Fernando Tatis. Jr was one of the most talked-about Rookies in 2019. What stood out to a lot of people was the way he put up numbers and made fantastic plays at shortstop. What people fail to see is that despite making beautiful plays, Tatis’s advanced fielding stats were not that great.
The first stats that stand out are his UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating in runs about average) and his UZR per 150 games. This stat shows how many runs a player saves or gives up. This includes errors, double plays, etc. Tatis Jr. had a UZR of -5.8 and is considered below average. His UZR per 150 was even worse as it fell to a -8.8. This shows that Tatis’s defense level is not all reliable.
The second and other major important stat to look at is his DRS (Defensive runs saved). This state, kind of like URZ, is determined by runs above or below average. This tries to capture a player’s full defensive value. Tatis ended with a DRS of -3, which is between average and below average. Once again, Tatis’s defense show is low and needs improvement.
Miguel Rojas came into his sixth year having the best one he has seen fielding. Miguel Rojas was one of the least talked about shortstops this season because of him playing for the Marlins.
Let’s first take a look at Miguel’s UZR and UZR per 150. In over 1,000 innings, Miguel Rojas ended with a UZR of 7.3, which is well above average. His per 150 was also 12.8, which is great and close to gold glove caliber. Despite his per 150 dropping just a little bit, he maintained to bring up his UZR 1.4. Miguel Rojas may not be the greatest hitting third baseman, but his defense is high caliber.
The last important stat to compare is their DRS. Miguel’s defensive runs saved was rated at 2, which is good and higher as well compared to Tatis. Despite his rating dropping by 2, he still managed to save a bunch of runs.
Tatis Jr. is a great young player with a bright future and hot bat, but we should not base his fielding on spectacular plays but look at the facts. His defense will continue to develop but we cannot overlook a guy who had great stats just because his team did not compete.