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John Dewan's Stat of the Week - Tampa Bay Rays

April's Defensive Player of the Month

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Rays outfielder Brett Phillips is unlikely to play 1,000 innings in the field this season. But if he did, he’d put up some kind of Defensive Runs Saved numbers.

In fact, he’s currently playing at a 54 Runs Saved per 1,000 innings pace!

Phillips is our choice for April’s Defensive Player of the Month, a selection made by members of Sports Info Solutions’ R&D team.

His 5 Runs Saved are currently tied for the most among outfielders. The only player with more is Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman, who was runner-up for the honor.

We wrote an appreciation of Phillips’ defense a couple of weeks ago, and his penchant for defensive excellence has continued through his first 91 innings in 2022.

The piece noted that Phillips ranked among the best outfielders in both Range Runs Saved and Arm Runs Saved on a per-inning basis. Both areas contributed to his success in April.

Phillips has made 5 Good Fielding Plays this season:

On April 11, he robbed Billy McKinney with a catch in the right field corner, then made a sliding catch by the visiting dugout while eating up an inning as a pitcher in a lopsided game.

On April 15, he made a diving catch on Yasmani Grandal’s fly ball in shallow right, then took a potential home run away from Grandal the next day.

Lastly, on April 28, Phillips helped preserve a one-run lead in the ninth inning by recovering and getting a force play at second base on a ball that one of his teammates muffed.

Phillips was preserving his own lead that day. He’d driven in both of the Rays’ runs in a 2-1 win.

To his credit, Edman had a fantastic month as well, leading all players with 7 Runs Saved. Among his highlights was robbing former Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong with a diving play and a leaping play on a line drive hit by Bryan Reynolds, in which he got the out despite dropping the ball.

Edman too has excelled on a per-inning basis. Since 2019, he ranks tied for second among second basemen in Defensive Runs Saved despite ranking 14th in innings played.

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