Simmons Has Company

September 25, 2013
 

A few weeks ago we talked about how Andrelton Simmons is having the best defensive season since we started tracking advanced defensive metrics in 2003. It turns out that he has some company this year. Three other players are having historic-level defensive seasons as well—Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gomez and Manny Machado. With one week left in the season, all four of these players are on track to break Brett Gardner's Defensive Runs Saved mark of 35 runs set in 2010. Here is where they stand this year in saving runs defensively for their teams:

Most Defensive Runs Saved, 2013
Player Position DRS
Andrelton Simmons, Braves SS 42
Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks LF, CF, RF 40
Carlos Gomez, Brewers CF 37
Manny Machado, Orioles 3B 34

 

Like Brett Gardner in 2010, Gerardo Parra is saving runs at multiple positions. He has saved 35 runs in right field, four in center and one more playing left field. He could even overtake Simmons in the final week of the season. With all the attention Simmons has been getting for his defense, wouldn't that be something?

 
 

COMMENTS (10 Comments, most recent shown first)

DanDanDodgerFan
Even a ten-year-old record, which absolutely no one could beat in the ensuing nine years, shouldn't be beaten four times at once without deserving some attempt at understanding how that could happen. I'm not capable of that analysis, but I can smell a fish.
7:20 PM Oct 1st
 
lidsky
As others have said, so whether the metric is good or not, it is a new metric so "historic" is only in the last 10 years so one would expect this statistically even with no major changes.

Perhaps he should have left out the word historically and there wouldn't be any discussion :)
12:02 PM Oct 1st
 
Culhane
I concur with those seeking an explanation. When four players are all breaking the same record in the same season, something has happened. I would like to know what that something is.
10:19 PM Sep 27th
 
jimgus
3 for 3 is dead-on. The "newness" of the stat is why the record gets broken many times (or, will get broken many times). I am reminded of the 1972 World Series. In the breakdown before game 1, the announcers were really spending time on Clay Carroll, who had just saved an unheard-of 37 games. They were talking about how that was an amazing total, etc. Oops, the next year John Hiller saved 38, and then in the 80's all hell broke loose. of course, none of us even knew what a save was (I mean, we could quote the definition, but we didn't have any perspective on what it meant to compile 37 of them).
10:58 AM Sep 27th
 
doncoffin
3for3--
Actually, given how low strikeout rates were in the 19teens and 1920s, there was more work (more outs per game) for fielders to do. In that sense, I'd not be surprised to see high runs saved totals. But Dewan and associates don't have the play-by-play data to do that analysis. So we'll never know...
9:54 PM Sep 26th
 
doncoffin
"Doesn't that suggest the need to look for an explanation?"

Steroids, of course!
7:01 PM Sep 25th
 
izzy24
In Bill's "Andruw" article he mentioned in the comments section that he doubted that a player could save 40 runs a year (he may have only been referring to outfielders) because it was "out of scale with the game." I was reading about how DRS is calculated on Fangraphs and the following example was used: "If a shortstop makes a play that only 24% of shortstops make, he will get .76 of a point (1 full point minus .24). If a shortstop BLOWS a play that 82% of shortstops make, then you subtract .82 of a point." Does anyone know how this point system is converted into runs saved?
4:17 PM Sep 25th
 
3for3
It would be more disturbing if records were 100 years old; 10 years, not so much
12:55 PM Sep 25th
 
doncoffin
Particularly with strikeout rates at an all-time high, leaving less work for fielders to do?
10:41 AM Sep 25th
 
DanDanDodgerFan
Isn't it a bit disturbing to see an all-time record broken by four players in the same season? Doesn't that suggest the need to look for an explanation?
10:12 AM Sep 25th
 
 
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