stats in baseball because it struggles to capture defensive value. But just because it’s limited doesn’t mean Addison Russell’s WAR, which has been driven largely by an elite UZR, is spurious or some sort of gilded affectation. Quite the opposite, actually.

Interpreting baseball statistics outside the context for which their creators developed them is dangerous. For example, some statistics take an extraordinary amount of time to stabilize (i.e., to consider that an outcome can truly be attributed to the player’s talent). On the other hand, numbers like contact rate and plate discipline stabilize within a month. UZR and other commonly used defensive metrics, however, are not among those.

Because of this, the knock on UZR is that it takes too long to be considered a reliable gauge of talent and/or performance. But there indeed comes a point at which we can say, “Yes, UZR accurately reflects a player’s defensive talent.” That point is roughly three baseball seasons.

So it’s not this worthless metric that it’s sometimes made out to be when conversations on …Read the Rest

Source:: Cubs Insider

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