The Determinator: Right Fielders 2022 (#10-6)
For the last two years, I have been ranking every starting player in the MLB by position in a system I’ve dubbed The Determinator. I don’t worry about projection systems, I look only at how well a player did that last year, analyze the data, and showcase who was and will be the best for the upcoming season.
Welcome back to The Determinator.
Today we continue with the #10-6 Right Fielders!
The Determinator: My General Methodology
The Determinator is a ranking system that is built upon the analyzation of 16 carefully chosen stats through a very simplistic system of comparisons. Some of these stats are more classical (Games Played, Home Runs, etc.), others are more advanced (wRC+, WAR, etc.). From this come 7 offensive stats, 4 defensive, 2 baserunning, and 3 general stats, set to contribute towards the importance of each part of the game.
The Offensive stats are: AVG/OBP/SLG, wRC, wRC+, HR, and Off (Fangraphs)
The Defensive stats are: Fielding, DRS, UZR (or Framing for Catchers), and Def (Fangraphs)
The Baserunning stats are: Stolen Bases and BsR (Fangraphs)
The Overall stats are: Games Played, Innings at Position, and fWAR (Fangraphs)
After determining this list of statistics, I then had to input each into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet I sorted how each player did in each statistic from best-to-worst. If you were top 5 in a category, you got ranked as a ‘Green’. Top 6-10 was a ‘Yellow’. And, Top 11-15 was labelled as a ‘Red’. The number of each ranking was counted- so it was possible to come out with a score of zero- and given values of 5, 3, and 1 respectively.
Key Note: If player/s across a statistic had the same numbers across a border- for example the 5th and 6th players with the most Home Runs- then they would both be counted as the better ranking- in this case both ‘Green’ or 5 points- and replace one spot from the following ranking- in this case a ‘Yellow’ or 3 points. This could also stretch some statistics to include more ‘Red’ players who had equal stats to the 15th best.
Additionally, if no stats were recorded in a counting statistic that could fit into a ranking- as is seen with Catchers and Stolen Bases- then no ranking is given to those players. This would greatly increase the number of points given out, and lessen the value of each point. This is not true for advanced metrics that can produce negative values- as also is seen with Catchers and BsR.
The results were then tallied, sorted from greatest to least, and a ranking was created.
Finally, player age, 2022 salary, and contract status, were all not considered in this experiment. This is entirely statistic-based.
In order to quality for ranking by The Determinator, a player must’ve had at least 250 plate appearances during the 2021 season and at least 500 innings played at the position in question.
Number 9 (Tied): Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
Top-10: AVG, SB, wRC, wRC+, Off, WAR, Fld, DRS, Def
Top-15: SLG, HR, UZR
Total Score: 35
The 2021 season was an underwhelming season for Mookie Betts even though he still put up an average of over 4.0 WAR (3.9 fWAR/4.2 bWAR) while also being selected as an All-Star. It goes to show how good Mookie Betts is if this is an underwhelming season and an improvement back to form is largely expected in 2022.
This past season was also the worst defensively for Mookie Betts. We all know that defensive metric can drastically vary from year-to-year but his past two years spent mostly in the NL West and Dodgers Stadium have been two of his worst. He’s not a bad defender, but he is a step behind the gold glove he used to be when with the Red Sox.Embed from Getty Images
Number 9 (Tied): Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies
Top-5: AVG, SLG, wRC, WAR
Top-10: OBP, HR, wRC+, Off, Innings
Total Score: 35
Speaking of players with limitations coming from their defense, we end up on Nick Castellanos. The converted third baseman-to-right fielder has not called a place home for long these past few seasons, but did just ink a 5-Year/$100 Million contract to be a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Powered on by his offense, Castellanos not only unknowingly became an internet sensation with his homerun during an infamous on-air apology- “as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos and that’ll be a home run”- but he hit his way to a .309 AVG, a .576 SLG, and 34 HR’s in 2021.Embed from Getty Images
Number 7 (Tied): Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays
Top-10: SLG, HR, SB, wRC, wRC+, BsR, Off, WAR
Top-15: Games, OBP, Fld, Innings, DRS, UZR, Def
Total Score: 36
The only right fielder to rank in the Top-15 across all 16 metrics by The Determinator, Teoscar Hernandez is the perfect “good-not-great” type of player. He has, kind of quietly, won back-to-back silver sluggers as an American League outfielder yet he only truly excels with his high batting average as he’s not much of a patient hitter. Though, this does come with some good 30+ home run power which helps his overall offensive numbers.
Defensively, Hernandez won’t impress with the glove but by The Determinator he does come out favorably as right field is not a position of defensive excellence. (The only players- Adam Duvall and Max Kepler- who both ‘greened’ out all the defensive metrics for RF didn’t rank in the Top-10.)Embed from Getty Images
Number 7 (Tied): Avisail Garcia, Miami Marlins
Top-5: Fld, UZR, Def
Top-10: SLG, HR, WAR, Innings, DRS
Top-15: AVG, OBP, SB, wRC, wRC+, Off
Total Score: 36
Now, the reason that Duvall and Kepler did not rank in the Top-10 is because they weren’t able to combine their great right field defense with good right field hitting. Avisail Garcia was able to do this as the highest ranked player (by only his defensive metrics) in the Top-10 by The Determinator for right fielders.
Avisail Garcia first showed his ability to have top offense back in 2017 and has since been trying to replicate it. This past season saw Garcia put up his best Home Run numbers (29), yet his batting average (.262) is still a shot away from that 2017 season (.330). Garcia is now a member of the Miami Marlins- his 4th different team in 5 years- on a 4-Year/$56 Million deal signed this offseason. At that rate, he could be a huge bargain though joining the NL East will likely keep his offense from shining bright again.Embed from Getty Images
Number 6: Joey Gallo, New York Yankees
Top-5: Games, HR, BsR, DRS
Top-10: OBP, wRC, wRC+, Off, WAR, UZR, Def
Top-15: SLG, SB, Fld
Total Score: 44
A Texas Ranger-turned New York Yankee at the 2021 trade deadline, Joey Gallo was a disappointment in the Bronx. Over 58 games with the Yankees, Gallo hit to a .160 average and a .404 slugging percentage. For a player who the Yankees got to be a left-handed staple in their lineup, Gallo came up extremely short. HOWEVER, there are some positives here.
Joey Gallo wouldn’t rank in the Top-10 if he was o the type of player that the Yankees saw. When he was still playing in Texas, he was a much different offensive player. Joey Gallo will never hit to a .300 average, but in Texas he was hitting to a .223/.379/.490 clip that had him with a 139 wRC+.
Joey Gallo is also a top-tier glove in the outfield, and he’s destined to move over to left field in the 2022 with the Yankees. His bat will play better in left field and it comes with a better area for him to utilize his great defense. He’s going to be better, Yankees fans, it’s almost a surefire guarantee.Embed from Getty Images
The Determinator is a way I used to determine the best players at each position. Like any metric or formula, I am sure it has flaws. No statistical compilation is perfect. That being said, The Determinator, seems pretty effective at assigning player values. I’m pleased with what I have found using this method and hope this is a conversation starter for many.