Ryan Doumit’s future position, Part 2

This afternoon, I examined the expected change in Ryan Doumit’s value if he were to move from catcher to first base. I planned to look at right field as well, but did not have the time. Thus, we have a Part 2.

After working through Part 1, we already have most of the information for right field.

Batting Fielding Replacement   Positional RAR WAR
2008 (catcher) 15.8 -5 15.5   8.6 34.9 3.5
Expected (first base) 17 -5 16.7   -11 17.7 1.8
Expected (right field) 17 16.7

First, let’s estimate Doumit’s fielding value in right field. In 41 career games in right, Doumit has a UZR of +6.8 runs. Using a conservative estimate, I would expect him to be worth +5 fielding runs over a full season, mostly due to his strong arm. Over 162 games, a corner outfielder receives a positional adjustment of -7.5 runs. Using our estimate of 143 games from Part 1, Doumit would receive a penalty of about -6.6 runs. Here are our final numbers.

Batting Fielding Replacement   Positional RAR WAR
2008 (catcher) 15.8 -5 15.5   8.6 34.9 3.5
Expected (first base) 17 -5 16.7   -11 17.7 1.8
Expected (right field) 17 5 16.7   -6.6 32.1 3.2

As you can see, moving Doumit to right field would allow him to retain his value. His slightly above average defense in right makes up for the difference in positional value. If the Pirates are looking to move Doumit out from behind the plate down the road, right field is where he belongs.

For details on calculating individual player value, see the FanGraphs glossary.

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