How Zimmerman Ranks Among NL 3B

I’m going to warn you, this is probably the first of many posts discussing the merits and abilities of Ryan Zimmerman compared to his National League third base colleagues. Needless to say, I am mostly preaching to the choir. But in this case, the choir can go vote 25 times for the All Star game, so, why not? As you may know, Zimmerman is the bestest third baseman in the NL, yet is eleventy hundreth in voting. Enough with the technical stuff, let’s talk about the voting. Here are the vote totals from today:

1. Placido Polanco 933,229
2. David Wright 754,455
3. Chipper Jones 702,702
4. Casey McGehee 657,982
5. Scott Rolen 572,829

Ok, so Zimmerman’s not even on there. Fine, maybe it’s justified. I’d just like to run down a list of rankings, where he sits, and the guys around him, as well as others on the list:

OPS

1. Ryan Zimmerman .977
2. Scott Rolen .974
3. David Wright .906
4. Mark Reynolds .822
5. Casey McGehee .816
7. Placido Polanco .804
12. Chipper Jones .716

HR

1. Mark Reynolds 15
2. Scott Rolen 14
3. Ryan Zimmerman 13
4. David Wright 12
5. Casey McGehee 10
9. Placido Polanco 5
14. Chipper Jones 3

Runs Created

1. David Wright 44.5
2. Scott Rolen 43.8
3. Ryan Zimmerman 42.1
4. Casey McGehee 38.5
5. Jorge Cantu 38.3
6. Mark Reynolds 37.4
7. Placido Polanco 34.2
13. Chipper Jones 23.9

Runs Created per 27 outs

1. Ryan Zimmerman 7.72
2. Scott Rolen 7.63
3. David Wright 6.83
4. Placido Polanco 5.92
5. Mark Reynolds 5.77
6. Casey McGehee 5.72
11. Chipper Jones 4.71

There’s your offensive stats, at least the ones I care about. Sure, I included RC/27 in addition to RC which may be overkill. But it also means that per game, per AB, he’s been the most valuable in that category. Of course, cumulative stuff should count here, after all, we’re trying to figure out the best player in the first half.

But let’s move on to defense, and check out the fangraphs Ultimate Zone Ratings, both cumulative and normalized, plus their best of the value of his range:

UZR

1. Ryan Zimmerman 5.5
2. Mark Reynolds 4.8
3. Placido Polanco 3.4
4. Chase Headley 2.7
5. David Freese 1.7
7. Scott Rolen -0.5
7. David Wright -0.5
9. Chipper Jones -1.5
14. Casey McGehee -4.2

UZR/150

1. Ryan Zimmerman 24.7
2. Mark Reynolds 17.7
3. Placido Polanco 9.1
4. Chase Headley 8.1
5. Pablo Sandoval 4.8
7. David Wright -1.0
8. Scott Rolen -1.8
10. Chipper Jones -6.2
14. Casey McGehee -13.0

RngR (Range Runs Above Average)

1. Ryan Zimmerman 5.9
2. Mark Reynolds 5.0
3. Chase Headley 2.6
4. Placido Polanco 1.4
5. Pablo Sandoval 1.0
8. David Wright -1.2
10. Scott Rolen -1.8
12. Chipper Jones -2.2
15. Casey McGehee -3.1

Defensively, he seems to stack up pretty well, too. Well, he actually is on the top of the stack. We can sum up all of these things, and figure out where each guy ranks. Sure, it’s kind of a random collection of stats, but let’s give a guy a point for whatever place he’s in, total them up, and see who’s lowest, or closest to first.

Ryan Zimmerman 11
Mark Reynolds 22
David Wright 33
Scott Rolen 33
Placido Polanco 39
Casey McGehee 63
Chipper Jones 81

Or, rather than using my crazy ranking system, you could just look at Wins Above Replacement. This is fangraphs total value of a player, including hitting, defense, position, and playing time.

WAR

1. Ryan Zimmerman 3.1
2. David Wright 2.4
3. Scott Rolen 2.3
4. Mark Reynolds 1.9
5. Placido Polanco 1.8
7. Casey McGehee 1.2 (tied w/ 3 others)
12. Chipper Jones 0.7

Basically, it seems as a hitter, Zimmerman is at the top of the list, but just barely. There are legitimate claims to other guys getting votes, and possibly even being considered a slightly better hitter. But he is at the top of the list of defensive stats, and when you put everything together he’s the clear frontrunner. The only question is, why doesn’t he have the votes?

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2 Responses to How Zimmerman Ranks Among NL 3B

  1. @notrizzo says:

    Because All Star voting is a stupid joke? I’d rather have my players stay home and get rest than participate in this dog and pony show.

    • Charlie says:

      Your choice. Personally, I’d like to see a bunch of Nats playing in the All Star game. To me, all this stuff is a game, the All Star game can be as enjoyable or more so if you want it to be.

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