SABR Defensive Index rankings released through September 13, 2015

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 — Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier continues to hold a strong lead in the AL and San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford has retained the NL’s top spot in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of September 13, 2015.

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. This is the final in-season update of the SDI rankings and includes all 2015 qualifiers who will appear on the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballot sent to managers and coaches.

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 26.7 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado (12.4), Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar (10.8), Detroit left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (9.9 — AL numbers only), and Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain (9.2).

Crawford’s SDI of 16.8 through September 13 is the top figure in the NL, ahead of Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (13.2), Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11.6), San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt (11.1), and St. Louis right fielder Jason Heyward (10.2).

The SDI results were released today by the Society for American Baseball Research.

The final SDI results will be released following the conclusion of the 2015 regular 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 September 13, 2015 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Kevin Kiermaier TBR CF 26.7
Manny Machado BAL 3B 12.4
Kevin Pillar TOR CF 10.8
Yoenis Cespedes DET LF 9.9
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 9.2
Dallas Keuchel HOU P 8.3
Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 7.9
Josh Donaldson TOR 3B 7.3
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 7.2
Kole Calhoun LAA RF 7.2
Alcides Escobar KCR SS 7.1
Jason Castro HOU C 6.5
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 6.4
Eric Sogard OAK 2B 6.1
Mike Trout LAA CF 6.0
Adam Jones BAL CF 5.6
Jose Altuve HOU 2B 5.4
J.J. Hardy BAL SS 5.4
Eddie Rosario MIN LF 5.4
Evan Longoria TBR 3B 5.3
Mike Moustakas KCR 3B 5.1
Mike Zunino SEA C 4.6
Mike Napoli TEX/BOS 1B 4.6
Caleb Joseph BAL C 4.4
Omar Infante KCR 2B 3.9


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Brandon Crawford SFG SS 16.8
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 13.2
Adeiny Hechavarria MIA SS 11.6
Brandon Belt SFG 1B 11.1
Jason Heyward STL RF 10.2
Andrelton Simmons ATL SS 10.1
Nick Ahmed ARI SS 9.9
Buster Posey SFG C 9.7
Danny Espinosa WSN 2B 9.6
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 9.4
Wilson Ramos WSN C 8.6
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B 8.3
Ichiro Suzuki MIA RF 8.2
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 8.0
Curtis Granderson NYM RF 7.8
Starling Marte PIT LF 7.4
Addison Russell CHC 2B 7.4
Odubel Herrera PHI CF 7.3
Matt Duffy SFG 3B 6.5
Yadier Molina STL C 6.5
Christian Yelich MIA LF 5.8
A.J. Pollock ARI CF 5.4
Zack Greinke LAD P 5.4
Dee Gordon MIA 2B 5.2
Todd Frazier CIN 3B 4.9
Bryce Harper WSN RF 4.9


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: September 18, 2015. Last Updated: September 18, 2015.