SABR Defensive Index rankings released through July 12, 2015

JULY 24, 2015 — Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado have opened commanding leads in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through the first half of the 2015 season.

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 approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that was added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Kiermaier’s SDI of 15.0 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado (8.3), Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler (8.2), Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson (8.0), and Detroit left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (7.0).

Arenado’s SDI of 10.9 through July 12 is the top figure in the NL, ahead of Washington second baseman Danny Espinosa and Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons, both with 8.1. Rounding out the top five are Colorado second baseman D.J. LeMahieu (7.8), along with Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and New York right fielder Curtis Granderson (tied at 6.6).

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 2015 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 July 12, 2015 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Kevin Kiermaier TBR CF 15.0
Manny Machado BAL 3B 8.3
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 8.2
Josh Donaldson TOR 3B 8.0
Yoenis Cespedes DET LF 7.0
Jose Altuve HOU 2B 6.7
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 6.7
Mike Zunino SEA C 6.6
Leonys Martin TEX CF 6.5
Dallas Keuchel HOU P 6.5
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 6.5
Kole Calhoun LAA RF 6.1
Alcides Escobar KCR SS 6.0
Lonnie Chisenhall CLE 3B 6.0
Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 5.9
Jason Castro HOU C 5.3
Evan Longoria TBR 3B 5.0
Kevin Pillar TOR CF 4.7
J.J. Hardy BAL SS 4.2
Alex Gordon KCR LF 4.0
Eric Sogard OAK 2B 3.6
J.D. Martinez DET RF 3.3
Mike Trout LAA CF 3.0
Joe Kelly BOS P 3.0
Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 2.8
Mike Napoli BOS 1B 2.8


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 10.9
Danny Espinosa WSN 2B 8.1
Andrelton Simmons ATL SS 8.1
DJ LeMahieu COL 2B 7.8
Adeiny Hechavarria MIA SS 6.6
Curtis Granderson NYM RF 6.6
Dee Gordon MIA 2B 6.5
Nick Ahmed ARI SS 6.1
Brandon Crawford SFG SS 6.0
Buster Posey SFG C 6.0
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B 5.9
Yadier Molina STL C 5.6
Giancarlo Stanton MIA RF 5.6
Juan Lagares NYM CF 5.5
A.J. Pollock ARI CF 5.4
Jay Bruce CIN RF 5.4
Addison Russell CHC 2B 5.3
Jason Heyward STL RF 5.2
Brandon Belt SFG 1B 4.9
Zack Greinke LAD P 4.6
Justin Turner LAD 3B 4.6
Christian Yelich MIA LF 4.3
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 4.2
Mark Reynolds STL 1B 4.1
Matt Duffy SFG 3B 4.0


To view full SDI results from the 2014 season, click here. To view the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, click here.

The winners of 2014 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards presented by SABR were: St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon. 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 70 regional 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, 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: July 24, 2015. Last Updated: July 24, 2015.