Range Factor (commonly abbreviated RF) is a baseball statistic developed by Bill James. It is calculated by dividing putouts and assists by the number of innings or games played at a given defense position. The statistic is premised on the notion that the total number of outs in which a player participates is more relevant in evaluating that player's defensive play than the percentage of cleanly handled chances as calculated by the conventional statistic fielding percentage.
However, some positions (especially first baseman) may have substantially more putouts because of a superior infield around them that commits fewer errors and turns many double plays, allowing them to receive credit for more putouts. Also, catchers who have a lot of strikeout pitchers on their team will have a high range factor, because the catcher gets the putout on a strikeout if the batter does not reach base.
Aramis Nin Ramírez (; born June 25, 1978) is a Dominican former professional baseball third baseman, who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers. He was named an All-Star three times during his career.
He started his professional career with the Pirates in 1998, before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2003. On November 12, 2006, Ramírez signed a five-year deal with the Cubs. On December 12, 2011, he signed a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. On July 23, 2015, he was traded back to Pittsburgh exactly 12 years after they first traded him, where he would finish the remainder of his final season.Billy Shindle
William D. "Billy" Shindle (December 5, 1860 – June 3, 1936) was a third baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1886 through 1898 for the Detroit Wolverines (1886–87), Baltimore Orioles (1888–89, 1892–93), Philadelphia Athletics (1890), Philadelphia Phillies (1891), and the Brooklyn Grooms & Bridegrooms (1894–98). Shindle batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Gloucester City, New Jersey. He was slightly built at 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) and 158 pounds.
Shindle's range factor of 4.34 in 1892 for the Baltimore Orioles is the highest rating ever recorded by a third baseman in the history of Major League Baseball. He also had range factors over 4.0 for Baltimore in 1888, for Philadelphia in 1891.
While his range factor demonstrates his superior speed and ability to get to the ball, Shindle was not as talented at handling the balls once he got to them. In 1890, Shindle played shortstop for Philadelphia in the Players League and was charged with 122 errors (119 at shortstop and 3 at third base). Shindle's 122 errors in 1890 are tied (with Herman Long in 1889) for the all-time record for most errors by a major league player at any position.Shindle was ranked as the 95th best third baseman of all time in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.
In a 13-season career, Shindle was a .269 hitter (1561-for-5807) in 1422 games, with 31 home runs, 355 extra base hits, 992 runs, 758 RBI, 226 doubles, 97 triples, and 318 stolen bases. In 1890 (the same year he set the all time errors record), Shindle batted a career-high .322, led the Players League with 282 total bases, and was fourth in the league with 10 home runs.
Shindle played third base for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms from 1894 to 1898. His 3.7 lifetime Range factor makes him the number one defensive third baseman in Dodgers history. (William F. McNeil, "The Dodgers Encyclopedia," p. 102)In 1894, the 34-year-old Shindle hit .296 with 94 runs scored and 96 RBIs. He retired after the 1898 season at age 38.
Shindle died in Lakeland, New Jersey at age 75.Bob Allison
William Robert "Bob" Allison (July 11, 1934 – April 9, 1995) was born in Raytown, Missouri and was a Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played in the American League for the Washington Senators / Minnesota Twins from 1958 to 1970.
A gifted all-around athlete, Allison attended the University of Kansas for two years and was a star outfielder on the baseball team and fullback on the football team. In his Major League career, he hit 30 or more home runs three times and 20 or more in eight different seasons. Although he struck out often like many sluggers, reaching the century mark in strikeouts in five seasons, he received more than his share of walks and despite a mediocre career .255 batting average, Allison finished with a lifetime on-base percentage (OBP) of .358 and he finished in the top 10 in OBP in four seasons. Allison wasn't an especially fast player, but he was among the most feared base-runners of his time in hustling out numerous doubles and triples – leading the league in triples in 1959 (with 9) and finishing in the top 10 twice in doubles (1960 & 1964) and four times in triples (1959, 1962, 1967, and 1968).At the three outfield positions he showed good range, finishing in the top five in range factor per nine innings five times, and his strong arm was rated as one of the best in the league. He also played a solid first base late at his career and his competitive attitude was highly praised by teammates and opponents. Despite his skill in the field, which saw him finish in the top 5 in the American League in outfield assists three times (1961, 1962, and 1965) and outfield putouts twice (1959 and 1963), his range also produced many errors and Allison led the league with 11 errors in 1960, finished second twice (1959 and 1963), and finished fourth in errors by a first baseman in 1964.Bobby Veach
Robert Hayes "Bobby" Veach (June 29, 1888 – August 7, 1945) was an American baseball player from 1910 to 1930 including 14 seasons in the major leagues. He was the starting left fielder for the Detroit Tigers from 1912 to 1923 and also played for the Boston Red Sox (1924–1925), New York Yankees (1925) and Washington Senators (1925).
