AUGUST 27, 2021 — Texas shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Pittsburgh catcher Jacob Stallings have taken over the top spots in their respective leagues in the most recent SABR Defensive Index™ rankings for the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
The SDI 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. SDI utilizes MLBAM’s Statcast, Sports Information Solutions data, and STATS, LLC data as well as traditional statistics with advanced analysis.
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.
Kiner-Falefa’s SDI of 10.6 is the highest in the AL among all qualified defenders, ahead of Houston shortstop Carlos Correa (9.7) and Kansas City center fielder Michael A. Taylor (9.5). New York right fielder Joey Gallo (8.6) and Chicago pitcher Dallas Keuchel (7.5) round out the top five.
Stallings’s SDI of 7.7 leads all fielders in the NL, followed by St. Louis shortstop Paul DeJong (7.0), San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford (6.6), Colorado third baseman Ryan McMahon (6.5), and Philadelphia second baseman Jean Segura (6.2).
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 2021 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 22, 2021:
|Michael A. Taylor||KCR||CF||9.5|
|Jackie Bradley Jr.||MIL||CF||4.1|
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 80 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.
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Originally published: August 27, 2021. Last Updated: August 27, 2021.