SABR Defensive Index rankings released through June 12, 2016

JUNE 17, 2016 — Chicago right fielder Adam Eaton has a commanding lead in the AL and Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado has taken the NL’s top spot in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of June 12, 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.

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.

Eaton’s SDI of 12.7 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders. In the AL, Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar (8.9), Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6.7), Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre (6.7), and Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez (6.4) round out the top five.

Arenado’s SDI of 9.0 leads the NL, followed by Chicago right fielder Jason Heyward (8.0), San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford (7.8), Cincinnati left fielder Adam Duvall (6.7), and Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart (6.2).

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 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 June 12, 2016 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Adam Eaton CHW RF 12.7
Kevin Pillar TOR CF 8.9
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 6.7
Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 6.7
Salvador Perez KCR C 6.4
Francisco Lindor CLE SS 5.2
Jason Kipnis CLE 2B 5.0
Jose Iglesias DET SS 4.9
Mookie Betts BOS RF 4.1
George Springer HOU RF 3.8
Carlos Perez LAA C 3.8
Mitch Moreland TEX 1B 3.7
Kevin Kiermaier TBR CF 3.6
Juan Uribe CLE 3B 3.5
Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B 3.4
James McCann DET C 3.3
Xander Bogaerts BOS SS 3.0
Leonys Martin SEA CF 2.9
Josh Donaldson TOR 3B 2.9
Robinson Cano SEA 2B 2.8
Travis Shaw BOS 3B 2.6
Troy Tulowitzki TOR SS 2.1
Joe Mauer MIN 1B 2.1
Nomar Mazara TEX RF 2.0
Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 1.9


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 9.0
Jason Heyward CHC RF 8.0
Brandon Crawford SFG SS 7.8
Adam Duvall CIN LF 6.7
Zack Cozart CIN SS 6.2
Nick Ahmed ARI SS 5.9
Buster Posey SFG C 5.8
Yasiel Puig LAD RF 5.5
Freddy Galvis PHI SS 5.0
Matt Duffy SFG 3B 4.9
Bryce Harper WSN RF 4.9
Wil Myers SDP 1B 4.9
Justin Turner LAD 3B 4.9
Anthony Rendon WSN 3B 4.7
Addison Russell CHC SS 4.7
Starling Marte PIT LF 4.7
Derek Norris SDP C 4.6
David Ross CHC C 4.6
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 4.3
Jonathan Lucroy MIL C 3.8
Melvin Upton SDP LF 3.8
Stephen Piscotty STL RF 3.4
Danny Espinosa WSN SS 3.4
Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 3.3
Joe Panik SFG 2B 3.3



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.

Correction: Due to a formatting error, an earlier version of the SDI rankings posted on this page was incorrect. We apologize for the mistake.


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: June 17, 2016. Last Updated: June 17, 2016.