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John Dewan's Stat of the Week - Joey Gallo

MLB Defensive Player of the Month for July

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On April 28, I received an inquiry from a fellow baseball writer regarding Joey Gallo’s Defensive Runs Saved total, which stood at -4 for the season. He wanted to know what to make of that given that Gallo had led right fielders in Defensive Runs Saved in the shortened 2020 season.

One of the points I made in my reply was that Gallo had a good track record and that there was plenty of time for him to turn that number around.

Gallo has done that and then some. He’s our Defensive Player of the Month for July after saving 12 runs during the month. Gallo now has 14 Runs Saved this season, the most among right fielders.

As we noted in last week’s Stat of the Week, Gallo’s 27 Runs Saved since the start of last season are the most for any player in MLB.

Gallo’s strong month was powered by six assists as well as a home run robbery against Akil Baddoo of the Tigers on July 5. That was one of five Good Fielding Plays Gallo had during the month against Detroit (he totaled three against all other opponents combined). Gallo had two assists in a game twice, including a pair in a one-run win against the Diamondbacks on July 27.

We don’t give Defensive Player of the Month to units, but if we did this month, the Royals double play combination of second baseman Whit Merrifield and shortstop Nicky Lopez may have won it. Merrifield was the runner-up to Gallo with 7 Runs Saved overall in July and Lopez was tied for third with third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates and Red Sox utility man Kiké Hernández with 6 Runs Saved.

This was impressive given that Merrifield and Lopez both started the month with negative Runs Saved totals this season. Merrifield is now in contention for the MLB lead at second base. He has 9 Runs Saved there (to go along with -2 in right field), which ranks second to Marcus Semien’s 11.

Hayes, who missed two months earlier this season due to a wrist injury, is closing in on the MLB lead for Runs Saved at third base. He’s at 9 Runs Saved, 1 behind Joshua Fuentes of the Rockies. Fuentes was sent to Triple-A last week.

Hernández keeps moving around the diamond. He’s currently the major league leader in Runs Saved in center field (including 6 in July), but outfielder Jarren Duran’s call-up has resulted in Hernández moving to the infield. Given his success, he could contend for his second straight Fielding Bible Award for multi-position excellence.

Most Defensive Runs Saved – July

Player Current Team DRS
Joey Gallo Yankees 12
Whit Merrifield Royals 7
Nicky Lopez Royals 6
Ke’Bryan Hayes Pirates 6
Kiké Hernández Red Sox 6

Joey Gallo's Value

By MARK SIMON New Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo is having a highly unusual season. [...]

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