SABR Defensive Index rankings released through August 27, 2017

SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 — Boston right fielder Mookie Betts leads a powerhouse lineup of defenders in the AL and Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado retains the NL’s top spot in the SABR Defensive Index rankings for MLB games played through Sunday, August 27.

For the fifth consecutive season, the SABR Defensive Index will be 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 approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Betts’s SDI of 20.1 is the highest in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton (18.2). Los Angeles shortstop Andrelton Simmons (15.2), Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon (11.8), and Los Angeles catcher Martin Maldonado (11.8) round out the top five in the AL.

Arenado’s SDI of 11.3 leads all fielders in the NL, followed by Chicago right fielder Jason Heyward (10.9) and San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt (10.7). Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (9.7) and Milwaukee catcher Manny Piña (9.1) are close behind the leaders.

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 2017 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 27, 2017 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Mookie Betts BOS RF 20.1
Byron Buxton MIN CF 18.2
Andrelton Simmons LAA SS 15.2
Alex Gordon KCR LF 11.8
Martin Maldonado LAA C 11.8
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 9.9
Justin Upton DET LF 8.7
Brett Gardner NYY LF 8.2
Aaron Judge NYY RF 7.4
Jarrod Dyson SEA CF 6.9
Evan Longoria TBR 3B 6.6
Jason Castro MIN C 5.5
Elvis Andrus TEX SS 6.3
Jose Iglesias DET SS 6.2
Sandy Leon BOS C 5.7
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 5.6
Todd Frazier CHW 3B 5.6
Yan Gomes CLE C 5.0
Carlos Santana CLE 1B 4.8
Brian Dozier MIN 2B 4.8
Kole Calhoun LAA RF 4.7
Didi Gregorius NYY SS 4.5
Avisail Garcia CHW RF 4.2
Kevin Pillar TOR CF 4.1
Mitch Moreland BOS 1B 3.9


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 11.3
Jason Heyward CHC RF 10.9
Brandon Belt SFG 1B 10.7
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 9.7
Manny Pina MIL C 9.1
Yasmani Grandal LAD C 8.8
Tucker Barnhart CIN C 8.6
Jedd Gyorko STL 3B 8.6
Yasiel Puig LAD RF 8.0
Anthony Rendon WSN 3B 7.8
Addison Russell CHC SS 7.3
Odubel Herrera PHI CF 7.2
DJ LeMahieu COL 2B 7.2
Ender Inciarte ATL CF 7.0
Austin Hedges SDP C 6.6
David Freese PIT 3B 6.6
Joey Votto CIN 1B 6.4
Yadier Molina STL C 6.2
Corey Seager LAD SS 5.9
Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 5.8
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 5.8
Jay Bruce NYM RF 5.7
Marcell Ozuna MIA LF 5.4
Michael Taylor WSN CF 5.2
Brandon Crawford SFG SS 5.1



To view full SDI rankings from the 2016 season, click here. To view the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, click here.

The winners of 2016 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards, presented by SABR, were Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor and Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Click here to learn more about the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, presented by SABR.


About 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

About the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® is a registered trademark owned by Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. The award is correctly identified as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The name should not be shortened, abbreviated or otherwise misused. Proper identification of this service mark using the registration symbol and the Rawlings name is important to protect the integrity of the program and perpetuate this worthy tradition. For more information, please visit

About Rawlings

Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes from the sandlot to the pros. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more athletes choose Rawlings, and why Rawlings is the Official Batting Helmet and Ball Supplier of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit or by call (314) 819-2800.

Originally published: August 31, 2017. Last Updated: August 31, 2017.