Posted by John Dewan on December 16, 2015
September 14, 2015
Kevin Kiermaier has emerged as one of baseball’s flashiest defensive players this season with a multitude of highlight-reel plays, but even more impressive is the fact that he may be on pace for the best defensive season ever as measured by Defensive Runs Saved.
Kiermaier played the majority of his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Rays as a right fielder, saving an impressive 13 runs in less than half a season at the position. But since becoming a full-time center fielder this year, he has saved 37 runs, the most of any player this season and 15 runs more than the runners-up (Andrelton Simmons and Brandon Crawford). In fact, Kiermaier’s 2015 campaign is thus far the second-best DRS season at a position since Baseball Info Solutions began tracking this data in 2003.
|Best Defensive Seasons by Defensive Runs Saved (DRS)|
|2015||Kevin Kiermaier||Center Field||37|
|2013||Manny Machado||Third Base||35|
|2009||Franklin Gutierrez||Center Field||33|
|2013||Gerardo Parra||Right Field||32|
|2013||Carlos Gomez||Center Field||32|
|2007||Albert Pujols||First Base||31|
The Rays center fielder has already eclipsed the previous center field record-holder Franklin Gutierrez, but he still trails multiple Fielding Bible Award and Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons. If Kiermaier continues his stellar play at the same pace, he will surpass Simmons’ record with 42 runs saved.