Thursday, September 2, 2010

Breaking Down the Giants Defense (It's better then you think)

San Francisco Giants 1B Aubrey Huff fields a grounder from Atlanta Braves Eric Hinske in the sixth inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco on April 11, 2010. Huff flipped to pitcher Tim Lincecum for the out as the Giants defeated the Braves 6-3. UPI/Terry Schmitt Photo via Newscom
When the 2010 campaign started this season it looked like the Giants were built to pitch well and play solid defense. The mantra was good pitching, solid defense, and just enough hitting to win games.

Although the pitching has not lived up to the precedent set by last seasons historic run the Giants defense has been very good. You may not tell from the obvious blunders *cough*Cody Ross*cough* but they are still a good defensive team.

Believe it or not the Giants defense is better than it was a season ago.

According to UZR published on fangraphs the Giants are the second best fielding team in baseball behind only division rival Padres. They rate at 46.7 runs above replacement in fielding.

Leading the charge is Andres Torres with a UZR of 18.1 there is no surprise there. Torres is followed by Nate Schierholtz with 7.8 which could be higher with more playing time. At number three is what to me is a big surprise especially if you asked at the start of the season, it is supper utility man Aubrey Huff with a UZR of 5.6!

The bright spot this season has been Aubrey Huff. He took a lot of criticism about how he had been washed up and could only hit (even that was questioned at the time of the signing), well not only has he been doing that but his defense has been a pleasant surprise. The guy will play anywhere on the field and has been nicknamed the best athlete on the team. Not bad for someone who was "washed up/over the hump"

The team is sporting two less then fleet footed guys in the outfield but still managing to rate well.

As a team the Giants are a complete team with hopes of playing baseball in late October. Finally with a catcher that is throwing runners out and outfielders running down balls in triples alley, I believe that the Giants as a whole can reach the promise land.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

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