DER or Defensive Efficiency Ratio is the measure of how many batted balls turned into outs not including HR. The formula is (BFP- H – K – BB – HBP – E)/(BFP –HR – K – BB – HBP). A good DER is usually .700 (1- .300(indicative of .300 BA).
Now for the Rankings
As mentioned on the chat board honorable mention goes to Las Vegas, NY Hokies, Cleveland, Cincy, Little Rock & Seattle who just missed the Top 10 but did finish in the top half of the league.
10) Anaheim Mighty Sake Bombs
Lots of Flyballs here. But unlike a couple of other teams on this list, (San Diego & San Francisco) this ball park isn’t quite the best park for such a flyball staff. As I stated in the message board, this defense was an average defense that got a little lucky. I forsee a move down this list as opposed to a move up.
9) Dover Derelicts
GB/FB Rank- 19th
Like Anaheim this was really just an average Defense that didn’t commit many errors. In fact between all 1b & C only 3 errors and 6 passed balls were committed. The 1B had below Average A/9. The 2B,corner OF, 3B were all average to slightly below average defenders. In CF we had one very good in Calvin Hammond & one Very Bad in Wayne Moore . Of the 23 minus plays by Dover Moore had 11 of them. The SS had nice range which is along with the C/1b along with Hammond in CF is why they placed in the top 10.
8) Charlotte Sluggers
GB/FB rank- 29th
Just as .300 indicates a solid hitter (at least it used too) .700 for Der (1-.300) equals a solid defense. I like Charlottes Season 2 defense. The 1b committed zero errors, though the A/9 is down (more on this later). Catchers passed balls were low. Nice Range at SS & CF when Juan Silva was in CF, not so much with Sammy Guzman there. Guzman was awesome when he played LF. Hector Romero @ 2b (Yay!!!). Stan DiSarcina @ 2b ?. Hernandez was solid at 3B. This was a good defense folks, could have ranked higher.
A trend is starting to develop for lower than nomal PB for catchers & lower A/9 for 1B. Limited Data so far but a trend that is worth tracking. Lots of Flyballs here for this OF.
7) New Orleans Ragin Cajuns
Errors- 44 (1st place)
Always great to inherit a 102 win team with a good defense as a division mate.
This infield defense is stellar. The best I have seen so far and I have a hard time imaging much better. Not one but two solid defending SS in Alberto Telemaco & Johnny Pickett Outstanding defense at 3b with Dion Harris. 2b very solid with 5/0 plus minus score. Another low A/9 & PB/9 rate for 1b & C respectively. Very few errors by any defender but zero from C & only 2 from 1B. The reason they aren’t on top of the list? There was some bad. Except for PT SS Pickett in CF & Bradley in LF the OF was a mess. I have a feeling that if the OF was a tad better the Rajun Cajuns would be closer to the top of this list.
6) Buffalo Ridge Runners
Errors- 58 (#5)
. I could end this essay there I think. Yank had 17 plus /one minus for defensive plays along with outstanding range. Just think if there had been more flyballs here, the plus plays could have been over 20. Need good range in CF because the LF/RF cant defend for squat. Bailey is a top notch 3b. 2b is solid although glove a little low. With Ramon Chang we have our first passable A/9 rate ( I can quit bitching about that till the next team). 6 passed balls in 1400+ innings? Come on. I know we are the Thurman Munson world but does every C get to have PB/9 rates like Thurman. Posada was solid with 7/0 plus minus with solid glove but he is 34 & the rf is going down. Take away Yank/Posada and the plus/minus is 9/8. A good defense but maybe I would flip/flop them with New Orleans. In closing………………….
5) San Diego Admirals
Good Defense at 2B/SS & especially at CF. Nice platoon in CF. CF/LF combo were 12/1 in plus/minus plays. RF wasn’t very good at all, 3b was below average. Good Defense up the middle and not so good everywhere else was the theme here. The C/1b defense question continues with only 6 pb and very low A/9 rate for 1b. The ballpark here skews the DER somewhat. I didn’t adjust the Der by ballparks but if so I thinks this solid up the middle defense deserves them a top 10 spot but I would move New Orleans, Buffalo & possibly Charlotte ahead of this squad.
4) San Francisco Gothams
Record- 111-51 (not too shabby)
GB/FB ranking- 31st
With this many flyballs you better have 2 things, A) a ball park to handle it. With HR factors of -3, -3 (check). B) OF range to chase them down, surprisingly this wasn’t the case. The trio of Lorenzo Benavente , Albert Chavez, & Chris Murray were not very good defensively. Rodriguez @ SS decent glove not much range to speak of. Gordon & Wengert excelled @ 3B. At 2B Breen was below Average.1b caught the ball very well, Catchers excelled in PB.
This team won with great hitting, & great pitchers who didn’t walk anybody. They didn’t win with defense. I suspect this Der to drop next season. Like San Diego the Park kept more balls in play that in terms of Der put them a little higher than other teams with Neutral parks. The fact that San Fran & San Diego were in the same Divison along with the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium helped matters also. I suspect if I adjusted these Ders based on ballpark effects the Gothams & possibly the admirals drop from the list with Las Vegas, Cincy or the Hokies jumping in the top 10.
Saying all that, Damn was this team good everywhere else.
3) Syracuse Athletics/Scranton A's
Errors- 48 (2nd)
I was kind of surprised at the Syracuse Athletics lack of range. The OF range was dismal. The Infield range was just average. I was expecting more from the 3rd ranked Der. What I found out about this team as evidenced by their Error rate, they excel in glove, arm accuracy and strength. They simply caught every ball that came their way. I prefer the rangier team but this one was certainly was very efficient with what they had to work with. There was no ballpark effect here as Syracuse played in a neutral stadium. Overall though I would move New Orleans & Buffalo ahead of them.
2) Toronto Mighty Moose
Stellar IF defense. Strong Accurate Armed SS(although at 32 lost some range for season 3). Juan Baez at 2b has SS ratings, may have been the best defensive 2B in the league, was 6/1 on plus/minus. Good Defense at the Infield Corners. Low Errors at First, Nice Range @ 3b. Low A/9 rate and low passed balls again(arghh!!).
Outfielders on this team defensively are nothing to get excited about. With such average defenders in the OF with a Stellar Infield Defense with High DER rating, I had a feeling this was a GB dominated Staff, so after checking I was right they ranked 9tth in the league. A good defense to fit the ball park & pitching staff.
1) Iowa Blackshirt Huskers
Errors- 54 (3rd)
As those bums from Mexico City say here is Numero Uno Senor. Good Defense here. Lots of GB was perfect for this Defense. Buzz Dorsey @ SS was top notch. Harry Rios @ 3B also top of the league defender. Ramiro Furcal & Rafael Guerrero made an outstanding 2B combo both with range capable of SS although Furcals glove is a little low. The Corner Outfielders on this team were very good. The problem here is that one of the Corner OF was playing CF. Overall a Solid Defense for park & pitcher/type.
In Summary for the teams ranked I really like in no particular order New Orleans, Iowa City, Buffalo, Toronto, & Charlotte. They all deserve the ranking they got or should be higher. Teams that would drop are Scranton, San Fran, San Diego, Dover & Anaheim.