|July Zone Rating Splits|
- Brandon Phillips had another fine month, both in terms of balls hit within his zone, and (especially) balls outside his zone. He easily was to be the team's July MVP, given his offensive and defensive performances.
- Phillips' partner across the bag, Alex Gonzalez, also had a very fine month when he was available to play. Good to see, as he did nothing with his bat.
- While they weren't particularly outstanding, both Pedro Lopez and Jeff Keppinger did a fine job at SS. Keepinger, in particular, deserves mention, as he is not "supposed" to have adequate range to play shortstop. The data indicate that, at least in his first 71 innings this year at that position, he acquitted himself quite well, despite having an unusually high number of balls hit into his zone of responsibility. If he can play league-average defense at shortstop--and there's no guarantee that he can keep this up, of course--it would be pretty hard to make the argument that he shouldn't be our starting shortstop given Gonzalez's deficiencies at the plate.
- Josh Hamilton also seemed to do quite well in center field in the brief time he was out there last month. If he can be average, much less above average in center, his value goes through the roof.
- After UZR rated Eddie Encarnacion as well above average in June and early July, I'd hoped that he might have turned the corner. Despite the fact that these data overlap with those UZR data in time frame, however, they show Eddie having missed nearly 6 plays that an average third baseman would make in just a month's time. Given his struggles with the bat, this is disappointing--the reality is that Eddie may have hurt the Reds more than any other player last month. I will note, however, that we could also be seeing some differences between UZR and the Hardball Times' RZR... We'll see what UZR says next time MGL releases those data.
- Adam Dunn had an absolutely awful month, more than doubling his negative ZR on the season. Eek.
- While his performance wasn't as severely negative as the other two, Griffey continues to show really bad range, even though he remains adequate on balls hit relatively close to him.