Henry Chadwick is the man who invented the box score. He’s also credited with coming up with many baseball terms, including fielder’s choice. He was the “Dean of Baseball.”
Chadwick did not invent DFA. He mentioned it in an article he wrote for The Sporting News on August 6, 1954. Shortly after that, Allan Roth published a full description of DFA in the Los Angeles Times on January 2, 1955 (page A6).
What does DFA mean in baseball?
Defensive fielding average is a measure of the percentage of times when a fielder catches, drops or jumps over a ball that comes in his direction and he attempted to catch it.
Taking into account fielding percentage “defensive fielding average” is an improvement over the previous metric of measuring defensive abilities, fielding percentage which only takes into consideration putouts (plus assists).
It accounts for errors and it tells how many balls that are fielded by a fielder were converted into outs by him.
A bad fielder with high numbers in both fielding percentages and DF% would be considered better than a good fielder with low numbers in both metrics.
DF% doesn’t take into consideration where on the field balls are hit or how difficult they are to field, but it is considered more accurate than fielding percentage because it measures what most people think of as defense: preventing opposing players from reaching base safely.
A great fielder should have a high number in both fielding percentage and DF%.
Since the 2013 season, DFA is included in official statistics.
In earlier seasons it can be calculated by adding putouts and assists and subtracting errors from total chances. The result will be slightly lower than official numbers but can still indicate how well a fielder played during a certain year.
How does one calculate their defensive fielding average?
If you want to calculate your defensive fielding average (DFA) for a certain season, you’ll need to find the numbers of assists, putouts, and errors for that year. You then divide the total of assists and putouts by the total of assists, putouts, and errors. Finally, multiply it by 100 to get your DFA %. The process is demonstrated below using 1930 as an example:
- Assists = A = 693
- Putouts = B = 915
- Errors = E = 133
- (693+915) / (693+915+133) * 100= 71.2% DF.
- Furthermore dividing 71.2 by 2 gives you the DFA % (35.6).
Common misconceptions about what is considered good defense in baseball.
One common misconception about what is considered good defense in baseball is that an individual should only focus on making the outs instead of trying to turn double plays. However, if a ball can be thrown to another fielder who can then step on second base before the runner gets there, this will result in an out because the runner will not have touched first base. By catching or fielding balls hit near him and getting rid of them quickly to other players who are closer to the next play, an individual can put their team in position for double plays while also increasing their DFA %. One last common misconception is that errors do not matter because they give away bases but it should be remembered that errors do not happen by themselves; even if they allow runners onto the base, they are not guaranteed to score. If an error results in a runner being thrown out at another base because the fielder has made up for his initial mistake by throwing the ball accurately, it is still considered a positive defensive play.
While no one can guarantee that their defense will improve as they mature and move to higher levels of competition, increased knowledge about how best to play certain positions should help them make an easier transition between leagues because they will already have mastered certain parts of defending which could benefit them even during short tryout periods with new teams.
The skills that are needed for each infield position are slightly different but many similarities between them may carry over from one to the next. For example, a shortstop’s DFA % may be high because he is not playing close enough to first base and allowing runners who should be thrown out upon hitting the ball to reach base without an immediate opportunity for his team to record an out.