Evaluating fielding performance is one of the hardest exercises in MLB.
Metrics like Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) can say he has been excellent, but others like Outs Above Average (OAA) can paint an entirely different picture.
With another costly IKF error on Wednesday night, fans’ calls for Triple-A shortstop Oswald Peraza to take over are increasingly loud.
Most of the numbers say he has been a lousy defensive shortstop.
“Kiner-Falefa w/MLB SS ranks. Outs above average: -2, 24th of 37. Errors: 12, T-9th most. Fielding%: .973, 15th of 23. According to The Fielding Bible, his +12 DRS is 4th-best among MLB SS this season,” Seth Rothman, graphics coordinator of the YES Network, tweeted.
Kiner-Falefa w/MLB SS ranks
Outs above average -2 24th of 37
Errors 12 T-9th most
Fielding% .973 15th of 23
*According to The Fielding Bible, his +12 DRS is 4th-best among MLB SS this season
— Seth Rothman (@SethDRothman) September 1, 2022
The Yankees’ internal evaluation system seems to be pretty high on Kiner-Falefa, but most metrics and the eye test suggest that he isn’t an above-average fielder.
The Yankees Have The Perfect Internal Solution
Peraza, on the other hand, often receives praise for his excellent glove and footwork at shortstop.
And then, of course, we have the offense.
Peraza is hitting .258/.329/.440 with 18 homers and 33 stolen bases in Triple-A, and has been especially hot as of late.
IKF is slashing .261/.310/.315 with just one homer and 15 thefts.
At this point, it’s really hard to argue that IKF is the better option of the two to play shortstop for the Yankees.
Sliding ever since the second half started (even a bit before that point), the Yankees aren’t doing themselves any favors by bypassing Peraza.
In the meantime, IKF offers below average offensive and defensive production and has been one of the worst starting shortstops in Major League Baseball.
Fans, as a result, are starting to become really frustrated with some of the front office’s decisions.