Photo: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

Last week we looked at the overall Defensive Runs Saved leaderboard from an individual player perspective.

But in 2024, there are a lot of teams using platoons or timeshares due to injury or other reasons that have been highly productive defensively.

So rather than look at which players are contributing the most defensive value to their team, let’s look at a team’s positional group and see which have the most Runs Saved. This ranking could be largely the work of one player but often it’s the work of more than one.

Diamondbacks second base (12 Runs Saved) – Our team leader isn’t the product of a timeshare so much as it is one guy who’s been really good, Ketel Marte. He has been great, leading all NL players in bWAR thanks in part to 11 Runs Saved at second. His teammates who have filled in on occasion have combined for 1.

Yankees catcher (11 Runs Saved) – The Yankees have two excellent defensive catchers in Jose Trevino (7 Runs Saved) and Austin Wells (4 Runs Saved), who have split time almost equally. They’ve earned their value with their pitch framing this season. Trevino ranks tied for 2nd in our stat that measures that, Strike Zone Runs Saved. Wells is tied for 5th.

Dodgers right field (11 Runs Saved) – This has been a true group effort between Andy Pages (5 Runs Saved), Jason Heyward (3 Runs Saved), and Teoscar Hernández (3 Runs Saved). The Dodgers have had their problems defensively in center field and left field, but this combination in right field – as odd as it is to say – probably matches or betters what Mookie Betts would have been doing had he not moved to the infield.

Red Sox center field (11 Runs Saved) – Circumstance has resulted in a time split here between Ceddanne Rafaela (5 Runs Saved), who also plays three infield positions, and Jarren Duran (6 Runs Saved) ,who also plays left field and ranks among the overall leaders in Runs Saved. Both are standout athletes who have handled center field well so far. Red Sox outfielders lead the majors with 25 Runs Saved.

Blue Jays center field (10 Runs Saved) – The Blue Jays are fortunate enough to have an outfield with three players capable of playing center field well in Kevin Kiermaier, Daulton Varsho, and George Springer. Kiermaier (4 Runs Saved) and Varsho (5 Runs Saved) have split time there due to Kiermaier’s hip injury. Springer filled in once and his 4 putouts that day were good enough to be credited with 1 Run Saved.

Phillies left field (10 Runs Saved) – The Phillies have played 6 players there this season with Brandon Marsh (5 Runs Saved) getting the most innings. But when he doesn’t play, the Phillies have capable alternatives in Cristian Pache (3 Runs Saved), David Dahl (2 Runs Saved), and Whit Merrifield (0 Runs Saved). Most importantly, defensive liability Kyle Schwarber has played only one game there this season.

Royals pitchers (10 Runs Saved)Seth Lugo, Daniel Lynch, and Cole Ragans each have 2 Runs Saved and a bunch of pitchers have 1. The Runs Saved are a product of two things: fielding batted balls (their pitchers have combined for 10 more plays made than expected) and doing their part in conjunction with their catchers to limit stolen bases (the Royals have caught 14 of 36 would-be basestealers).

Royals second base (9 Runs Saved) – We wrote about this group earlier this week. Michael Massey (3 Runs Saved), Nick Loftin (3 Runs Saved), Adam Frazier (2 Runs Saved), and Garrett Hampson (1 Run Saved) have all been good playmakers who have flipped the position’s -9 Runs Saved last year around.

Rangers second base (9 Runs Saved) – This is one of the other instances of one player driving the total and that’s because when their best defensive player, Marcus Semien, misses a game, it’s a story. Semien, who plays just about every day, has 10 Runs Saved this season. He’s battling Marte for the position lead.

Rangers shortstop (9 Runs Saved) – You might think this was one player too, but it isn’t just Corey Seager and his 5 Runs Saved. It’s also our most recent podcast guest, utility man Josh Smith, who has been highly adept at turning double plays and has 4 Runs Saved in limited action there.