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Old 11-09-2018, 09:28 AM   #1
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Two 2B/SS: How Do You Play Them?

I have two extremely good defensive middle infielders who have developed at both positions.

Player A: 2B 114; SS 99
Player B: 2B 97; SS 82

How would you play them? It's compelling to me that the totals of both pairings add up to 196. My instinct is A at SS and B at 2B, but I'd hear arguments.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:57 AM   #2
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As far as I'm aware, it's established sabermetric wisdom that Shortstop is the more impactful defensive position. That means the extra 17 points of defense is worth more at SS than 2B, so A should play shortstop.

You could take a different approach, though - set scouted ratings aside and check if their accumulated fielding stats tell a different story.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:47 AM   #3
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My thoughts as well. Player B has won a few GGs at 2B, so the choice seems even a little more obvious.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:02 AM   #4
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I'd play the one with the better overall fielding ratings at SS. Unless, perhaps, they have a significantly weaker arm than the worse fielder.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:18 PM   #5
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i'd most likely put the better guy at SS, because it sees the greatest portion of balls in play.

however, that's an 'overall' position rating and i value things a bit differently at times. e.g. at SS a lower error pct may tip scales in some contexts where the overall SS value is lower than the other choice. Same with IF arm strength.

i also value range slightly more than the defensive position rating does for SS.

60range 80 error or 80 range 60 error? i'm taking the 80range guy every time at ss. in 1901, my opinion would likely change with that poor of an overall league fielding pct. fewer the errors in the league, the more range should be valued over IF error rating.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
As far as I'm aware, it's established sabermetric wisdom that Shortstop is the more impactful defensive position.

It's been known for over a hundred years.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curve Ball Dave View Post
It's been known for over a hundred years.

Sure, and unlike some other things that have been known for over a hundred years, even the sabermetricians haven't found a way around it.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:22 PM   #8
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Id say A at SS and B at 2B
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
Sure, and unlike some other things that have been known for over a hundred years, even the sabermetricians haven't found a way around it.
math doesn't circumvent anything but the irrational. it can shine light on falsehoods and dogmatic beliefs. things that simply aren't true and never were true, yet majority of people believe it, violently sometimes, nonetheless.

*it can* -- i.e. most people's dislike/mistrust of math is due to some fool's poor use of it. everytime i read a local sportwriter's <coughwojocough> fear-based and irrational arguments against using math to better understand a sport, i cringe... riddled with logical fallacies and not ashamed of it, either. likely unaware, even. straw man, ad hominem, false equivalencies, you name it.

the biggest problem with sabermetrics is the perception of it and the fact that the k-12 system didn't provide the necessary knowledge base to understand it or recognize when someone is using math poorly. due to these factors it is often misused or a very poor original idea to start. (war is a poor overall concept.. why compare to a sub-average player? that's silly.. as if a replacement player is similar/comparable to a player with real talent just a vastly useless metric for any top 10% talent or so)

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Old 11-12-2018, 09:04 PM   #10
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I was being tongue-in-cheek there. Honestly, I was just a little puzzled about what point Curve Ball Dave was trying to make.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:06 PM   #11
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Another idea (though probably not a good one) is to switch their positions whenever you infield-shift against a LHB. That way the regular 2B plays closer to the bag, and the regular SS plays in the shifted 2B position.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
I was being tongue-in-cheek there. Honestly, I was just a little puzzled about what point Curve Ball Dave was trying to make.

The point was that for over a hundred years no one needed advanced metrics to know that you put the superior defender at SS because of the importance to the overall defense. That's why Honus Wagner played SS, and not somewhere else, for instance.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:22 AM   #13
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Infield range and arm are critical at short stop so I'd go by those not the fielding ratings. I don't think the fielding ratings are far enough apart to make much difference.
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Old 11-13-2018, 12:23 PM   #14
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Yeah, if one had a much weaker arm, then he's obviously the 2B.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curve Ball Dave View Post
The point was that for over a hundred years no one needed advanced metrics to know that you put the superior defender at SS because of the importance to the overall defense. That's why Honus Wagner played SS, and not somewhere else, for instance.

I got that, what I don't understand is why you're bringing it up at all. Are you objecting to the use of advanced metrics to check the validity of traditional baseball wisdom?
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
I got that, what I don't understand is why you're bringing it up at all. Are you objecting to the use of advanced metrics to check the validity of traditional baseball wisdom?

I object, to some extent, the notion that you need advanced metrics to validate conventional wisdom. You don't need (and never have needed) advanced metrics to know you put the better defender at SS if you have a choice. I personally don't see the point of doing all of that number crunching just to determine that it was correct to have Ozzie Smith play Shortstop rather than 2B.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curve Ball Dave View Post
I object, to some extent, the notion that you need advanced metrics to validate conventional wisdom. You don't need (and never have needed) advanced metrics to know you put the better defender at SS if you have a choice. I personally don't see the point of doing all of that number crunching just to determine that it was correct to have Ozzie Smith play Shortstop rather than 2B.

You crunch the numbers because sometimes you do learn something new, even if you end up confirming what you already know nine times out of ten. Seems completely reasonable to me. Eh, different strokes etc.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
You crunch the numbers because sometimes you do learn something new, even if you end up confirming what you already know nine times out of ten. Seems completely reasonable to me. Eh, different strokes etc.
I agree. In my opinion, one of the best things about sabermetrics is when you can confirm that the earliest players, a century ago, knew exactly what they were doing.
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactusguy21 View Post
I agree. In my opinion, one of the best things about sabermetrics is when you can confirm that the earliest players, a century ago, knew exactly what they were doing.
And before Chadwick came up with BA, the NABBP was instead using a stat that was in a way a very flawed version of OBP, but reversed. So they knew better in the 1850s than they did in the 1950s.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:47 PM   #20
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i play them at positions as needed. I keep it overly simple
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