SEPTEMBER 8, 2014 — Oakland’s Josh Donaldson and Atlanta’s Jason Heyward have built on their respective AL and NL league leads in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of August 31, 2014.
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.
Donaldson’s SDI of 19.0 is the top figure in the AL, ahead of Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager (16.8), Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon (16.3), and a pair of Boston teammates: second baseman Dustin Pedroia (12.8) and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (11.6).
Heyward’s SDI of 26.7 through August 31 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 (17.3), Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cosart (14.9) and center fielder Billy Hamilton (11.0), and Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons (10.6), the reigning Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winner in the NL.
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 SABR.org. The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes SABR President Vince Gennaro, Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, 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 31, 2014 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):
For past results and full details of the SABR Defensive Index, visit SABR.org/SDI.
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 SABR.org.
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 www.rawlingsgoldglove.com.
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 www.rawlings.com or by call (314) 819-2800.
Originally published: September 8, 2014. Last Updated: September 8, 2014.