JUNE 21, 2019 — Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien and Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed lead their respective leagues in the first SABR Defensive Index™ rankings of the 2019 season.
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 9.4 is the highest in the game among all qualified defenders, just ahead of Los Angeles right fielder Cody Bellinger at 8.3 and Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto at 8.1. St. Louis shortstop Paul DeJong (7.7) and San Diego catcher Austin Hedges (7.4) round out the top five in the NL.
Semien’s SDI of 8.4 leads all fielders in the AL, followed by Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton at 7.1. Houston center fielder Jake Marisnick (6.2), Boston right fielder Mookie Betts (6.2), and Tampa Bay shortstop Willy Adames (5.4) 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 SABR.org. The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes SABR President Vince Gennaro; Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com; 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 June 16, 2019:
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.
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 SABR.org.
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 www.rawlingsgoldglove.com.
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 www.rawlings.com or by call (314) 819-2800.
Originally published: June 20, 2019. Last Updated: June 20, 2019.