Fielding Numbers

The first number after each position player is his average number of errors per full-time year (550 plate appearances) at that position. In Scoresheet, we use his actual number of major league errors in the year being used. The number shown on the player list is just an average, and is only there to give you an idea of his error totals! The next number is his fielding range - roughly, the number of outs recorded per 9 innings (the same range number is used all 4 years). This fielding range number is the same as in our regular Scoresheet (summer) baseball game, taking into account both a player's actual range on batted balls, and his ability to turn the double play. In general, a bad (low) fielding number means that your pitchers will give up a few extra hits (because that player covers less ground). A good (high) fielding number will save your pitchers a few hits. Pitcher, catcher, and first basemen fielding range stats are not listed. We feel that a pitcher's fielding ability is already reflected in his ERA. Unfortunately, due to unavailability of the statistics, all catchers in the winter baseball game are assumed to have the same throwing arms. We do not list first baseman ranges because they have so much to do with the abilities of the other infielders. Therefore, anyone qualified to play first base plays it with equal fielding ability in Scoresheet Winter Baseball.

Player List Example with Fielding Ranges

Second Basemen (avg. fielding range = 4.25)
                         E  rng   1988  PA  BA  HR '89 PA  BA HR '90 PA  BA HR '91 PA  BA HR
204  Bobby Richardson    11 4.22   R   730 .302  8   657 .265  3   707 .267  4   702 .247  6
205  Jerry Lumpe          9 4.16   L   685 .301 10   653 .271  5   676 .256  6   561 .257  4
206  Jerry Adair         10 4.30 (SS 4.65)
                                   R   567 .284 11   393 .228  6   598 .248  9   619 .259  7
207  Don Blasingame      14 4.16   L   559 .281  2   316 .246  2   546 .267  1   440 .223  1
208  Woodie Held         18 4.27 (3B 2.64, SS 4.70, OF 2.11)
                                   R   550 .249 19   485 .248 17   414 .236 18   384 .247 16
209  Felix Mantilla      14 4.17 (3B 2.63, SS 4.62, OF 2.10)
                                   R   508 .275 11   198 .315  6   470 .289 30   621 .275 18
210  Nellie Fox          10 4.22   L   666 .267  2   570 .260  2   479 .265  0    42 .268  0

NOTE: ALL positions at which Scoresheet considers a player qualified are listed on the player lists! (Generally, we qualified a player at a position if he played a significant fraction of his playing time there.) What is listed in the player lists for each league is FINAL for this winter's game! If a player is not shown as qualifying at a position, then he will not qualify at that position during any of the 4 segments of Scoresheet Winter Baseball.

The fielding number shown on the player list is what will be used for that player at that position for the entire 4-year period of the winter game. If we listed a player as qualified at a position, you can play him at that position, with the listed range, all 4 years, even if he did not actually play that position that year in the majors. But, if a player is not shown on the player list as qualifying at a position, then he does NOT qualify there even if he did play some at that position in the majors! There are a lot of hitting and pitching stats that are not listed that are used in the winter game; certainly doing some additional research on players could help you win some games. For fielding, the Scoresheet player list is the final authority on where players qualify, and what their fielding range is!

Scoresheet lists fielding stats because they are generally harder to come by than hitting or pitching stats, and we want you to have an idea of the differences in various players' fielding ranges. These fielding numbers should influence how you rank players. While we feel hitting and pitching is more important than fielding, we believe that most baseball fans (and baseball games) do not emphasize defense enough. Warning: Just because a player qualifies at a position, does not mean you will want him to play there. For instance, some players we listed under 2B or 3B also qualify at SS, but their range at SS is so low that we think most teams would be better off playing a somewhat weaker hitting but better fielding player at SS. We tried to list players at the positions we felt most owners would want to play them, since those positions are accounted for by Roster Balancing during the draft.

