Petriello: A new way to measure MLB’s best infield defenders

From Mike Petriello at on January 8, 2020:

Here’s a list of baseball’s best infield defenders in 2019:

+19 Javier Báez, Cubs
+17 Nolan Arenado, Rockies
+16 Andrelton Simmons, Angels
+16 Nick Ahmed, D-backs
+15 Trevor Story, Rockies
+14 Matt Chapman, A’s

If you were to come up with a list of guys you’d think would be atop such a list, this is a pretty good start. Three of them (Arenado, Chapman, Ahmed) were Gold Glove winners this year. The others routinely find themselves in defensive highlight reels.

But what exactly is that list showing? It’s the 2019 leaders for Outs Above Average, the Statcast defensive metric that’s been limited to outfielders only for the last two seasons. As of today, it’s been expanded to include infielders as well. You can find the 2019 leaderboard here, and there’s a team version, with the Cardinals atop it at +42, here. That the individual list starts with “those defensive stars” and ends with “Vladimir Guerrero Jr., -16 OAA” gives us a nice amount of confidence that this is measuring something that we think it ought to be.

This metric starts with something you’re familiar with — the top-level number shown in the list above — but there’s also a lot of new information here you’ve never had a chance to investigate before. Let’s dig in.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 8, 2020. Last Updated: January 8, 2020.