I realize that this slide will be in contradiction of my entire premise throughout the article, but I couldn’t resist.
For those who don’t know, the range factor has been a consistent tool for tracking defensive fielding percentages since 1983. Throughout the years, it gives us an idea of how many outs per game or nine innings each player can produce,
Miguel Tejada was second on the list for second basemen last season in range factor per nine innings, a very attractive figure especially since he played third base. He also has amassed 277 errors over his career, good enough to top the list of all active players.
That skews his shortstop numbers heading into 2011, but in my opinion, third receives the harder hit balls. A typical number of assists and putouts per nine innings for a shortstop is 5.0 compared to third basemen only contributing in an average of 3.0 outs in the same time frame. Tejada's defense, and a large part of the Giants defense, will rely on his ability to keep making outs.
Aubrey Huff was the league's leader for first basemen in 2009, making nearly eight outs per game. The numbers are obviously big for first basemen because of their excessive putouts.
My point is that the Giants already have a good fielding team, something that kind of rules that need out of the equation. After looking at Jose Reyes’ stats, it’s clear that he’s not the greatest fielder, so as far as trading for him before he hits the market next season, he’s out of the discussion.
Prince Fielder has 53 career errors, good enough for top 30 on the active list, a list in which you don’t want to be on. To his credit, he makes up for it at the plate.
Fielder averages about 15 ABs per home-run over his career, ninth best of all active players. He also led the NL in walks in 2010, which is something the Giants could use: base runners.
Prince isn’t exactly the guy you want on the base pads, but it’s better than nothing.
Mike Young is being mentioned because of his durability. Young has been top five as a shortstop, as far as defensive games played, several times in his career. If the Giants want to get Young, like I said before, it’s the contract which ultimately voids the plus sides. He’s been slumping as of late, and in my opinion is not worth a risky maneuver.
In closing, all of the players mentioned would be a fantasy. Prince Fielder is the only one that makes sense when you think of what the Giants would have to give up. Young and Reyes aren’t adequate enough, especially Reyes as he nears free agency.
The Giants could take a chance on the future with a huge addition in Prince Fielder sometime before the trade deadline, but anything other than him for a modest price would be ludicrous.