JULY 14, 2023 — Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco and Colorado third baseman Ryan McMahon lead their respective leagues in the updated SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through the first half of Major League Baseball’s season.
The SDI 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. SDI utilizes MLBAM’s Statcast, Sports Info Solutions data, and STATS Perform data as well as traditional statistics with advanced analysis.
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.
Franco’s SDI of 9.1 is the highest in the AL among all qualified defenders, ahead of Boston right fielder Alex Verdugo (7.5), Toronto center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (7.3), Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman (7.1), and Texas catcher Jonah Heim (7.0).
McMahon’s SDI of 11.1 leads all fielders in the NL, followed by San Diego right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (11.0) and Pittsburgh third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (9.1). San Diego second baseman Ha-Seong Kim (8.0) and Chicago shortstop Dansby Swanson (7.8) 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 2023 season at SABR.org. The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes former SABR Board President Vince Gennaro; Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com; Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions; Ben Jedlovec, MLB’s Senior Director, Baseball Data Platform Product; former 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 9, 2023:
|Luis Robert Jr.||CHW||CF||5.8|
|Michael A. Taylor||MIN||CF||3.7|
|Fernando Tatis Jr.||SDP||RF||11.0|
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 7,300 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant baseball community and a premier distributor of ground-breaking baseball information. SABR features more than 80 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 SABR.org.
About the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®
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Originally published: July 14, 2023. Last Updated: July 12, 2023.