Luckiest hitters in baseball today
A look at five players who have been benefiting from poor defensive play
Last Friday, July 5, Jose Iglesias batted with two outs and two runners on in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels. Iglesias hit a sharp grounder to third base that Alberto Callaspo was able to get a glove on. However, Iglesias hustled down the line, and when Callaspo hesitated and then threw high, Igelsias beat it out for a single. It seems like every break has been a good one for Igelsias this season, and a disproportionate number of those breaks have been due to poor defensive play against him.
Baseball Info Solutions measures a fielder's range in a statistic called plus/minus. Plus/minus uses the ratio of plays made to plays not made by every player at a position to assign weighted credit or blame to a fielder on a specific play based on historically similar plays. For example, if 75 percent of center fielders convert a play with a certain location and hang time, then a center fielder that makes a similar play will earn a plus/minus of 0.25 (1 - 0.75). In contrast, if a center fielder fails to make that play, he will be penalized a plus/minus of 0.75. Plus/minus is then converted into plus/minus runs saved, a component of overall defensive runs saved.
Based on the plus/minus runs saved accumulated by fielders on his balls in play this season, Iglesias has been one of the five hitters who have benefited most from poor defense.
Jose IglesiasPlus/minus runs saved against: minus-13
To read more from Scott Spratt on the luckiest hitters in baseball, sign up for ESPN Insider today.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Emotional Thomas, Torre headline HOF class
- Ortiz's homer reignites Red Sox-Rays rivalry
- Dodgers best Peavy, Giants to cap off sweep
- Cards' Wainwright gets majors-best 13th win