I can’t seem to get over the Nate McLouth acquisition today. Here’s a look at his career Runs Above Replacement by season.
Fielding runs are based on UZR, but I’m not sure that any of the defensive metrics really like McLouth. Then again, he seems to be getting to more balls this year, which has really improved his range runs (one of the UZR components).
He won the Gold Glove last year because he only made one error, but not making errors is really just one of a few things an outfielder can do to add value, and it typically pales in comparison to the value of good range and a good arm.
The bottom line: if his two-month range improvement is for real, McLouth is even better than the Braves could have hoped. Even though his OPS is “only” .819 so far this year, he’s still on pace to match last year’s +36 run season, which was approximately 3.6 wins above replacement. Jordan Schafer, by comparison was on pace for about 1 win below replacement.
I’d be a little more conservative than that net figure of +4.6 wins (-3.0 for the remaining 4 months) and say he’s worth maybe 2 wins the rest of the year, but those are two wins the Braves could use.