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ESPN: Zack Greinke, Nick Ahmed among best on defense in first half of 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo, left, confers with starting pitcher Zack Greinke after Greinke gave up an RBI-single to Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story in the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 23, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Paul Goldschmidt will be the lone Diamondbacks representative in the 2016 MLB All-Star game, but that doesn’t mean Arizona hasn’t gotten strong contributions elsewhere during the first-half of 2016.

Offensively, Jake Lamb might have earned a snub because of the D-backs’ poor record, but two of his teammates might be nearly as deserving because of their defensive contributions.

ESPN’s Scott Spratt included Arizona ace Zack Greinke among his list of defensive All-Stars based on his fielding, giving him the nod over Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.

This year, Greinke is enjoying another excellent defensive season now with the Diamondbacks. He has always covered a lot of ground against bunts and softly hit batted balls, but what stands out more is his limiting of baserunners. He has not allowed double-digit stolen bases against him in a season since 2010, and this year, runners have taken just three bases against him against two caught stealings.

That projects to four defensive runs saved for Greinke, which on top of his 10-3 record and 3.62 ERA before his recent oblique injury should stand up well among the best pitchers in baseball.

Spratt also points out that Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed is having another strong year at shortstop. He ranks third at his position in projected defensive runs saved.

At his rate of 11 defensive runs saved per 644 innings this year, Ahmed is projected to hit 24 if he were to play a full season (1,400 innings).

Only the Giants’ Brandon Crawford (projected 35 defensive runs saved in 1,400 innings) and the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons (project at 31 defensive runs saved) rank above Ahmed.

Ahmed, however, has been more error-prone this season. He has nine miscues at the All-Star break and recorded 13 all of the 2015 season.

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