VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Baseball News / Defensive Metrics Seem Torn on Jackie Bradley Jr.

Defensive Metrics Seem Torn on Jackie Bradley Jr.

Does he win a Gold Glove?
Publish Date: 09/07/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

More Red Sox News!

Even when Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s bat is ice cold, there’s more than a compelling argument to keep him in the lineup. You see, JBJ is an absolute defensive stud, making highlight reel catch after highlight reel catch. People generally underrate defensive value and performance when evaluating individual players, yet even they seem to understand the immense value that derives from the Red Sox center fielder’s glove.

Perhaps bordering criminality, he has never been awarded a Gold Glove. You know who has, though? Mookie Betts, his companion to his left, manning right field on a daily basis. Betts has won two consecutive Gold Gloves and, like Bradley Jr., is regarded as one of the best fielders in the game. Despite this fact, Red Sox fans still seem pretty adamant on which Boston outfielder is the supreme defender.

Now, referencing the previous paragraph, one should not use trivial accolades to factor into the discussion of which player is the defensive superior. I tried to answer the question more objectively on the Daily Dose of Red Sox, conveniently located on the menu at the top of your page. Here’s what I wrote on August 23rd:

“Though defensive metrics are generally thought of as a bit unreliable, each outfielder has a large enough sample to where we can extract useful information. According to the metrics, Betts (94 career DRS, 52.1 UZR) is decidedly the better defender over Bradley Jr. (45 DRS, 34.4 UZR). They have both logged roughly the same amount of innings in the field, so these cumulative stats become meaningful. In fact, JBJ has actually played 200 more innings in the outfield than Betts in his career.

Even though, again, defensive metrics are not the end all, be all but, with a gap that significant, one has to understand there’s substance to it. JBJ is admittedly more flashy, with Betts appearing more nonchalant on many tough plays. Still, the Red Sox right fielder seems to be the definitively better defender than the Red Sox center fielder.”

“Though defensive metrics are generally thought of as a bit unreliable, each outfielder has a large enough sample to where we can extract useful information. According to the metrics, Betts (94 career DRS, 52.1 UZR) is decidedly the better defender over Bradley Jr. (45 DRS, 34.4 UZR). They have both logged roughly the same amount of innings in the field, so these cumulative stats become meaningful. In fact, JBJ has actually played 200 more innings in the outfield than Betts in his career.

Even though, again, defensive metrics are not the end all, be all but, with a gap that significant, one has to understand there’s substance to it. JBJ is admittedly more flashy, with Betts appearing more nonchalant on many tough plays. Still, the Red Sox right fielder seems to be the definitively better defender than the Red Sox center fielder.”

I vehemently stand by my assertion of Betts’ defensive dominance. The gap between them is simply too hard to ignore, especially with two different all-encapsulating (at least in theory) defensive metrics. Regardless, this led me to examine JBJ’s defensive metrics like a hawk and something rather peculiar emerges in 2018.

Over on Fangraphs, his defensive value seems to be in peak form with an 11.4 defensive score, factoring in fielding and positional adjustment. As of now, that is his second-best mark in his career, only being beat out by his 2014 season of 13.0. Obviously, there is still twenty-something games left in the season, so there’s time to match or surpass that score. A quick glance at that would be surprising to no one. A deeper dive, however, may leave some observers dumbfounded.

So, as mentioned, there are two all-encompassing defensive metrics used to essentially evaluate how many “runs” a defender is worth. They are UZR (ultimate zone rating) and DRS (defensive runs saved). Here’s a primer on the similarities and differences of the two, via the Fielding Bible.

“Both systems have the same goal- estimate a player’s defensive worth in units of “runs”, and both rely on hit location and type data from Baseball Info Solutions. The differences lie in the various adjustments and calculations that are made.

For example, Defensive Runs Saved uses a rolling one-year basis for the Plus/Minus system, while UZR uses several years of data to determine each play’s difficulty level. Defensive Runs Saved also includes components to measure pitcher and catcher defense.”

The two stats correlate pretty well with each other but can be torn on certain players. Well, this season DRS and UZR are clashing on Bradley Jr.’s defensive value. In terms of UZR, Bradley Jr. has been one of the premier defenders in the sport, sporting an outstanding 8.9 UZR in center field that places 6th in all of baseball in 2018. This metric rates him highly on range and arm, especially the latter where he has provided tremendous value with his cannon (per usual).

