I’m going to keep this simple and post just a few fielding stats for each team. I’m going to use the tradition Fielding percentage and two more advanced metric DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating per 150). Remember for the sake of this comparison I’m excluding the Astros since they won’t be in the division next season.
Reds: .985 F%, 32 DRS, 1.7 UZR/150
Cubs: .982 F%, -7 DRS, 1.0 UZR/150
Pirates: .982 F%, -25 DRS, -1.3 UZR/150
Brewers: .984 F%, 13 DRS, -1.3 UZR/150
Cardinals: .983 F%, 13 DRS, -3.7 UZR/150
Overview: I’m going to brief here because well one my knowledge of advanced fielding stats is limited and two I’m saving most of my defensive analysis for the position by position break down I’m going to do later on. Just looking at things from a team perspective it is easy to see that the Pirates defense was below average for the NL Central. Their fielding percentage is tied for last, their DRS is last by a fairly wide margin and their UZR/150 is tied with the Brewers for second worse in the division ahead of only the Cardnals. Putting all the information together one can make a pretty good case that the Pirates were the worst fielding team in the division. As I hinted to early I’ll take a look later on to see exactly where improvements are necessary but it should be obvious from just these basic numbers that upgrades are needed somewhere.