Fan Graphs and Inside Edge have combined to provide us with a free look at defensive spray charts, which dramatically improves our ability to analyze defensive performances.

This essentially gives us a visual on the Defensive Runs Saved statistic by showing us exactly where plays were made and where they weren’t.

Let’s take a look at Michael Bourn’s 2013 season as an example.

First let’s take a look at all the plays he made.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 10.56.29 AMThe color code on the bottom is created by Inside Edge based on ball location, hang time and comparisons to other players based on whether or not the play is typically made.

This seems to be a fairly standard chart compared to the other quality center fielders in the league. He made seven plays on balls that fell below the 60 percent mark. By comparison, Carlos Gomez, who led all center fielders in DRS, made eight such plays.

Bourn’s missed plays spray chart, however, turns up some issues.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 10.56.43 AMBourn misplayed six balls that landed in the 60-100 percent range, including two that fell in the upper 10 percent range. By comparison, Gomez missed just three such balls.

Keep an eye out for more defensive spray charts on IPL in the coming months. Hopefully we can use them to better understand how and why the Indians defense has been lacking.


  • leo O'Neill says:

    Drew Stubbs supposedly going to the Rockies. No word as yet to who is coming in return.

  • leo O'Neill says:

    Not a bad return, Josh Outman pitched decent relief 2nd half of last year. Frees up another 3m off payroll.