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First Half Defensive Leaders

July 12, 2021
With the All-Star Break coming and the first half of the season complete, this seemed like a good time to look at the All-Defense Team to this point. We’ll use the Defensive Runs Saved leaderboard as our basis for selection.

2021 Defensive Runs Saved Leaders By Position

Position Name Team DRS
1B Max Muncy Dodgers 6
2B Marcus Semien Blue Jays 7
  Ryan McMahon Rockies 7
SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa Rangers 10
3B Joshua Fuentes Rockies 11
LF 7 players tied*   6
CF Kiké Hernández Red Sox 9
RF Adam Duvall Marlins 9
C Jacob Stallings Pirates 7
  Elias Díaz Rockies 7
P Dallas Keuchel White Sox 6
Overall Ryan McMahon Rockies 13

* Mike Tauchman (Giants), Raimel Tapia (Rockies), Seth Brown (Athletics), Austin Hays (Orioles), Alex Verdugo (Red Sox), Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals), Randy Arozarena (Rays).

Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon, previously featured here aas the Defensive Player of the Month for May, is the current overall leader in Defensive Runs Saved with 13.

He’s also one of three Rockies who are either leading a position or tied for the lead at a position. McMahon is tied with Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien for the Runs Saved lead at second base. Joshua Fuentes, who was June’s Defensive Player of the Month, leads at third base, and Elias Díaz is tied for the lead at catcher with Jacob Stallings of the Pirates.

Díaz’s ascension to the top of this leaderboard deserves a mention. Two seasons ago with the Pirates, he finished last among all players in Defensive Runs Saved, as he cost them 21 runs. This season, he’s saved 7 runs, with 4 of them attributed to basestealing deterrence. Diaz has as many caught stealing (7) as he has stolen bases allowed (7) and also has 3 pickoffs.

His teammate, Fuentes, could become the second player to lead different positions in Runs Saved in consecutive seasons. He co-led in Runs Saved at first base in 2020.

The other infielders are first baseman Max Muncy of the Dodgers and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the Rangers. Kiner-Falefa and Semien are atop their respective positions after switching from another position. Kiner-Falefa was a standout at third base in 2020. Semien was coming off a down year at shortstop with the Athletics, but the position change and team change seem to have done him considerable good.

Speaking of positional changes, utility man Kiké Hernández has made center field his primary spot in his first season with the Red Sox and handled it well. He leads all players at that position in Runs Saved. Marlins right fielder Adam Duvall, primarily a left fielder throughout his career, won Defensive Player of the Month in April and continues to lead right fielders in Runs Saved.

Last, but certainly not least, Dallas Keuchel of the White Sox is the Runs Saved leader among pitchers. Keuchel has previously won four Fielding Bible Awards, tied with Mark Buehrle for the most at the position.


COMMENTS (1 Comment)

I think the DRS stat needs a 5 year suspension after naming the Mets as the worst defense in the league at -86 in 2019, and then just sort of saying, "whoops" a year later and revising them to -32. BBR still has them at -86. FG has them at -44.

SS Rosario was rated at -10 by SIS for 2019, fueling a fan outrage that had him lose his job and then be traded. SIS then revised him to -3 for 2019.

Where can SIS's revisions be found? 2019 changed dramatically, and has been changed on some sites (FG) and not on others (BBR). Was 2018 revised/corrected? Prior years? Can SIS give guidance here please?

A million words are launched about DRS every year. Now all those published stats do not jibe with figures at BBR and FG.
12:13 PM Jul 21st
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