Veach hit for both power and average. He compiled a .310 career batting average and finished second to Ty Cobb for the 1919 American League batting title with a .355 average. He also led the American League in runs batted in (RBIs) three times (1915, 1917, and 1918) and was among the league leaders 10 times. Nobody in baseball had as many RBIs or extra base hits as Veach from 1915 to 1922.
Veach was also among the best defensive outfielders of his era, regularly ranking among the league leaders in putouts, range factor, and fielding percentage. Despite being one of the most productive hitters in baseball during his years in Detroit, Veach played in the shadows of three Detroit outfielders who won 16 batting titles and were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Cobb in center field and Sam Crawford followed by Harry Heilmann in right field. Detroit's 1915 outfield consisting of Veach, Cobb, and Crawford has been ranked by baseball historian and statistician Bill James as the greatest outfield in history.Brad Ausmus
Bradley David Ausmus (; born April 14, 1969) is an American baseball former catcher and current manager for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). In his 18-year MLB playing career, Ausmus played for the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was also the manager of the Tigers and of the Israel national baseball team.
A 1987 draft pick of the New York Yankees, he chose to alternate between attending Dartmouth College and playing minor league baseball. He then had an 18-year major league playing career with the San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. During his playing days he was an All Star in 1999, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2001, '02, and '06), and won the 2007 Darryl Kile Award "for integrity and courage".A five-time league-leader at catcher in fielding percentage, he also led the league twice each in range factor and in percentage caught stealing, and once each in putouts and assists.He finished his playing career in 2010 ranked third in major league history with 12,839 putouts as a catcher (trailing only Iván Rodríguez and Jason Kendall), seventh in games caught with 1,938, and 10th in both range factor/game (7.12) and fielding percentage (.994). He also ranked first all-time among all Jewish major leaguers in career games played (1,971), fifth in hits (1,579), and eighth in runs batted in (607; directly behind Mike Lieberthal). He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He worked in the Padres' front office as a special assistant from 2010 to 2013. In November 2013, Ausmus became the 38th manager in the history of the Detroit Tigers, succeeding Jim Leyland, a position that he held for four years. In October 2018, he was named the 17th manager in the history of the Los Angeles Angels.Cannonball Titcomb
Ledell Titcomb (August 21, 1866 – June 8, 1950)—often erroneously referred to as "Cannonball" or "Cannon Ball" Titcomb—was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for several teams in the National League and American Association. Born in West Baldwin, Maine, he pitched a total of five seasons, finishing with a 30–29 record and a 3.47 earned run average. Titcomb pitched a no-hitter on September 15, 1890, against the Syracuse Stars, a 7-0 victory. Also, in two games at third base, he fielded all five of his chances cleanly, while putting up a respectable 2.50 range factor. Titcomb died at the age of 83 in Kingston, New Hampshire, and was interred at Greenwood Cemetery in Kingston.Doc Lavan
John Leonard "Doc" Lavan (October 28, 1890 – May 29, 1952) was an American professional baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Athletics, Washington Senators, and St. Louis Cardinals. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lavan attended both Hope College and the University of Michigan from 1908 to 1911 before playing in the major leagues.
Lavan played in 1,163 major league games, of which 1,126 were at the shortstop position. In 11 seasons, Lavan had a lifetime batting average of .245 with 954 hits, 377 RBIs, 338 runs scored, and 186 extra base hits. He had his best season as a batter in 1920 when he hit .289 with 32 extra base hits and 63 RBIs.Lavan also had good range as a shortstop. His range factor of 5.69 in 1916 was 0.77 points higher than the average shortstop that year. And in 1921, Lavan had 382 putouts, 540 assists, and 88 double plays. He had a tendency to bobble or boot the balls when he got to them. He led American League shortstops in errors four times: 1915 (75), 1918 (57), 1920 (50), and 1921 (49).
