If I told you that the winners of the SIS/Fielding Bible Awards Defensive Player of the Month were “Kiermaier and Hays” you might say “You mean Kiermaier and Hayes,” as in Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and our April winner, Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.
But we’d reply that no, that’s not the case. The co-winners this month were Kiermaier and Orioles left fielder Austin Hays. That’s Hays, with neither an ‘E’ and his name or an ‘E’ in his game.
Hays had 10 Defensive Runs Saved in May, the most of any player. For the season, he flipped his total from -5 Runs Saved at the end of April to a positive 5 Runs Saved at the end of May.
Among his highlights were this catch against Josh Jung
For the most part, Hays’ month was about taking care of business. He made the plays he was supposed to make at an extremely high rate and continued upon his past success at deterring baserunner advancement. As such, he ended the month leading all left fielders in Defensive Runs Saved and could be a strong contender for a Fielding Bible Award if he keeps this going.
Similar to Hays, good throws played a part in Kiermaier tallying 6 Defensive Runs Saved and 6 Good Fielding Plays, each tied for the most by a center fielder in May.
It wouldn’t be a month without a Kiermaier jaw-dropping catch and his most memorable one for May was a leaping grab at the fence against Gunnar Henderson.
Kiermaier ended May No. 1 among center fielders in Defensive Runs Saved. He’s trying to become the first player to win 3 Fielding Bible Awards in center field. Kiermaier, Lorenzo Cain, and Carlos Beltrán each have 2 at the position (Cain also has a multi-position award).
And while Kiermaier has an ‘E’ in his name, like Hays, he has no ‘E’ in his game. Neither has been charged with an error this season.