Which players have been most affected by good and bad defensive plays?

BY DON BROCKUS
So far in 2018, 1.4 percent of plate appearances have included a Good Fielding Play (GFP) that robbed a base hit and 1.2 percent of plate appearances have included a Defensive Misplay (DM) that directly led to a base hit. In this article, we will identify the players whose hit totals have been most affected by these GFPs and DMs.

Good Fielding Plays
Here is a table of the players with the most hits robbed by GFPs this year.

 
Player PAs GFPs % of PAs
 Jean Segura  379  13  3.4%
 Jon Jay  397  13  3.3%
 Chad Pinder  196  11  5.6%
 Nick Markakis  402  11  2.7%
 Starlin Castro  402  11  2.7%
 Trea Turner  412  11  2.7%
 Xander Bogaerts  326  11  3.4%

Jean Segura and Jon Jay lead all players with 13 hits robbed by GFPs this year (3.4 percent and 3.3 percent of plate appearances, respectively), with most of these outs recorded on ground balls for both players. More specifically, Segura has had GFPs against him on seven ground balls, three line drives, and three fly balls, while Jay has had GFPs against him on 11 ground balls and two line drives.

In this link, Segura is robbed of a base hit when Johnny Field runs to his left and makes a diving catch.

Defensive Misplays
On the opposite end of the spectrum, here is a table of the players with the most hits added this year due to DMs.

 
Player PAs DMs % of PAs
Ender Inciarte 395 15 3.8%
Gorkys Hernandez 266 11 4.1%
Albert Almora Jr. 292 11 3.8%
Jose Altuve 415 10 2.4%
Michael Brantley 351 10 2.8%
Andrelton Simmons 334 10 3.0%
Ian Desmond 350 10 2.9%

Ender Inciarte leads all players with 15 hits added by DMs this year (3.8 percent of plate appearances), with hits added due to ground balls going through infielders, poor reads by outfielders, and fielders simply dropping the baseball. Note that errors are not included here since reaching base on an error does not count as a hit.

As shown in this link, Inciarte hits a double when Brian Anderson gets turned around on a catchable fly ball.

Combined GFPs and DMs
To identify the players most affected by these plays, I calculated the difference between the GFP total and the DM total for each player, respectively. In the table below, a positive difference means the player should have more hits if not for exceptional defensive plays, while a negative difference means the player should have fewer hits if not for poor defensive plays.

 
Player GFPs DMs Difference Absolute
DIfference
Chad Pinder 11 1 10  10
Evan Longoria 10 0 10  10
Mike Trout 0 8 -8  8
C.J. Cron 10 2 8  8
Miguel Rojas 10 2 8  8
Lewis Brinson 9 1 8  8
Eric Hosmer 8 0 8  8
Ender Inciarte 8 15 -7  7
Albert Almora Jr. 4 11 -7  7
Eddie Rosario 2 9 -7  7
Jon Jay 13 6 7  7

Chad Pinder and Evan Longoria lead all players with a plus-10 hit differential, which means both players should have 10 more hits if not for good defensive plays. Mike Trout leads all players in the other direction with a -8 hit differential, which means he should have eight fewer hits if not for bad defensive plays.

The average differential across all players is +0.5 hits (2.5 GFPs vs 2.0 DMs), so Pinder and Longoria have probably been a little unlucky, while Trout has probably been a little lucky.

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