Few would argue shortstop as the hardest defensive position to play without wearing the tools of ignorance. In the past day or two, baseball WAR has been a popular topic of discussion on Twitter, fueling another piece on the subject Tuesday. In the comments section, a reader challenged the idea of Andrelton Simmons being much better than Jason Heyward in right field just because he’s a shortstop. But for me, it’s not about what other positions a shortstop can play, it’s about the positions other players can’t. In the coming years, the Cubs have a chance to turn baseball WAR on its head by shifting a glut of up the middle players to other positions, causing a number of young players to slide down the defensive spectrum. The statistical fall out will be fun to watch.
At ROTOscouting, we use baseball WAR to project prospect values across the site. It’s a popular metric to use in pieces because it breaks players down to a common denominator. When zero is replacement level, two is an above average regular, four is an All-Star and six is a Hall Of Fame season, readers are easily able to understand the information presented. Unfortunately Alex Gordon and Jason Heyward have thrown a wrench into the formula, raising questions about the value of WAR.
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