In contrast, JBJ has an exactly 0 DRS in center field this season, which is the epitome of average. Among qualified players, this ranks 72nd out of 133 fielders. His DRS is tied with Mitch Moreland, who, no offense, is not in the same breath as the former University of South Carolina star in terms of defensive acumen. If we expand his DRS to every outfield position he’s played this season, his DRS rises to 2, which still makes him a slightly above-average defender.

I’m not sure anybody would classify Bradley Jr. as an “average to slightly above-average defender.” It is not like this is a consistent debate between the two heralded statistics, as he usually rates well with both. In fact, he has scored a DRS between 8-15 in each of his last four years. This season is, by all indications, an anomaly for DRS and Bradley Jr., which is pretty volatile stat to begin with. Generally speaking, it takes 1-3 years for these metrics to become meaningful. We are essentially at the lower end of that stabilization point but the data may just be the result of too small of a sample.

Where has he suffered in DRS components? It seems like his rGFP (Good Fielding Plays) and rPM (Plus/Minus runs saved) have each taken a hit this season. In center, he had a 7 rGFP in 2017 and a -1 rGFP in 2018. That explains most of it, though his rPM has also dropped slightly.

StatCast rolled out another interesting defensive metric fairly recently called Outs Above Average. Here’s their succinct definition on OAA.

“Outs Above Average (OAA) is the cumulative effect of all individual Catch Probability plays a fielder has been credited or debited with, making it a range-based metric of fielding skill that accounts for the number of plays made and the difficulty of them. For example, a fielder who catches a 25% Catch Probability play gets +.75; one who fails to make the play gets -.25.”

In OAA, Jackie Bradley Jr. reigns as one of the best defenders in range, which is, you know, an incredibly important part of defense. He ranks 8th in the stat with a robust 10 OAA score and an expected catch percentage of 86% and an actual catch percentage of 89%. In other words, he’s added three percent.

Adding my own fallible eye test into the equation, I’ll happily conclude that Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the best defenders in the game. It is interesting to see the disagreement between the two popular defensive metrics on his defensive value, which have never really contended in the past. This should not temper one’s perception on JBJ’s defensive abilities, rather, it exists as an attempt of as an objective evaluation on his defensive value as possible.

Still, it seems one of the game’s best defenders will have a real shot at winning his first Gold Glove of his career this season. If so, he would damn deserve it.

Read Also
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Forgotten Canadian Champion (And Maybe It’s Deserved): Billy Hawkins
As Mike Goodpaster and I prepare our popular Old-Time Boxing Show podcast, ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
How Much Could Mookie Betts Be Worth?
For More Red Sox News! The 2018-19 offseason has been illustrative because it ...
Mookie Betts: Boston Red Sox 2019 Preview
For More Red Sox News! Happy New Year to all! The last of ...
Mookie Betts: Red Sox 2018 Recap
For More Red Sox News! The 2018 Boston Red Sox were arguably the most successful ...
What do the Defensive Metrics Say about the 2018 Red Sox Gold Glovers?
For More Red Sox News! The Boston Red Sox took home more hardware ...
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
95/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
94/100
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
92/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
90/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
T&Cs apply
9/10
Latest News
Top 9 Boxing upsets of the 1980s
Chandler was a dominant Bantamweight Champion, and this ...
Top-10 QBs of the 1990s
So far, we have covered the 50s, 60s, ...
NFL TNF WK 14 Raiders vs Rams: Odds, Tips, and Predictions 12/08/22
📅 Date: Thursday, December,01 🕚 Game Time: 8:20 ...
Betting Tips
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: The Sports Zone: Top Sports News: Luke Fickell is gone, Bengals/Chiefs Preview and more
The Sports Zone: Top Sports News: Luke Fickell is gone, Bengals/Chiefs Preview and more
Video: The NFL Draft Show
The NFL Draft Show
Video: Froggy Talkin Sports W/Ryan & Joe
Froggy Talkin Sports W/Ryan & Joe
Social Casino of the month
Stake.us - Sign up now! Sign up now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
97/100
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net Review
96/100
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
95/100
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Review
94/100
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
92/100
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
BetRivers.net
BetRivers.net Bonus
Daily Rewards up to 10k VC$
T&Cs apply
9.6/10
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Join GOLDEN2000 for 2,000 FREE coins
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
LuckyLand Slots
LuckyLand Slots Bonus
7,000 Gold Coins + 10 Sweeps Coins
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
140k GC + 400 FC
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
95/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
94/100
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
92/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
90/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
9.5/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
$1000 No Sweat First Bet
T&Cs apply
9/10
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsMark Lewis
+6
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: [email protected]

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

ccww
Move to Top
Close
Our Sports Pros recommend these awesome Social Casino sites this week:
×
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site