Last week, Fangraphs added fielding data from Inside Edge to their site for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Inside Edge is a company that employs scouts who measure the difficulty of fielding each ball in play. For each player, we now have a percentage for plays he made by degree of difficulty — from “almost certain” to “remote.” Any data based purely on scouting is subjective in nature, but it is still likely gives us some useful insight.
Here’s how Yankees’ second basemen — past and present — stack up against league averages.
In addition to being the best offensive second baseman in the game, Robinson Cano‘s a fine defender as well. He may not make a ton of nearly impossible plays, but its pretty clear that he makes more plays than the average second baseman. The Yankees will miss Robbie’s bat the most, but he was certainly no slouch in the field, either.
Kelly Johnson isn’t the rangiest of second basemen, but is pretty sure-handed and will at least make the routine plays. He figures to play more third base this year, where his lack of range shouldn’t be as much of an issue. Still, he could end up seeing significant time at second, though, when Brian Roberts lands on the DL and/or plays his way out of a job. Roberts is excluded from this analyis as injuries have prevented him from racking up a meaningful amount innings the past couple of years. But based on the limited data we do have, he would be roughly league average.