So far we have been ranking infields by three main criteria: adjusted OPS for offense, Fielding Win Shares per 162 games for defense, and Total Win Shares per game for the total package. However, how important are those categories anyway? Do infields that hit well win or is fielding more important?
I ran a correlation between team winning percentage and the three criteria above for every season of every team all time. Here are the results for all infields (excluding catchers):
First, the second set of correlations are all higher since all three criteria correlate better to winning percentage as more players are added. However, in both sets Fielding Win Shares correlate to winning percentage much better than OPS does. Of course, Total Win Shares correlates the best because it takes in both facets of the game, offense and defense, but Fielding Win Shares are not that far behind.
Apparently, where infields are concerned a good defense is more important than good offense. Or at least winning teams tend to have better defensive infields than offensive infields.