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Rangers defense and Gary Matthews, Jr.

Chris Dial has defensive rankings by position in the A.L. up over at Baseball Primer, using the Runs Saved by Position zone rating methodology.

The Rangers infielders and Barajas were all middle-of-the-pack, which is about what would be expected.

Brad Wilkerson ranked behind everyone except for Manny Ramirez among left fielders, which doesn't sound out of line.

And GMJ ranked next to last in CF, ahead of only Coco Crisp.

Yeah, I is heresy to suggest that GMJ is anything other than a gold glove caliber centerfielder this year.

But is there maybe some truth to that ranking? Or should it just be dismissed as nonsense, proof that your eyes tell you more than the stats do when it comes to defense?

I don't really know. I do know, though, that BP's rankings have GMJ as a well below average defensive centerfielder. And he ranks below the majority of A.L. centerfielders in defensive Win Shares, as well.

Historically, Gary Matthews Jr. has been viewed as something of a tweener, a great defensive corner outfielder who didn't hit enough to play everyday at the position, or a decent hitting centerfielder whose bat wasn't enough to justify his glove out there.

So the question becomes, are the numbers lying, and is GMJ really an elite defensive centerfielder this year?

Or have some acrobatic catches and great throws deluded folks into thinking that GMJ is a better defensive centerfielder than he really is?