A Fresh Look at 1-Rated Middle Infielders
By Glenn Guzzo
Strat-O-Matic is blessed to have the most devoted sports gamers anywhere as its customers, and the hobby’s alert fans surely will notice something unusual about the 2009 fielding ratings posted today.
In the American league, three shortstops received Advanced-Game ratings of “1,” while the Gold Glove winner, Derek Jeter, did not.
“As always throughout our history, we respect and give heavy weight to the Gold Glove voting when determining the range ratings,” Strat-O-Matic President Hal Richman explained. “But we have reached the point where the wider array of additional defensive information makes the Gold Gloves one of several valuable tools, not the end-all.
“Once, the Gold-Glove voting was the trump card. Today it’s an important piece of the puzzle.”
No Gold Glove winner ever was guaranteed a 1. There are many exceptions in Strat-O-Matic history. But the ratings custom has a new wrinkle this year.
The prime example is in the American League, where Tampa Bay SS Jason Bartlett, Texas rookie SS Elvis Andrus and Seattle SS Jack Wilson are rated 1 for the Advanced Game and 2 for the Basic Game. Jeter is a 2 for both versions.
“Note that this makes all three shortstops 2s in Basic,” Richman observed. “Also, Jeter’s significantly superior error rating will bring him significantly closer to the three players who are 1s, if not equal, in value.”
Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia also retains the 1 he first earned as the Gold Glove winner last year, while this year’s winner, Placido Polanco, is a 2 for Advanced and a 1 for Basic. Toronto’s Aaron Hill at second base, also is a 1.
In this case, all three are rated 1 in the Basic game. Polanco’s superior error rating will bring him closer to 1-rated Pedroia and Hill in Advanced play.