What do José Iglesias and Raimel Tapia look like defensively?
Defensively, the metrics say that Colorado Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia was far superior to José Iglesias in 2021.
- Iglesias: -22 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), -1.4 dWAR, -6.1 UZR, 0 Outs Above Average (OAA)
- Tapia: 8 DRS, 0.3 dWAR, 4.1 UZR, 1 OAA
For Iglesias’ DRS, that was the worst in baseball by a country mile. In fact, make that two country miles, as no other player in the sport had worse than -13 DRS. But he had been much better in previous seasons, whereas Tapia had not been as good.
In fact, from 2019 through 2020, here are their defensive stats.
- Iglesias: 3 DRS, -0.9 dWAR, 6.4 UZR, 17 OAA
- Tapia: -1 DRS, 0.8 dWAR, -2.7 UZR, 4 OAA
Combine 2019 through 2021 and it looks like this:
- Iglesias: -19 DRS, -2.3 dWAR, 0.3 UZR, 17 OAA
- Tapia: 7 DRS, 1.1 dWAR, 1.4 UZR, 5 OAA
So Tapia has a big edge in DRS, a smaller edge in dWAR, a slight edge in UZR, and a large gap in OAA.
Overall, in the last two full seasons (2019 and 2021), Iglesias had an rWAR of 0.3 and an fWAR of 2.4. Tapia had a 0.4 fWAR and a -0.4 fWAR. The metrics say that Tapia is the better defender but with Iglesias and Tapia having identical raw offensive stats, Iglesias has a slight edge since he didn’t play half of his games at Coors Field in 2021.
For Trevor Story both defensively and offensively, his third-most comparable player through his age 28 season is Troy Tulowitzki.
Replacing an All-Star who was is comparable to Tulowitzki and most comparable to Hall of Famer Ernie Banks for a couple of seasons with a replacement-level player or below is going to be a hard thing for Rockies fans to swallow in 2022, especially when they already have a very similar player that could (or should) be riding the bench more often this season because he hasn’t developed enough at the plate.