AZ Snake Pit: Parra good, Corbin robbed as SABR Defensive Index released

From Jim McLennan at AZ Snake Pit on November 11, 2013:

For the first time this year, the Gold Glove awards included some objective numbers as well as the subjective views of managers and coaches, in the shape of the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). While the stats were a minority weighting – about 25% of the votes – it was still a move in the right direction. That’s particularly the cases, for an award which has previously been seen as going too much on previous reputation rather than actual performance, and also building in factors outside of what it’s supposed to be about, such as offensive performance (hello, Carlos Gonzalez!). Here’s what the SDI covers, taking from the SABR site:

The SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating.

While the Gold Glove awards were released earlier in the week, today saw SABR announce the SDI results, which give us a figure for each player at the position (who met the Rawlings’ minimum innings requirement). This figure represents the number of runs saved by that player, compared to league average at that position. It’s interesting to compare the numbers for those who won the award, to the “best” players by the metric. Here’s a run through of the various positions, and how the D-backs did.

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Originally published: November 11, 2013. Last Updated: November 11, 2013.