SABR Defensive Index rankings released through August 7, 2016

AUGUST 17, 2016 — A pair of Windy City outfielders, Adam Eaton and Jason Heyward, now lead their respective leagues in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of August 7, 2016.

For the fourth 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.

Eaton’s SDI of 20.8 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders. In the AL rankings, Eaton is followed by Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor (11.3), Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar (11.0), Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre (10.8), and Boston right fielder Mookie Betts (10.5) in the top five.

Heyward’s SDI of 14.0 leads all NL fielders, followed by San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford (13.5), Atlanta center fielder Ender Inciarte (12.8), and San Francisco catcher Buster Posey (10.7). Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed and Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton (9.7) are tied for fifth place in the NL.

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

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.

The final SDI results will be released following the conclusion of the 2016 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 7, 2016 — click here to view full SDI rankings by position:


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Adam Eaton CHW RF 20.8
Francisco Lindor CLE SS 11.3
Kevin Pillar TOR CF 11.0
Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 10.8
Mookie Betts BOS RF 10.5
Salvador Perez KCR C 8.3
Jose Iglesias DET SS 8.2
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 7.4
George Springer HOU RF 6.8
Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B 6.2
Josh Donaldson TOR 3B 6.1
Troy Tulowitzki TOR SS 6.1
James McCann DET C 5.3
Mitch Moreland TEX 1B 5.2
Colby Rasmus HOU LF 5.0
Curt Casali TBR C 4.9
Jason Kipnis CLE 2B 4.9
Carlos Perez LAA C 4.8
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 4.8
Robinson Cano SEA 2B 4.8
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 4.6
Andrelton Simmons LAA SS 4.3
Chase Headley NYY 3B 3.9
Brett Gardner NYY LF 3.8
Chris Davis BAL 1B 3.3


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Jason Heyward CHC RF 14.0
Brandon Crawford SFG SS 13.5
Ender Inciarte ATL CF 12.8
Buster Posey SFG C 10.7
Nick Ahmed ARI SS 9.7
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 9.7
Adeiny Hechavarria MIA SS 8.9
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 8.8
Addison Russell CHC SS 8.7
Justin Turner LAD 3B 8.4
Zack Cozart CIN SS 8.4
Adam Duvall CIN LF 7.8
Freddy Galvis PHI SS 6.8
Wil Myers SDP 1B 6.5
Danny Espinosa WSN SS 6.1
Nick Markakis ATL RF 6.1
Melvin Upton SDP LF 5.4
Joe Panik SFG 2B 5.3
Stephen Piscotty STL RF 5.2
Bryce Harper WSN RF 4.9
Derek Norris SDP C 4.9
Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 4.8
Corey Seager LAD SS 4.8
Jonathan Lucroy MIL C 4.5
Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 3.9



To view full SDI results from the 2015 season, click here. To view the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, click here.

The winners of 2015 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards presented by SABR were: St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. 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 6,300 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 16, 2016. Last Updated: August 16, 2016.