AUGUST 23, 2019 — Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed and Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman remain in the top spots in their respective leagues in the most recent SABR Defensive Index™ rankings.
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 approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches.
Ahmed’s SDI of 15.2 is the highest in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong (12.6) and Chicago shortstop Javier Baez (10.3). St. Louis shortstop Paul DeJong (9.7) and Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto (9.4) round out the top five in the NL.
Chapman’s SDI of 13.0 leads all fielders in the AL, followed by Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez (11.9) and Tampa Bay shortstop Willy Adames (9.9). Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton and Boston right fielder Mookie Betts are tied for fourth at 8.9.
The updated SDI results were released today by the Society for American Baseball Research.
The final SDI results will be released following the conclusion of the 2019 season at SABR.org. The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes former SABR Board President Vince Gennaro; Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com; Ben Jedlovec, MLB’s Director of Engineering, Data Quality; 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 18, 2019:
The winners of 2018 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards, presented by SABR, were Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado and Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman. Click here to learn more about the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, presented by SABR.
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering research and disseminating the history and record of baseball. Founded in 1971, SABR has more than 6,000 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant baseball community and a premier distributor of ground-breaking baseball information. SABR features more than 70 regional chapters and more than 30 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, visit SABR.org.
About the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®
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Originally published: August 22, 2019. Last Updated: August 22, 2019.