BY MARK SIMON
As we get set to start the second half of the season, let’s run through the MLB leaders in Defensive Runs Saved.
At catcher, it’s a runaway. Jose Trevino of the Yankees leads all catchers in Runs Saved by a wide margin. His 15 Runs Saved are more than double the next-closest catchers, Reese McGuire and Cal Raleigh (7). Trevino stands out because of his excellent pitch framing. He’s good at stopping the running game too.
At first base, Christian Walker of the Diamondbacks has range for days. He’s able to get to balls in the 3-4 hole like no one else, while covering first base without issue. He’s at 13 Runs Saved. The next-closest first baseman is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 7.
Tommy Edman of the Cardinals has split time between second base and shortstop. He’s been great at both spots and leads the majors in Runs Saved overall (17) and at second base (11).
What differentiates Edman from his peers is how infrequently he makes mistakes. He has only 2 Defensive Misplays & Errors at second base. He’s the only second baseman to average less than 1 Misplay & Error per 100 innings among the 40 who have played the most innings this season.
The Orioles have had a nice resurgence this season and shortstop Jorge Mateo deserves some credit for his great defense. He’s the Runs Saved leader at that position with 13, showing great skill in handling ground balls and line drives, particularly those hit to his right.
Nolan Arenado’s defense at third base for the Cardinals this season looks a lot like the great defensive work he did for the Rockies. Arenado still seems to be in his defensive prime. He’s the Runs Saved leader at the position with 15, well more than the 6 he had last season.
In left field, remember the hot start Steven Kwan of the Guardians got off to with the bat? Well, he’s pretty good with the glove too. He can catch it (9 Runs Saved for Range) and he can throw it (4 assists in left field without a cutoff man). His 10 Runs Saved as a left fielder are the most in MLB.
Center field is going to be a tough call for Fielding Bible Awards voters down the road. Right now, the leader is Jose Siri of the Astros, who shows great athleticism on both shallow and deep balls and leads with 8 Runs Saved. A lot of other center fielders are within two runs of his total including Myles Straw, Michael A. Taylor, Michael Harris II, and Cedric Mullins.
The first half ended with a Defensive Runs Saved tie in right field between Kyle Tucker and Hunter Renfroe, each with 10 Runs Saved. They get it done a little differently. Tucker’s been known to make impressive catches in deep right field. Renfroe has a great throwing arm. Take your pick, they’re both off to great starts.
At pitcher, it’s the 2nd year in a row that Ranger Suarez of the Phillies has gotten it done both handling comebackers and stopping potential basestealers. He’s yet to allow a stolen base this season.
The team leader in Defensive Runs Saved is the Yankees. This is quite a turnaround for a team that ranked 29th last season. The Bronx Bombers have become the Bronx Stoppers – remaking their infield into the best in the game at getting outs on ground balls.