Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Puig Picked To Potentially Pull A Buckner

In a not very nice article, ESPN highlighted five players that could pull a huge defensive blunder this postseason (a la Bill Buckner), and guess what media whipping boy was suggested from the Dodgers? That's right, Yasiel Puig, Dodgers phenom and media target of jealousy (link insider only):

It's been 27 years since it happened, but there is no postseason defensive blunder more famous than the ball going through Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The thing is, the Red Sox shouldn't have been surprised. After all, they had used a late-game defensive replacement for Buckner for much of that postseason, so they had to know he was a liability.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to try and see who is most likely to be this year's "Bill Buckner," the player most likely to make an untimely defensive mistake.

The two major criteria for a play like Buckner's are high-leverage situations and fielders with a tendency to make mistakes. The unpredictability of the former is what makes the playoffs so great. The latter is somewhat predictable based on the frequency of mistakes fielders have made in the regular season. Here are five players we're keeping an eye on entering postseason play. [...]

Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Puig is actually an excellent right fielder, but he's also prone to make mistakes. With 8 DRS, he has made it into the top 10 among right fielders despite just 101 games in the majors, 91 of them in right field, this season. This speaks to his ability to make spectacular plays.

However, Puig also has a tendency to make mistakes. His 22 DMEs in right field are seventh most at the position, and his rate of misplays and errors per innings played is second highest at the position among players with at least 500 innings there. Not surprisingly, Puig is most often hurt by his poor judgment in an attempt to make a spectacular play. He has failed to make the catch on four diving plays, had problems near the wall twice and made unnecessary throws or throws to an incorrect base five times.

I hope someone translates this into Spanish so Puig can put this up on his locker. Assuming Puig's friend is an ESPN insider, of course.