In September 1917 (after Lavan committed 75 errors), Browns owner Phil Ball accused his players of lying down on the job. Lavan and second baseman Del Pratt sued Ball for slander, and Lavan was promptly traded to the Senators.
Lavan was known as "Doc" because he was actually a medical doctor. He was a lieutenant surgeon in the U.S. Navy during World War I and also served in World War II. He retired from military service after World War II as a Commander for the Naval Reserve. Lavan was a practicing medical doctor, who also served as a city health officer in New York City, St. Louis, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, Toledo, Ohio, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also served as Director of Research for the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis.
Lavan died in 1952 at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He was 61 years old. Lavan is one of a small number of former major league players who was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.Don Kessinger
Donald Eulon Kessinger (born July 17, 1942 in Forrest City, Arkansas) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop from 1964 to 1979 for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago White Sox. A six-time All-Star, he was a light-hitting, defensive specialist who spent the majority of his career as the Chicago Cubs starting shortstop. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was considered one of the best shortstops in baseball. Kessinger is also notable for being the last player-manager in American League history.Eddie Lake
Edward Erving Lake (March 18, 1916 – June 7, 1995), nicknamed "Sparky," was an American professional baseball player from 1937 through 1956. A shortstop, he appeared in 835 games in the Major Leagues over 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (1939–1941), Boston Red Sox (1943–1945), and Detroit Tigers (1946–1950).
Over his MLB career, Lake compiled only a .231 batting average, but with his ability to draw bases on balls, Lake had a career on-base percentage of .366 — 135 points higher than his batting average. His 1945 on-base percentage of .412 with the Red Sox led the American League. Lake had over 100 bases on balls in three consecutive seasons. His walk totals were 106 in 1945 (second best in the AL); 103 in 1946 (third in the AL), and 120 in 1947 (third in the AL). He was also four best in the AL in times hit by pitcher in 1946 with four.
Lake was also a solid fielder, leading AL shortstops in assists and double plays in 1945. For the 1945 season, Lake collected 265 putouts, 459 assists, and 112 double plays. His range factor was 5.57 — 63 points above the league average for shortstops. Traded by the Red Sox to the Tigers on January 3, 1946 for first baseman Rudy York, Lake scored 105 runs in his first season for the Tigers in 1946, while York helped lead Boston to its first American League pennant in 28 years.
He is interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, California.Fred Dunlap
Frederick C. "Sure Shot" Dunlap (May 21, 1859 – December 1, 1902) was a second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball from 1880 to 1891. He was the highest paid player in Major League Baseball from 1884 to 1889. He has also been rated by some contemporary and modern sources as the greatest overall second baseman of the 19th century. He earned the nickname "Sure Shot" for the strength and accuracy of his throws to first base, and was also sometimes referred to in the 1880s as the "King of Second Basemen."
Dunlap played for the Cleveland Blues from 1880 to 1883, where he secured his reputation as one of the best players in the game. As a rookie in 1880, he led the National League in doubles and ranked second in extra base hits. While playing for Cleveland, he also compiled batting averages of .325 and .326 in 1881 and 1883 and led the league in assists by a second baseman and range factor. When the Union Association was formed in 1884, Dunlap was lured to play for the St. Louis Maroons where he became the highest paid player in baseball. His .412 batting average in 1884 was the highest ever recorded to that time in Major League Baseball and 56 points higher than any other player in the major leagues in 1884 due to the lack of talent in the UA.
After three years in St. Louis, Dunlap was sold to the Detroit Wolverines and helped that team win the 1887 National League pennant. Dunlap's baseball career ended in 1891 when he broke his leg sliding into a base. He went into the construction business and bet on the horses in the 1890s. At the time of his death in 1902, Dunlap was penniless and living in a rundown boarding house.Hardy Richardson
Abram Harding "Hardy" Richardson (April 21, 1855 – January 14, 1931), also known as "Hardie" and "Old True Blue", was an American professional baseball player whose career spanned from 1875 to 1892 with a brief minor league comeback in 1898. He played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, playing at every position, including 585 games at second base, 544 games in the outfield, and 178 games at third base. Richardson played for six major league teams, with his longest stretches having been for the Buffalo Bisons (1879–85), Detroit Wolverines (1886–88) and Boston Reds (1890–91).
