The all-defense All-Star team
Metrics reveal the league's most valuable defensive players, by position
With the season reaching its midpoint, let's take a look at the first-half defensive All-Stars, according to Baseball Info Solutions' defensive runs saved metric. In Volume II of the Fielding Bible, John Dewan outlined the Baseball Info Solutions process for estimating how many runs each fielder saved or cost his team.
Defensive runs saved (or runs saved for short) measures eight different aspects of defensive play, including range on grounders and fly balls, outfielders' skill at preventing runners from taking extra bases and infielders' agility on bunts and double plays. By measuring each play's impact on the offense's run scoring, we can put a number on every fielder's defensive value.
We can also consult Baseball Info Solutions' good fielding plays and defensive misplays (DM) records as another method of evaluating fielders. Good fielding plays (GFP) are Web Gem-like plays tracked by Baseball Info Solutions' legion of video scouts. Defensive misplays are anti-Web Gems, plays where the fielder did something identifiably wrong but was not otherwise scored as an error. The 55 categories of defensive misplays include failing to cover a base, missing the cutoff man and losing the ball in the sun or lights.
Using this information, let's go position by position to determine the midseason defensive All-Star team:
Pitcher: Mark Buehrle (5 runs saved)Honorable mention -- James Shields (4 runs saved)
No star -- Edwin Jackson (minus-5 runs saved)
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