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John Dewan's Stat of the Week - Jake Cronenworth

Who is May's Defensive Player of the Month?

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By MARK SIMON

The lesson in the awarding of Defensive Player of the Month for May is that it pays to be versatile.

Ryan McMahon of the Rockies edged out Jake Cronenworth of the Padres by one point in voting among Sports Info Solutions staff.

As we noted last week, McMahon has filled two spots well, saving 6 runs at second base and 3 runs at third base this season. His 9 Runs Saved are tied with three other players and trail only Adam Duvall’s 11 for most in the majors. McMahon finished with 4 Runs Saved overall in May, but he led all non-first basemen with 9 Good Fielding Plays (GFPs).

For those unfamiliar, our Video Scouts award GFPs to players for recording unlikely outs on ground balls or balls hit in the air, among other things. McMahon’s GFPs were made up mostly of those but he also got one for a nifty tag on this play (coincidentally, a ball hit by Cronenworth). We separate first basemen because they tend to accumulate more GFPs than other positions because of the frequency at which they get rewarded for handling difficult throws from teammates.

At least in the early part of 2021, McMahon’s defensive presence has made up for the departure of second baseman DJ LeMahieu and the trade of third baseman Nolan Arenado the last few offseasons.

Cronenworth led all players with 7 Defensive Runs Saved in May. His 8 Runs Saved overall trail McMahon, Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, and Rangers shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who each have 9.

Cronenworth has saved an MLB-high 7 of those runs with his second base defense. In addition to rating well in our components measuring his Range and Arm, Cronenworth has saved 2 runs at second base with his double play turning, converting 30-of-37 opportunities (81%). That success rate is the highest of anyone at the position.

The Padres lead the majors with 37 Defensive Runs Saved and their infield has been largely responsible for that, accounting for 30 of those Runs Saved. Cronenworth and Ha-seong Kim (who also has saved 8 runs) have been their most valuable defenders.

Most Defensive Runs Saved in May

Name Team DRS
Jake Cronenworth Padres 7
DJ LeMahieu Yankees 6
Nicky Lopez Royals 5
Manuel Margot Rays 5
Magneuris Sierra Marlins 5
Odubel Herrera Phillies 5
Ha-seong Kim Padres 5
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Rangers 5
Buster Posey Giants 5
Adolis García Rangers 5



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