SABR Defensive Index rankings released through July 7, 2019

JULY 15, 2019 — Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed remains in the top spot in the NL and Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxon leads the AL in the updated SABR Defensive Index rankings through the first half of the 2019 season.

Click here to view full SDI rankings by position through games of Sunday, July 7, 2019.

For the seventh 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.

Ahmed’s SDI of 12.0 is the highest in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of San Diego catcher Austin Hedges (9.1) and Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto (8.5). A pair of St. Louis teammates, shortstop Paul DeJong (8.2) and second baseman Kolten Wong (8.0) round out the top five in the NL.

Buxton’s SDI of 7.6 leads all fielders in the AL, followed by Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien at 7.3. Boston right fielder Mookie Betts (7.1), Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez (6.3), and Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (6.0) round out the top five.

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 2019 season at The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes former SABR Board President Vince Gennaro; Sean Forman of; 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 July 7, 2019:


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Byron Buxton MIN CF 7.6
Marcus Semien OAK SS 7.3
Mookie Betts BOS RF 7.1
Roberto Perez CLE C 6.3
Kevin Kiermaier TBR CF 6.0
Matt Chapman OAK 3B 5.8
DJ LeMahieu NYY 2B 5.7
Willy Adames TBR SS 5.5
Max Kepler MIN RF 5.4
Marwin Gonzalez MIN 3B 5.0
Jake Marisnick HOU CF 5.0
Alex Bregman HOU 3B 4.9
Matt Olson OAK 1B 4.7
Tyler Naquin CLE RF 4.7
David Fletcher LAA 3B 4.6
Martin Maldonado KCR C 4.0
Robbie Grossman OAK LF 3.9
Yuli Gurriel HOU 1B 3.8
Billy Hamilton KCR CF 3.7
Mitch Haniger SEA RF 3.6
Andrelton Simmons LAA SS 3.5
Teoscar Hernandez TOR LF 3.4
James McCann CHW C 3.3
Jorge Polanco MIN SS 3.2
Yolmer Sanchez CHW 2B 3.1
Keon Broxton BAL CF 3.1


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Nick Ahmed ARI SS 12.0
Austin Hedges SDP C 9.1
J.T. Realmuto PHI C 8.5
Paul DeJong STL SS 8.2
Kolten Wong STL 2B 8.0
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 7.8
Cody Bellinger LAD RF 7.6
Javier Baez CHC SS 7.3
Trevor Story COL SS 6.2
Harrison Bader STL CF 6.1
Miguel Rojas MIA SS 5.3
Christian Walker ARI 1B 5.2
Jose Iglesias CIN SS 4.8
David Peralta ARI LF 4.7
Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 4.6
Evan Longoria SFG 3B 4.5
Brian Anderson MIA 3B 4.5
Jay Bruce PHI LF 4.4
Austin Barnes LAD C 3.9
Hunter Renfroe SDP LF 3.8
Bryce Harper PHI RF 3.7
Adam Frazier PIT 2B 3.5
Lorenzo Cain MIL CF 3.4
Jason Heyward CHC RF 3.3
Max Fried ATL P 3.1



To view full SDI rankings from the 2018 season, click here. To view the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, click here.

The winners of 2018 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards, presented by SABR, were Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado and Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman. 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: July 14, 2019. Last Updated: July 14, 2019.