>The 2009 Dunndies: Jeremiah Denny Edition

>Over the next few days, I will be unveiling my own post-season awards, named “The Dunndies” after multiple-defensive award winner Adam Dunn. The first awards, the Jeremiah Denny awards, are given to the player who managed to accumulate the worst zone rating (UZR) at every position. They are named after Jeremiah Denny, the last positional player to play without a glove. Catchers and pitchers are excluded for the awards, as UZR is unavailable for them.

The 2009 Jeremiah Denny winners, names followed by team and UZR, are:

National League
1B – Adam Dunn, Nationals, -13.8
2B – Luis Castillo, Mets, -10.4
SS – Miguel Tejada, Astros, -13.9
3B – David Wright, Mets, -10.4
LF – Adam Dunn, Nationals, -15.3
CF – Dexter Fowler, Rockies, -13.9
RF – Brad Hawpe, Rockies, -21.3

American League
1B – Billy Butler, Royals, -6.7
2B – Alexi Casilla, Twins, -9.6
SS – Yuniesky Betancourt, Royals, -20.5
3B – Mike Lowell, Red Sox, -10.4
LF – Delmon Young, Twins, -16.4
CF – Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, -18.6
RF – Jermaine Dye, White Sox, -20.0

A few notes: First, obviously, a special congratulations to Adam Dunn, who won two Jeremiah Dennys by managing to be the worst defensive player at two separate positions. He was able to negate all his batting value with his miserable fielding, which is especially impressive because:
A.) he was one of the better hitters in the NL (his wOBA was good for 10th in the league)
B.) he did so playing the two traditionally least-challenging defensive positions.
This is actually an achievement unlikely to ever be repeated. Thus, I name all my awards “the Dunndies” to commemorate the 2009 fielding work of Adam Dunn.

Groundball pitchers should apparently stay away from the infielders in Queens, and flyball pitchers should stay away from the outfielders in Colorado. Interestingly enough, groundball pitchers often find success at Coors Field, and flyball pitchers would have plenty of room for error at spacious Citi Field. Just something to think about if you’re a free agent pitcher.

The Boston Red Sox had a miserable defense on the left side when they played Julio Lugo (UZR – 8.4) and Jason Bay (UZR -13.0) alongside Mike Lowell and Jacoby Ellsbury. Not surprisingly, Red Sox pitchers had more balls in play turn into hits than any other team, with a team BABIP against of .320. The right side featured a much stronger defense than the left, with J.D. Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis all turning in UZRs well above average.

David Wright had a weird year, didn’t he? He logged positive ratings at third base the previous two seasons, yet in 2009 he was the worst defensive third-basemen in the National League.

The NL team is a much better offensive group than the AL team. I guess this is because especially terrible fielders in the AL can be hidden in the DH spot, whereas they are always exposed somewhere on the field in the NL.

More awards to come . . .

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