Vernon Wells, MLB’s Worst Fielder
I’ll be honest, Vernon’s fielding makes me laugh out-loud. His routes are comical and anything hit more than five steps away from his initial positioning is bound to drop. My eyes (and anyone else’s) can plainly see that. What do the numbers say?
Vernon’s UZR/150 (zone rating over 150 games) is an MLB CF worst -31.9. To put this into perspective a few players are tied for second down at -12ish. Vernon score is more than two and half times poorer than the second worst CF in the MLB! Holy shit, that’s not simply bad, that’s downright terrible.
According to the advanced run algorithms, Wells’ fielding has cost the Jays 21.3 runs vs an average fielder this season. This is second worst in the MLB, only -0.3 less than Adam Dunn’s -21.6 fielding runs.
To put how shitty this total is into perspective let’s use this image:
Vernon Wells -21.3 fielding runs is more than Rolen’s (10.6) and Hill’s (8.5) combined batting runs! Wells’ poor fielding wipes out Rolen’s and Hill’s batting excellence.
That may help to explain why the Jays are having strong to semi-career years from four offensive stars (Hill, Scutaro, Lind and a resurgence of Rolen) and are still under the .500 mark, pitching injuries aside.
Vernon, man up and accept a demotion to a corner outfield position for the good of the team. Brain cramps aside Alex Rios is a much better option in CF.