We've all witnessed the circus that is Juan Pierre in center field. Until a couple days ago, I thought I'd go my whole life without seeing someone switch directions 12 times without actually moving. I was wrong. Given how many blooper reel worthy moments Pierre has given us this young season, I decided to check up on his defensive stats for my personal amusement.
Juan Pierre's rate2: 103
Now, I don't think rate2 has any real predictive value, especially over the course of just one month. Since rate2 is putouts plus assists with several adjustments, all this probably means is that Pierre has got an inordinate amount of balls hit towards him. Simply increasing a players total chances will tend to boost rate2, even if they miss a few of them. If we use a stat like zone rating, which looks at the percentage of balls caught in a certain area, that will expose the flaws in his defense, right?
Juan Pierre's zone rating: .915 (5th amongst center fielders)
A .915 zone rating means that Pierre has caught 91.5% of all balls hit to center field. While part of this is due to park factors, Dodger Stadium has some of the smallest power alleys in baseball, which takes him down a peg, Pierre is still making more plays than most center fielders.
Does this have any predictive value? No. Good defensive stats don't say anything about how good a player's glove is until the season is over. All these rankings could mean is that Pierre has simply had more easy plays than any other center fielder. However, I've said before that defense is not about the spectacular play, it's about the boring ones that we ignore on a day to day basis. So far this season, Juan Pierre has been making the boring play, despite what a few misadventures may suggest. Really, that's all we can ask for.