AL West: Ranking Each Team's Outfielding Defense
Throughout the regular season and especially the playoffs, good defense can make all the difference in the world. A solid threesome of outfielders that can hit and field their position is every playoff-bound team's dream. The American League West division, while the smallest in number of teams, is the biggest when it comes to potential talent.
A quarter of the season is about to wrap up so let's look at how each team ranks when it comes to defensive abilities in the outfield. All players involved in the ranking have logged at least 50 innings this season. Read on for more.
4. Seattle Mariners
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The Mariners are having another horrible year and their troubled 2010 season has leaked into this year. The team's ultimate zone rating is -15.5, meaning their outfielder's defensive abilities have given up almost 16 runs this season. Their projected season UZR, which is measured over 150 games, is -121.4.
Given the fact they have changed managers various times in the last few years, it's clear that talent may be an issue for Seattle. It wouldn't surprise me to see Felix Hernandez dealt in the future to acquire young fresh talent, because the Mariners need it. Badly.
Best outfielder: Michael Saunders, UZR150 of 12.6
Worst outfielder: Ryan Langerhans, UZR150 of -60.2**
**Note: Ryan Langerhans has the worst UZR150 of players with at least 50 innings as an outfielder in the American League.
3. Oakland Athletics
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While the outfielder acquisitions have done well offensively, their defense certainly took a downgrade this offseason. Josh Willingham and David DeJesus have proven to be the two worst defensive outfielders on the team. Oakland sports a not-so-pretty UZR of -10.9 and their UZR150 is -66.9. While that last stat is bad, at least it's not as bad as Seattle which boasts a UZR150 that is almost double that.
Best outfielder: Conor Jackson, UZR150 of -0.1
Worst outfielder: Josh Willingham, UZR150 of -32.6
2. Texas Rangers
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Now we get to witness some impressive baseball abilities. The reigning American League champs have had issues with injuries this year, as all three of their starting outfielders have had stints on the disabled list. This is probably why their current UZR is -5.5; however, the UZR150 for this outfielding corps is 30.2. This can be attributed to great depth in the Ranger farm system.
Best outfielder: Craig Gentry, UZR150 of 47.6**
Worst outfielder: Mitch Moreland, UZR150 of -29.1
**Note: Craig Gentry has the second best UZR150 of players with at least 50 innings as an outfielder in the American League and is the best in the division.
1. Los Angeles Angels
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The Angels can say something that most teams can't: They only have one player with a negative UZR. Their team is defensively sharp and they post a UZR of 6.3 with a UZR150 of 70.9. If they can control injuries and have incredible pitching performances, then they could easily make a case for the AL crown or possibly a wild-card spot.
Best outfielder: Howie Kendrick, UZR150 of 41.1 as an outfielder
Worst outfielder: Bobby Abreu, UZR150 of -17.2