I was reading "5 Questions: Colorado Rockies" at THT the other day, and the author talked about a stat I've never heard of before - balls in zone (BIZ). BIZ is the number of balls hit into a particular zone. By itself, only tells you where the ball is going once it has been put into play. I was curious as to what the breakdown would look like for the Rangers with respect to BIZ by position. THT only has the stat going back to the 2004 season. Here are my findings:
Since the Rangers are putting an emphasis on an improved defense, I thought it would interesting to see where the hits have been falling over the past few years. It does not come as much of a surprise that most of the hits go up the middle. I was surprised, however, to see RF get almost as many balls as CF. So if the Rangers want to improve defensively, then they need to have better fielders at (in order of importance) SS, 2B, CF, RF, and LF. After LF, there is a significant drop in BIZ (below an average of 400), so they are not as important as the aforementioned positions.
Young is who he is with the glove, and unless he agrees to change positions again, he will be the regular SS for some time. Kinsler did improve defensively at the end of last season. Assuming that he has not forgotten everything he and Washington worked on last season, this should be considered an upgrade. Hamilton, as shown last night, is a huge upgrade, and so will Bradley when healthy. Cat is a defensively limited player (in large part because of his arm). Should Murphy get lots of playing time in LF, this will certainly be an upgrade. So, it seems as though Daniels did address the defense of the positions that have been seeing most of the balls hit their direction. Still, SS, the most important defensive position for the Rangers over the last four years, is a defensive liability, as well as LF when Cat starts there.