Three D-backs make The Athletic’s All-Star defensive team

Jun 19, 2019, 11:18 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed dives for a grounder by Philadelphia Phillies' Scott King...
Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed dives for a grounder by Philadelphia Phillies' Scott Kingery, who was out at first during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Philadelphia. Arizona won 2-0. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A collaboration between The Athletic and Sports Info Solutions put together an All-Star team solely based on defensive abilities and statistics, and three Diamondbacks have made the list.

Those selected included Nick Ahmed at shortstop, David Peralta in left field and Zack Greinke at pitcher.

One player was selected for each position, making one-third of the team D-backs.

Ahmed was on top of what The Athletic called a “really good year for NL shortstops,” edging the Cubs’ Javier Baez for the nod.

Writer Mark Simon cited Ahmed’s ability to makes plays on balls hit deep and some of his statistics.

We’re going to go with Ahmed for similar reasons to Simmons. He’s amazing on balls hit deep in the hole, which has vaulted him to the lead in runs saved among shortstops. Additionally, the Diamondbacks saved 17 runs with their defensive shifts. Nine of them have come on balls fielded by Ahmed, the highest total for any NL player.

Ahmed’s defensive ranks not only place him high on shortstops but among baseball in general. He ranks third out of all defenders in Fangraphs’ defensive runs saved with a total of 12.

Peralta didn’t have as competitive of a spot but has made his presence known with his arm and ability to account for Chase Field.

Peralta leads left fielders in both runs saved (6) and Good Fielding Plays (8). He’s very good at chasing down the deep fly ball in spacious Chase Field and he’s been above-average at deterring baserunner advancement.

Peralta has the 25th-highest DRS in all of baseball.

Simon had high praise for Greinke, calling him a “fifth infielder” and noting his awareness.

I just watched 10 of his highest-valued plays from 2019 and what stood out was how his follow-through allows him to be ready for a ball hit in any direction, whether it’s hard- or soft-hit. Greinke leads all pitchers with 2.7 putouts and assists per game. No one else entered the week at even 2-per-game.

The Diamondbacks overall have been a good defensive team this season, as they rank third in DRS with a total of 48 on the season. Another defensive metric, UZR, has them ranked third as well.

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Three D-backs make The Athletic’s All-Star defensive team