Third base revisited

In order to give an objective (see: measurable) application of the criteria, I previously suggested for potential third basemen targets, I devised a measurement that combines the performance of a player as a batter and as a fielder. This measurement (let's call it Batting and Fielding Effectiveness, BFE for the lack of a better name) is defined as (OPS+/100)*(FP)*(ZR).

As a reminder the 3 criteria for a potential third baseman target were defined as:

a. the Twins should not look at anyone with less production than the current Buscher/Harris platoon

b. Danny Valencia is thought by many insiders and fans to be the Twins 3rd baseman of the future, so any choice should potentially leave the door open for him

c. Any new third baseman should provide better power (in the numbers below expressed as SLG%), be right handed batter and provide better defense.

The definition of a "third baseman" I am using here is a player with at least 250 AB and at least 250 innings at third base. 56 players in the majors satisfy this definition, here is how they rank according to BFE (potential targets discussed before are indicated with italics, the Twins' third basemen are indicated with bold) :

Chipper Jones, Braves: 1.390
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 1.168
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 1.167
Russell Branyan, Brewers: 1.087
David Wright, Mets: 1.052
Aubrey Huff, Orioles: 1.032

Evan Longoria, Rays: .998
Ty Wiggington, Astros: .973
Troy Glaus, Cardinals: .966
Chris Davis, Rangers: .948
Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: .923
Carlos Guillen, Tigers: .903

Adrian Beltre, Mariners: .887
Hank Blalock, Rangers: .873
Melvin Mora, Orioles: .865
Ron Belliard, Nationals: .848
Mike Lowell Red Sox: .828
Scott Rollen Blue Jays: .825
Casey Blake, Indians/Dodgers: .810

20. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals .794
Gregg Dobbs, Phillies: .783
Ramon Vasquez, Rangers: .773
Omar Infante, Braves: .773
Willie Aybar, Rays: .765
Jorge Cantu, Marlins: .756
Ian Steward, Rockies: .755
Joe Crede, White Sox: .744
Edwin Encarnancion, Reds: .738
Alex Gordon, Royals: .736
Marco Scutaro, Blue Jays: .736
Garett Atkins, Rockies: .728
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres: .726
Rich Aurilia, Giants: .708
34. Brian Buscher, Twins: .704

35. Brendan Harris, Twins: .699
Blake DeWitt, Dodgers: .686
Chone Figgins, Angels: .681
Jose Bautista, Pirates: .680
Jed Lowrie, Red Sox: .679
Brandon Inge, Tigers: .677
Doug Mientkiewicz, Pirates: .676
Jeff Blum, Astros: .666
Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks: .659
Craig Council, Brewers: .656
Pedro Feliz, Phillies: .632
Jamie Caroll, Indians: .609
Bill Hall, Brewers: .606

Jose Castillo, Giants: .599
Juan Uribe, White Sox: .595
Jack Hannahan, As: .586
Wes Helms, Marlins: .560

German Duran, Rangers: .467
Rob Quinlan, Angels: .456
Mike Lamb, Twins: .432
Andy Marte, Indians: .414

Andy LaRoche, Dodgers/Reds: .276

There were a few surprises:

  • The Twins situation at third base, which is thought as "serviceable" by many is more dire than thought, with the Twins' platoon ranking 34th and 35th out of 56 players

  • Players like Russell Branyan, Chris Davis and Ron Belliard, who flew under the radar had surprisingly good years

  • Players like Garrett Atkins, Edwin Encarnancion and Kevin Kouzmanoff, who are touted as the potential 3B solution for the Twins are not that much better than what the Twins currently have

Do the results make me amend my list of 4+1 real targets? Based on the above 3 criteria (RH batter included), and the fact that to make a serious difference the Twins should not look below the top 20 players (#20 is Ryan Zimmerman), I would gladly add Melvin Mora, Ron Belliard and Casey Blake to the list that includes Troy Glaus, Ty Wiggington, Adrian Beltre, Scott Rolen and Mike Lowell.

I will use the same analysis to the 2B/SS situation

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