Colorado Rockies Rundown: Michael McKenry’s Surgery, Tommy Kahnle’s Struggles, And DJ LeMahieu’s Success

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Jul 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder C. Blackmon (19) falls after making a catch during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Blackmon’s defensive year in CF

(via Purple Row)

Eric Garcia-McKinley of Purple Row took a look at Charlie Blackmon’s route efficiency (based on StatCast data) this week, after the Rockies’ PR Twitter account tweeted out an interesting stat about Blackmon being one of the better defensive center fielders in terms of route taken to the ball.

Garcia-McKinley’s piece is good — and it gives the important caveats about StatCast (namely that we don’t know how they are deriving the data, since it’s not publicly available, as well as the fact that it’s very new and sabermetricians will no doubt pick it apart in time as people begin to understand more about the tool).

[ Related: More on Charlie Blackmon’s underrated year leading off ]

Nevertheless, my main takeaway from StatCast in general and Garcia-McKinley’s analysis specifically is this: defensive metrics have a long ways to go in baseball.

While they get better each year, there are still a lot of things to iron out before casual fans can begin to better understand route efficiency, range, runs saved, and more ideas that just aren’t as tangible as, say, ball velocity off the bat or more easily identifiable offensive results.

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