- +1.37 (standard deviations)
An allegedly representative play:
Duda wasn’t so much a good defensive player in 2014. It’s more that he stopped being a complete and utter catastrophe. The Mets chose him and stuck with him for his bat, but he very much relished an opportunity to no longer regularly play the outfield. At first, he didn’t embarrass himself, although for the sake of honesty, when I was looking up the play above, I initially fast-forwarded MLB.tv to what turned out to be a Duda error. Now this is where it’s important to understand what’s really being measured. It seems like Duda improved because he played mostly first base instead of mostly corner outfield. His skillset, perhaps, is better suited to an infield corner. So while, by these numbers, Duda was among the most improved defenders, he didn’t improve at his position. He improved mostly by switching positions. That’s going to be the case with a few of these guys. I hope you don’t feel deceived, but I also can’t worry about all of your feelings.