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The Best and Worst Defensive Players So Far this Season

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Last season, Kevin Kiermaier led all of Major League Baseball saving an estimated 42 runs defensively for the Tampa Bay Rays. That was the most by any player in a given season since Baseball Info Solutions began tracking the data in 2003, and 13 runs ahead of the next ranked player in 2015, Ender Inciarte. Kiermaier's fractured left hand is keeping him from topping the leaderboard this season. Thus far this year, Adam Eaton of the White Sox leads the way with 16 Runs Saved.

Best Defensive Players, 2016
Player Total Runs Saved
Adam Eaton, White Sox 16
Nolan Arenado, Rockies 12
Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays 11
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers 11
Adam Duvall, Reds 10
David Ross, Cubs 10
Note: through games of June 9

Moving Eaton to right field was the correct move for the White Sox, as last season in center field, he cost them 14 runs. He has gone from being ranked third to last at his position last season to first this season. Eaton's throwing arm has been a major factor. He leads the league in OF Arm Runs Saved with five. He is leading all right fielders in Kills, times an outfielder directly throws out a runner at a base (no relays), with six, and is ranked second among regular right fielders in preventing runners from advancing with 15 extra bases taken out of 44 opportunities (34.1 percent).

Here are the worst defensive players so far this season:

Worst Defensive Players, 2016
Player Total Runs Saved
Jay Bruce, Reds -13
Brad Miller, Rays -11
Stephen Vogt, Athletics -9
J.D. Martinez, Tigers -9
Tyler Naquin, Indians -9
Note: through games of June 9

Jay Bruce has had the worst defensive start this season costing the Reds 13 runs. His performance has declined significantly as he saved the Reds five runs last season. The subject of many trade rumors this season, Bruce might best fit with an American League team that could allow him to DH. Brad Miller has had the second worst defensive start, and is on a similar pace to last season when he tied Angel Pagan for the worst total Runs Saved with -20.

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