Defending Evan Grant

Evan Grant has taken some flak the past few days over his defense of Michael Young's gold glove, and the statistics that he's used.  In particular, there were some comments about Grant's reliance on Revised Zone Rating and regular Zone Rating in evaluating Young.

And in thinking about it, I think it is worth taking a step back and considering...how many beat writers out there do you think even know what Zone Rating is?  Much less Revised Zone Rating?  How many of them would reference them in an article in evaluating defense? 

Compare Grant's analysis of Young's defense to, say, the TV broadcasters, whose analysis of our shortstop's defense boils down to, "Well, he doesn't make any errors, so he must do something right." 

One of the areas where I think we, as Rangers fans, are fortunate is that Grant is probably on the forefront among the print media in looking at the newer, non-traditional stats.  Go read some of the articles in other cities, and see how often beat writers use OPS or OBP rather than RBIs to evaluate a player's performance.  Compare what tools he uses to evaluate players to the tools the writers in other cities use.

How many members of the print media use anything like ZR or RZR as anything other than a punchline for a joke about people sitting in their basement playing with a computer and never watching games?

I do disagree with Grant on the issue of Young's defense, but I also appreciate and give him credit for being willing to consider and talk about metrics that many of his colleagues either scoff at or ignore.

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