Our friend Sky over at Beyond the Box Score has put together his statistical analysis of all the center fielders and second basemen in all of baseball for 2008 and our boys did good.
First up: Cody Ross.
8. Cody Ross (23 off, 9 def, 32 tot) -- I've written about Ross before, and he's a great candidate for the title of "best player not on anyone's radar". It takes a lot for me to be impressed with a guy who posted an OBP below league-average.
Actually, if Sky had used a different metric for fielding Cody may have moved up a place or two. But still, finishing in the top 10 is a very good achievement. And please, don't read what I have written as questioning the analysis. But do read it as I could've skewed the results more in Cody's favor. You know, being the homer and all.
Second up: Dan Uggla.
4. Dan C Uggla (41 off, 5 def, 45 tot) -- Looking at that defensive value, you either have to admit zone ratings aren't perfect or that Uggla improved his fielding an incredible amount over previous seasons. I'll take the wussy route and say it's a combination of both.
Danny did improve his defense considerably during the 2008 campaign, with the exception of the All-Star game. While Danny looked a bit overmatched in the field his first two years, he started to come into his own from the beginning of last season. There are many who still cling to the idea that he is a sub-par defensive second baseman -- he isn't. Now, that doesn't mean he is great but he isn't bad either.
Sky is going to continue on with his evaluations by positions and if any of the other Marlins make their way into the top 10 for their positions, they will have hit their way onto the list. Which is very possible.
If you want to learn how the numbers were derived, just click on either of the links and there is an explanation of the methodology. Should you like an more in depth explanation of the stats, that can be done too. I could do it, but I won't. But maybe, just maybe, I can beg Sky to do it. He is better at than me anyway.
Of course, you can just take it at face value and say: Woo Hoo! Cody is number 8 and Danny is number 4! Whichever suits you best.