June’s Defensive Players of the Month, Rays center fielder Jose Siri and Brewers second baseman Brice Turang, won the award on the strength of both their overall defensive value and plays that wowed and showed off their best skills.

Jose Siri

Siri led all center fielders with 6 Defensive Runs Saved in June and tied Jacob Young of the Nationals for the monthly lead in Good Fielding Plays at the position with 7.

The most impressive-looking of those plays was a game-ending leaping catch at the fence against the Pirates on June 21 (while avoiding the arms of a fan who reached over the railing).

But there were others too, including a full-speed sprinting catch earlier in that same game.

A day earlier he’d shown off his arm with a fantastic throw to third base (with his momentum going in the opposite direction) to get Royce Lewis of the Twins at third base to help preserve a one-run lead in the 10th inning. As Rays TV analyst Brian Anderson said of that one “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Siri’s run of terrific defensive plays really began with this leaping catch at the fence to keep a game tied in the 9th inning on May 29 (while avoiding a teammate). He actually entered June with -2 Runs Saved for the season but is now well onto the positive side of that stat.

In this hot defensive stretch, Siri has shown off his speed and acceleration. He ranks 2nd in Statcast’s ‘burst’ stat, which measures how many more feet a fielder covers than the average defender when a batted ball has been in the air from 1.6 to 3 seconds. He also ranks in the top 15 in ‘reaction’ which measures how many feet a fielder covers in the first 1.5 seconds after contact.

Brice Turang

Turang led all second basemen with 7 Runs Saved in June. That matched the most Runs Saved for any player at any position. Turang’s teammate Jackson Chourio as well as Zach Neto and Taylor Ward of the Angels also each had 7.

Turang is also tied with Ketel Marte of the Diamondbacks and Marcus Semien of the Rangers for the MLB season lead in Runs Saved at second base with 11. He finished 3rd in Runs Saved as a rookie second baseman last season.

There was some versatility among Turang’s top defensive plays in June. His highlights included this leaping catch against the Reds on June 14, a play on which he went well up the middle to get an out 10 days later against the Rangers and then one the next day in which he dove to his left.

Since making his MLB debut last season, Turang’s strength has been those plays on balls hit to his right. He’s gotten at least one out on 72 of 112 opportunities. An average fielder would have converted only 61 of those opportunities into outs. Turang’s +11 plus-minus on those balls (our version of outs above average) is best of anyone at second base.

2024 MLB Defensive Players of the Month

Month Players
March/April Daulton Varsho & Marcus Semien
May Jo Adell & Ezequiel Tovar
June Jose Siri & Brice Turang