SABR Defensive Index rankings released through September 7, 2014

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 — The hot corner is the hot spot for the AL leaders in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings. Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson and Seattle’s Kyle Seager continue to battle for the league lead in the AL, while Atlanta’s Jason Heyward has maintained a steady lead in the NL through games of September 7, 2014.

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 2014 qualifiers who will appear on the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballot sent to managers and coaches. The SABR Defensive Index accounts for 30 total “votes” — or approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process — which are added to the votes from the 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.

Donaldson’s SDI of 20.2 is the top figure in the AL, ahead of Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager (17.7), Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon (16.2), and a pair of Boston teammates: second baseman Dustin Pedroia (12.9) and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (10.4).

Heyward’s SDI of 27.2 through September 7 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders. The top five NL players as ranked by SDI, after Heyward, are: New York center fielder Juan Lagares (17.9), Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart (14.2), Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (11.2) and Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton (11.2).

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 2014 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 7, 2014 (click here to view full SDI rankings by position):


AL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Josh Donaldson OAK 3B 20.2
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 17.7
Alex Gordon KCR LF 16.2
Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B 12.9
Jackie Bradley BOS CF 10.4
Ian Kinsler DET 2B 10.0
J.J. Hardy BAL SS 9.9
Kevin Kiermaier TBR RF 9.5
Daniel Nava BOS RF 8.8
Lorenzo Cain KCR CF 8.5
Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B 8.1
Sam Fuld MIN/OAK CF 8.0
Leonys Martin TEX CF 6.7
Salvador Perez KCR C 6.1
Josh Reddick OAK RF 5.9
Yoenis Cespedes OAK/BOS LF 5.6
Alex Avila DET C 5.6
Robinson Chirinos TEX C 5.5
Dallas Keuchel HOU P 5.3
Manny Machado BAL 3B 5.1
Brian McCann NYY C 5.1
Albert Pujols LAA 1B 4.7
Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 4.6
Dustin Ackley SEA LF 4.4
Adam Eaton CHW CF 4.3


NL leaders

Player Team Position SDI
Jason Heyward ATL RF 27.2
Juan Lagares NYM CF 17.9
Zack Cozart CIN SS 14.2
Nolan Arenado COL 3B 11.2
Billy Hamilton CIN CF 11.2
Juan Uribe LAD 3B 11.1
Jhonny Peralta STL SS 11.1
Christian Yelich MIA LF 10.5
Andrelton Simmons ATL SS 10.2
Ender Inciarte ARI CF 9.7
Yadier Molina STL C 9.4
Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 9.0
DJ LeMahieu COL 2B 8.9
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B 8.4
Russell Martin PIT C 8.4
Giancarlo Stanton MIA RF 8.1
Chase Utley PHI 2B 7.8
Jordy Mercer PIT SS 7.4
Rene Rivera SDP C 5.8
Pablo Sandoval SFG 3B 5.7
Justin Morneau COL 1B 5.7
Josh Harrison PIT 3B 5.6
Ruben Tejada NYM SS 5.5
Marlon Byrd PHI RF 5.5
Chase Headley SDP 3B 5.4


For past results and full details of the SABR Defensive Index, visit


About SABR

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering research and disseminating the history and record of baseball. Founded in 1971, SABR has more than 6,500 members worldwide and has established itself as a vibrant baseball community and a premier distributor of ground-breaking baseball information. SABR features more than 60 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, go to

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Originally published: September 15, 2014. Last Updated: September 15, 2014.