SABR Defensive Index rankings released through August 17, 2014

AUGUST 25, 2014 — Oakland’s Josh Donaldson has taken over the lead from Kansas City’s Alex Gordon in the American League SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of August 17, 2014, while Atlanta’s Jason Heyward retains a healthy lead among all National League players in the updated SDI rankings.

The SABR Defensive Index is used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™, presented by SABR.

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 based on STATS Zone Rating and 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.

The SABR Defensive Index accounts for 30 total “votes” — or approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process — that was added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Heyward’s SDI of 23.6 through August 17 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders. The top five NL players as ranked by SDI, after Heyward, are: New York center fielder Juan Lagares (16.0), Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cosart (13.5), Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (10.9), and Cincinnati rookie center fielder Billy Hamilton (9.9).

Donaldson’s SDI of 17.4 tops Kansas City left fielder Gordon (16.4) for the top spot in the AL. Rounding out the top five in the AL are: Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager (16.1), Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (12.0), and Kansas City center fielder Jarrod Dyson (10.8).

The SDI results were released today by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Updated SDI results will be released periodically throughout the rest of the 2014 season at The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes SABR President Vince Gennaro, Sean Forman of, Ben Jedlovec of Baseball Info Solutions, SABR Director F.X. Flinn, author and defensive metrics expert Chris Dial, and author Michael Humphreys.

Here are the top 25 players in each League, through games of August 17, 2014 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Josh Donaldson OAK 3B 17.4
Alex Gordon KCR LF 16.4
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 16.1
Jackie Bradley BOS CF 12.0
Jarrod Dyson KCR CF 10.8
Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B 10.1
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 9.4
Dustin Ackley SEA LF 7.0
J.J. Hardy BAL SS 6.9
Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B 6.8
Salvador Perez KCR C 6.3
Caleb Joseph BAL C 5.8
Robinson Chirinos TEX C 5.5
Manny Machado BAL 3B 5.2
Yoenis Cespedes OAK/BOS LF 5.2
Brian McCann NYY C 5.1
Alex Avila DET C 5.1
Dallas Keuchel HOU P 4.7
Desmond Jennings TBR CF 4.4
Adam Eaton CHW CF 4.3
Josh Reddick OAK RF 4.1
Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 4.1
Leonys Martin TEX CF 3.6
Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 3.5
Albert Pujols LAA 1B 3.1


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Jason Heyward ATL RF 23.6
Juan Lagares NYM CF 16.0
Zack Cozart CIN SS 13.5
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 10.9
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 9.9
Christian Yelich MIA LF 8.8
Juan Uribe LAD 3B 8.8
Giancarlo Stanton MIA RF 8.6
Jhonny Peralta STL SS 8.0
Jordy Mercer PIT SS 7.6
Pablo Sandoval SFG 3B 7.3
Russell Martin PIT C 7.2
Yadier Molina STL C 7.2
Chase Utley PHI 2B 6.6
Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 6.6
Khris Davis MIL LF 6.4
Andrelton Simmons ATL SS 6.1
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B 6.0
DJ LeMahieu COL 2B 5.4
Henderson Alvarez MIA P 5.0
Chase Headley SDP 3B 5.0
Jean Segura MIL SS 4.9
Nate Schierholtz CHC RF 4.8
Ruben Tejada NYM SS 4.5
Matt Adams STL 1B 4.2


For past results and full details of the SABR Defensive Index, visit


About SABR

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering research and disseminating the history and record of baseball. Founded in 1971, SABR has more than 6,500 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant baseball community and a premier distributor of ground-breaking baseball information. SABR features more than 60 chapters and more than two dozen research committees, and produces three annual publications – two editions of The Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime – in addition to other print and e-books. SABR also hosts two annual events: the National Convention each summer, and the SABR Analytics Conference in March in Phoenix. For more information about SABR, go to

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Originally published: August 25, 2014. Last Updated: August 25, 2014.