Lynn Henning writes today about the Tigers infield defensive improvements (emphasis mine):
Those plus-minus ratings are part of compelling research done by scouts and video analysts for John Dewan, president of Baseball Info Solutions, and author of The Fielding Bible, a data-rich evaluation of major league defense that is carried by such Web sites as billjamesonline.net.
Dewan’s research joins with such indicators as Major League Baseball’s “Range Factor” index to help determine a fielder’s true effectiveness. The statistics are broader and deeper than the somewhat deceiving statistic known as fielding percentage, which states only how many balls a player reaches that are successfully turned into putouts.
Thank you Henning. While readers here know that fielding percentage is one of the most useless defensive stats, the greater baseball reading population doesn’t. That’s in large part due to the fact it is so commonly cited in articles like this.
And I don’t bring this up as a knock on mainstream writers because I know with limited inches there is only so much they can do introducing a new stat and explaining it. I’m sincerely appreciative of the fact that Henning took the time for the brief explanation of +/- and used it in favor of FP.
(Now if only he’d gone with zone rating instead of range factor.)