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The Best Projected Defensive Infield and Outfield

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With Spring Training working its way into full swing, it’s time to break down our team Defensive Runs Saved projections for the 2016 season.

The Baltimore Orioles own this year’s best defensive infield projection at 27 runs saved.

Baltimore Orioles Infield
Pos Player 2016 Proj DRS 2015 DRS
1B Chris Davis 1 4
2B Jonathan Schoop 2 -3
3B Manny Machado 17 14
SS J.J. Hardy 5 4
Utility Ryan Flaherty 2 -3

Manny Machado, who finished third in the Fielding Bible Awards at the hot corner last season, anchors the O’s superb infield defense. Machado trailed last year’s co-leaders Nolan Arenado and Adrian Beltre by four runs a piece and is projected second-highest at the position this season, three behind Arenado.

For the rest of the Orioles infield, there isn’t a ton to get excited about but each plays average to above-average defense, which works for them as a unit. J.J. Hardy is pegged in a tie for the sixth-best defensive shortstop this season, hoping to build upon his 11th-place finish from a season ago.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Royals are slated for the best outfield yet again in 2016. They were our preseason selection last season, but their 32 runs saved fell short of both the Rays (44) and Diamondbacks (37) by seasons end.

Kansas City Royals Outfield
Pos Player 2016 Proj DRS 2015 DRS
LF Alex Gordon 14 7
CF Lorenzo Cain 15 18
CF Jarrod Dyson 2 6
RF Paulo Orlando 2 4
RF Jarrod Dyson 1 2

When you roll out arguably the best outfield tandem in the game in Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain, and play in spacious Kauffman Stadium, you come to expect these kind of honors. Our projections pencil both Gordon and Cain second among their respective positions, with Gordon taking a back seat to Starling Marte in left by one run and Cain seven runs behind Kevin Kiermaier in center. It was the same story for both outfielders last season, each finishing as the runner-up in their position’s Fielding Bible Award. Maybe in 2016 the duo can dethrone their counterparts.

In the Royals first game of Spring Training, the versatile and speedy Jarrod Dyson came down with a right oblique strain that put him on the shelf until mid-April. The injury opens the door for Paulo Orlando, who is likely the frontrunner to win the Opening Day job. Barring any setbacks, Dyson and Orlando should figure into a platoon by late Spring and hold down the right side of the Royals outfield. 

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