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Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a baseball statistic that measures the number of runs a player saved or cost his team on defense relative to an average player.[1][2] Any positive number is above average, and the best fielders typically fall into a range of 15–20 for a season.[3] The statistic was developed by Baseball Info Solutions and the data used in calculating it first became available in 2003.[4][5]

As of the end of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, the record for most Defensive Runs Saved in a single season was held by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who saved 42 runs in 2015.[6] Matt Kemp set the record for fewest Defensive Runs Saved in a season when he cost the Los Angeles Dodgers 33 runs as a center fielder in 2010.[7] Third baseman Adrián Beltré has the most Defensive Runs Saved in a career with 212.[8] Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has the distinction of being the worst fielder ever measured by DRS; he accumulated -152 Defensive Runs Saved between 2003 and the end of his career.[9]

Fielding percentage is the statistic that has traditionally been used to measure defensive ability, but it fails to account of a fielder's range. Fielders with ample range on defense are able to make plays that most players would not have the chance to make. Defensive Runs Saved was created to take into account range when measuring a player's defensive ability. The table below shows a comparison between the top 10 shortstops in terms of fielding percentage and the top 10 shortstops in terms of defensive runs saved from 2002 to 2017. The table shows that only three players appear on both lists, exemplifying that there is a difference in what the two statistics measure.[10]

To calculate Defensive Runs Saved, for each ball hit, points are either added or subtracted to the fielder's rating depending on whether or not they make the play. For example, if a ball hit to the center fielder is expected to be caught 30 percent of the time, and it is caught, the fielder gains 0.7 points. If the center fielder does not catch the ball, he loses 0.3 points. [11]

Top 10 Shortstops (2002-2017)
Defensive Runs Saved (Shortstops) Fielding Percentage (Shortstops)
Adam Everett Jimmy Rollins
Andrelton Simmons Troy Tulowitzki
Brandon Crawford Adeiny Hechavarria
Brendan Ryan Andrelton Simmons
Cesar Izturis Royce Clayton
Clint Barnes Trevor Story
J.J. Hardy Jhonny Peralta
Jack Wilson J.J. Hardy
Troy Tulowitzki Francisco Lindor
Zack Cozart David Eckstein

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Plus/Minus and Runs Saved". fieldingbible.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  2. ^ Slowinski, Steve (February 15, 2010). "DRS". fangraphs.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  3. ^ Johns, Greg (October 25, 2012). "Ryan wins Fielding Bible Award at short". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Simon, Mark (July 9, 2012). "Surprise! Why Chipper rates well on D". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Position Player WAR Calculations and Details". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Kevin Kiermaier Statistics". Fangraphs.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2010 » All Positions » Fielding Statistics". FanGraphs. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2017 » All Positions » Fielding Statistics". FanGraphs. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2017 » All Positions » Fielding Statistics". FanGraphs. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  10. ^ "What is a Fielding Percentage (FPCT)? | Glossary". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  11. ^ "What is a Defensive Runs Saved (DRS)? | Glossary". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2018-03-09.