In 51 games played in 2010, Angels Center Fielder Peter Bourjos racked up 1.7 Wins Above Replacement on defense. How good is that? If he had accrued defensive WAR at that rate overan entire season, that 5.1 WAR would be the most in baseball history for a single season (WAR defensive measurements have been compiled with data for most games played in the majors since 1950 and all games played since 1974).
This sophisticated counting stat measures many defensive accomplishments involving range and execution. When it comes to the glove, Peter Bourjos is not good, he is great. With a flyball-heavy pitching staff, Bourjos showed us in 2010 what could be the difference in 2011: one glove.
In 51 games, Bourjos managed to rank 3rd in the American League in Defensive WAR. Juan Pierre led the league with 1.9 WAR... in 1,330 Innings in the field. Another way to put Bourjos' accomplishment into context: Jim Edmonds played over 4000 Innings in centerfield as an Angel. He accrued less than double the Defensive Wins Above Replacement in his Angels career as Peter Bourjos racked up in 449+ innings patrolling the same patch of grass in 2010.
Maybe it is an unsustainable rate of accruing defensive Wins Above Replacement, but if you believed your eyes in 2010 watching Gorgeous Bourjos putting gazelles out of the graceful business, for once the stat-core set backed up your observations: Not only was Peter Bourjos the Angels answer in Center, he got to balls at an historic clip.
For you franchise history buffs, Darin Erstad is the All Time Angels defensive WAR leader with 13.9 Wins Above Replacement on defense, and is also the single season leader, with 3.8 WAR with the glove in Centerfield in 2002. And a shout out to Quad Fin Rider, who sponsors PB's BB-Ref page.