Richardson appeared in 1,331 major league games, compiled a .299 batting average and .435 slugging percentage, and totaled 1,120 runs scored, 1,688 hits, 303 doubles, 126 triples, 70 home runs, 822 RBIs, and 377 bases on balls. From 1881 to 1888, he was part of the "Big Four", a group of renowned batters (the others being Dan Brouthers, Jack Rowe, and Deacon White) who played together in Buffalo and Detroit and led Detroit to the National League pennant and 1887 World Series championship.Ian Kinsler
Ian Michael Kinsler (born June 22, 1982) is an American professional baseball second baseman for the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and Boston Red Sox. With the Red Sox, he won the 2018 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite having been drafted in only the 17th round out of college, Kinsler has risen to become a four-time All-Star, and a member of the Sporting News' 2009 list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball. He is known as a five-tool player, hitting for average and power, and excelling in baserunning, throwing, and fielding.Kinsler has twice hit 30 home runs and stolen 30 bases in the same season (2009 and 2011), and is one of 12 ballplayers in major league history who have had multiple 30–30 club seasons. In 2011, he also joined the 20–20 club for the third time, one season shy of the major league record for a second baseman. He hit for the cycle in a game in 2009, while getting hits in all six of his at bats.
Through 2013, Kinsler led the Texas Rangers, all-time, career-wise, in stolen bases and power-speed number. In November 2013, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder. He has been awarded both a Fielding Bible Award (2015) and two Gold Glove Awards (2016 and 2018). Through 2018, on defense Kinsler had the best career range factor of any active second baseman in MLB, while on offense among all active players he was third in power–speed number, fourth in career runs scored, and eighth in career doubles.Ira Flagstead
Ira James Flagstead (September 22, 1893 – March 13, 1940), sometimes known as "Pete", was an American baseball player. He played 15 years of professional baseball, principally as an outfielder, including 13 years in Major League Baseball with the Detroit Tigers (1917, 1919–1923), Boston Red Sox (1923–1929), Washington Senators (1929), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1929–1930). In 1,218 major league games, Flagstead compiled a .290 batting average with a .370 on-base percentage.As a rookie with the Tigers in 1919, Flagstead compiled a .331 batting average, the fifth highest in the American League. However, the Tigers were loaded with outfielders during Flagstead's tenure with the team (including Ty Cobb, Harry Heilmann, Bobby Veach, and Heinie Manush), and Flagstead saw limited action as an outfielder and was converted into a shortstop for the 1921 season.
After being traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1923, Flagstead became one of the leading center fielders in the sport, with a combination of speed, a strong arm and a reliable glove. In 1923, he led all American League outfielders with 31 assists and eight double plays turned, and two years later he led the league's outfielders with a range factor of 3.15 – 0.88 points higher than the league average. He also set an American League record by starting three double plays as an outfielder in a single game, including two runners thrown out at home plate. He was among the leaders in the voting for the American League Most Valuable Player award for five consecutive years, ranking 15th in 1924, seventh in 1925, 23rd in 1926, 18th in 1927, and 14th in 1928.Paul Richards (baseball)
Paul Rapier Richards (November 21, 1908 – May 4, 1986) was an American professional baseball player, manager, scout and executive in Major League Baseball. During his playing career, he was a catcher and right-handed batter with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1932), New York Giants (1933–35), Philadelphia Athletics (1935) and Detroit Tigers (1943–46). After retiring, he became the manager of the Chicago White Sox (1951–54, 1976) and Baltimore Orioles (1955–61). He also served as the General Manager for the Orioles, the Houston Colt .45s and the Atlanta Braves.Red Wilson
Robert James "Red" Wilson (March 7, 1929 – August 8, 2014) was a professional baseball and college baseball and football player. He played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox (1951–1954), Detroit Tigers (1954–1960), and Cleveland Indians (1960), primarily as a catcher.Ryan Braun
Ryan Joseph Braun (nicknamed the "Hebrew National" or "Ocho"; born November 17, 1983) is an American baseball left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Braun has also played right field during his career, and was a third baseman during his rookie season.
Braun was a two-time All-American at the University of Miami, where he was named "National Freshman of the Year" by Baseball America in 2003. The Brewers drafted him in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2005 MLB draft. He was the team's Minor League Player of the Year in 2006.