In general, good fielding range helps you in Scoresheet because a team with good range helps your pitchers give up less hits per week than they did in the majors; a team with low range will make pitchers give up more hits per week. A difference of .10 in fielding range is a difference of .10 (one tenth) of a base runner per nine innings that your pitchers will allow. A simple rule of thumb when comparing 2 players at the same position: For a full-time player, each .10 in range is worth about 25 points in batting average; or is worth about a difference of 5 home runs per full-time year if the two players have the same batting average. (In hundredths, a difference of .04 is worth about 10 points in batting average, or about 2 home runs.) Fielding range takes away hits from the other team, but when comparing 2 players, is simpler to think of a bad fielding range as taking away from that player's offensive contributions to your team.

For example: If you have a full-time shortstop with a range of 4.85, he will save your team .2 (two tenths) of a hit every game (a hit every 5 games), versus a shortstop with a range of 4.65. Over a 144 game season, this translates into almost 30 hits saved - which is about the same thing as adding 50 points to the batting average of the better range shortstop! Thus, a singles hitting second baseman with a range of 4.35 and a batting average of .240 is worth about the same as a singles hitting second baseman with a batting average of .290 and a range of 4.15.

NOTE: A numeric range difference has the same importance at all positions - a .10 difference between 2 shortstops is the same as a .10 difference between 2 third basemen. This is true for everywhere except CF. The range of whomever is playing center field for you is about 1.4 times as important as either the left or right fielder when figuring your overall team range. (In center field, a difference in range of .10 is worth about 35 points in batting average, or about 7 HRs.) Thus, you should have at least one fast outfielder to play center field for you! A player did NOT have to play CF in the majors to play CF for you - what you want is to play your highest range outfielder in CF. (There is no difference between LF and RF.) (AAA) players field about average when playing LF, RF, 1B, 2B, or 3B, about .09 worse than the average SS. Also, C(AAA) has a below average throwing arm. You are not allowed to play a non-catcher at catcher. Only players who are qualified at any one of 2B, SS or 3B can play those positions in a Scoresheet game.

We have penalty formulas for a player out of position that increase his number of errors, and also raise opposing batting averages because of range considerations. (Even though you may not notice it directly on the scoresheet, it is the range penalty that will hurt you the most when you play someone out of position. Your pitchers will give up many more hits if you try and play an outfielder in the infield; they will definitely give up more in hits than in added offense they provide.) The severity of this penalty depends on how badly the player is out of position. Below are some examples of out of position penalties if you move a player to a position at which he does NOT qualify. (Remember, if a player qualifies at a second position, his range at that position is also noted on the player list.) These examples assume the player is an average fielder at his listed position, and combine both the range and error penalty. A good fielder at his real position will do a little better, a poor fielder a little worse.

  • an average 1B has a: OF range of 1.94
  • an average 2B has a: 3B range of 2.53; SS range of 4.40; OF range of 2.04
  • an average 3B has a: 2B range of 3.97; SS range of 4.33; OF range of 2.01
  • an average SS has a: 2B range of 4.14; 3B range of 2.61; OF range of 2.07
  • an average C has a: 1B range of 1.73; OF range of 1.93

In addition, any average infielder is assumed to be able to play 1B with average 1B range, and average OF's can play 1B with a range of about 1.79. (In Scoresheet Winter Baseball, all qualified first basemen field with a range of 1.85.) The above position switches are the only ones you should ever use (and will be automatically done for you by our computer system before bringing in AAA players.) Doing other out-of-position moves, i.e. playing an outfielder, first baseman or catcher in the infield, will hurt your pitchers an incredible amount! Since the computer system will do some position switching automatically, the general rule of thumb is that on a lineup card, you should only list players at positions at which they really qualify!

When drafting, you should - to some degree - take into account a player's fielding ability (both range and fielding percentage.) This is commonly overlooked in other games, but is used in Scoresheet to reflect the fact that fielding is of important value in the major leagues.


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