Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:54 PM
I'm going to cop out here and say yes and no, while showing my age somewhat with naïveté toward advanced metrics in this area.
I've seen teams in the past rank at the top of defensive statistics simply due to few errors. But the eyeball test showed the team was filled with statues who simply didn't make mistakes. And to be sure, there is value in making the normal plays and not shooting yourself in the foot. But the eye test has also shown me teams who ranked below the top, who had more errors, but also more range and athleticism, made more great plays, and who's "errors" came on plays where other teams never would have reached a ball in play.
I think Arcia is looking better and better in RF, something I've been outspoken about. He's not there yet, but he's getting there. And the arm is very good! Maybe I'm missing something when I watch and listen, but how is Mauer bad at first? It's a work in progress, never really playing the position until last season, but I think he's OK and will probably get better. Dozier is a stud at 2B in my opinion. Nobody is perfect, and I speculate he's still learning a few nuances to a new position still, but I actually enjoy him playing defense. SS is solid with Escobar, despite a few errors. And he's been a godsend there. No question Santana offers more range, and probably an even better arm. I think SS is still a bit in flux, but still far better off than it's been in a long time.
Plouffe has grown, IMO, in to a quality 3B. Suzuki is solid behind the plate. The real questions are CF and LF. Speaking of Santana, I am so impressed with what he has shown in CF, not that he's great, but to do as well as he's done, and actually show improvement under a very difficult situation is impressive. I still believe and hope we sign that quality bat for LF, but also someone who can actually play quality defense out there. I think it could go a long way to helping the defense.
(Sorry Hammer...over 500 words. Lol)
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."