From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on November 12, 2012:
Awards like The Fielding Bible Awards and The Gold Gloves focus on the defensive merits of individuals. Before we are too far removed from the season, let’s take a look at one of the areas where teamwork comes into play defensively. Middle infielders play two of the most demanding defensive positions, and they rely on each other to be successful.
Here are the top-five double play tandems in baseball this season, based on Defensive Runs Saved (DRS):
Best Double Play Combos in 2012 Team Second Baseman Shortstop Total DRS Mariners Dustin Ackley (11) Brendan Ryan (27) 38 Cubs Darwin Barney (28) Starlin Castro (3) 31 Red Sox Dustin Pedroia (11) Mike Aviles (14) 25 Braves Dan Uggla (4) A. Simmons (19) 23 Orioles Robert Andino (5) J.J. Hardy (18) 23 Reds Brandon Phillips (11) Zack Cozart (12) 23
Fielding Bible Award winners Brendan Ryan and Darwin Barney helped propel their respective teams into the top two spots on this list. Ryan led his nearest competitor at shortstop—Andrelton Simmons—by eight Runs Saved and Barney led his nearest competitors at second base—Robinson Cano and Alexi Casilla—by 13 Runs Saved. Dustin Pedroia and Mike Aviles were more of a surprise in third place. Pedroia is an excellent defender and a former Fielding Bible Award and Gold Glove winner, but Aviles had been used more often at second and third base before 2012. There was some concern that he might have difficulty defensively at shortstop going into the season, but his play has allayed those concerns.
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Originally published: November 12, 2012. Last Updated: November 12, 2012.