Braun was considered a five-tool player for his ability to hit for power and average, his baserunning speed, and his excellent fielding and arm strength. He was ranked number seven by the Sporting News in its 2012 list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2007, has won five Silver Slugger awards (2008–12), and won the NL Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2011. He was named to five straight All-Star games (2008–12), and then a team-high sixth All-Star Game in 2015. Braun has led the NL three times in slugging percentage (in 2007, while setting the major league rookie record, 2011, and 2012), three times in extra-base hits (2008, 2011–12), and once each in hits (2009), home runs (2012), and runs (2012). On defense, he led all major league outfielders in fielding percentage in 2008, led NL left fielders in fielding percentage twice (2009 and 2011), and led NL left fielders in range factor in 2009 and 2012. His 128 home runs through 2010 were the 8th-most by any major leaguer ever through their first four seasons.
Braun came under scrutiny for a testosterone test that he failed in 2011, and then for his connection in 2012 to the Biogenesis of America clinic that provided performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players. On July 22, 2013, Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 season and playoffs (totaling 65 regular-season games) for violating the league's drug policy. In the six full seasons prior to his suspension in 2013, Braun was a five-time all-star, and five times posted a batting average above .300 and more than 30 home runs. In the six seasons subsequent to his suspension, Braun has been named an All-Star once, and has had only one season with 30 home runs or a batting average over .300. In 2015 (his second year back) he was an NL All-Star and finished the season as one of the top 10 in the league in both slugging percentage and stolen bases. He then rebounded further in 2016, batting .305, with his sixth 30-home-run season. Through 2018, he was 6th among all active major league ballplayers in career slugging percentage, 7th in home runs, and 8th in RBIs. After the 2018 season, Braun was also ranked first on the Brewers' all-time list in career home runs, second in RBIs, and third in runs scored, doubles, triples, stolen bases, and slugging percentage.Tom Jones (baseball)
Thomas Jones (June 21, 1874 – June 19, 1923) was an American baseball player. He played professional baseball, principally as a first baseman, from 1902 to 1915, including eight years in Major League Baseball with the Baltimore Orioles (1902), St. Louis Browns (1904–1909), and Detroit Tigers (1909–1910). He compiled a .251 career batting average in 813 major league games.
He was one of the best defensive first basemen of his era. He led all American League players, regardless of position, with 487 outs made in 1904 and 1,616 putouts in 1908. Among the league's first basemen, he ranked second in assists for six consecutive years from 1904 to 1909, led in range factor in 1904 (11.46) and 1905 (11.90), and also led with 79 double plays in 1908. His career range factor of 11.20 ranks third all-time in major league history.Tom Veryzer
Thomas Martin Veryzer (February 11, 1953 – July 8, 2014) was an American baseball shortstop. He played 12 years in Major League Baseball, appearing in 979 games for the Detroit Tigers (1973-1977), Cleveland Indians (1978-1981), New York Mets (1982), and Chicago Cubs (1983-1984). He ranked third in the American League in 1977 with a range factor of 5.16 per nine innings at shortstop. His career range factor of 4.841 per nine innings at shortstop ranks as the 25th best in Major League history.Ángel Salazar (baseball)
Argenis Antonio Salazar Yepez (born November 4, 1961 in Anaco, Venezuela) is a former shortstop in Major League Baseball who played for the Montreal Expos (1983–84), Kansas City Royals (1986–87) and Chicago Cubs (1988). He batted and threw right-handed.
Salazar, who was known by the nickname "Angel", was signed by Montreal as an amateur free agent in 1980. He made his debut in the 1983 season.
Following a long string of shortstops coming from Venezuela, Salazar had below average range but compensated somewhat with a strong and accurate arm. He struggled with the bat, most of time near the Mendoza Line.
In 1984, Salazar had arguably the worst season in MLB history by a regular starter. In 80 games, he had a batting average of .155 and an adjusted OPS of 9 (League average being 100). He wasn't much better on the base-paths, having one stolen base and one caught stealing (matching his career stolen base percentage of 50%). And while Salazar had a reputation as a good fielding shortstop, in reality both his range factor and fielding percentage were well below the league average of shortstops in 1984.
In a five-year career, Salazar had 188 hits, with 2 home runs and 59 RBI in 886 at bats.