D-backs’ Christian Walker named Fielding Bible’s best defensive 1B

Oct 28, 2022, 10:01 AM

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski, bottom, is tagged out by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Chri...

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Suwinski, bottom, is tagged out by Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker after driving in a run with a single during the third inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker flashed as one of the best players in MLB at his position this season, particularly on defense.

As a result, Fielding Bible — a baseball defensive metrics database — named him the game’s best defensive first baseman.

Walker was the runaway leader in Defensive Runs Saved at first base with 17. No other first baseman had more than 6. Walker’s 17 Runs Saved were the most by a first baseman since Joey Votto had 18 in 2017.

The 17 DRS Walker posted ties him for the eighth-most in a season at first base since the metric’s inception in 2002. Only Albert Pujols (twice), Mark Teixeira (twice), Daric Barton, Casey Kotchman and Joey Votto saved more runs in a season at the position.

The 31-year-old Walker is the second Diamondbacks first baseman to receive this recognition, as Paul Goldschmidt won in 2013, 2015 and 2017. He’s also the 11th Diamondback to earn best defensive player at his position since Fielding Bible started naming recipients in 2006.

The 10 other Diamondbacks to win:

  • SS Nick Ahmed (2019)
  • LF David Peralta (2019)
  • RHP Zack Greinke (2018-19)
  • C Jeff Mathis (2018)
  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt (2013, 2015, 2017)
  • OF Ender Inciarte (2015)
  • RF Gerardo Parra (2013)
  • RF Justin Upton (2011)
  • LF Eric Byrnes (2007)
  • 2B Orlando Hudson (2006)

Not only did Walker dominate defensively against his position, he dominated defensively against the entire league.

Among 243 players with at least 500 defensive innings, Walker tied for the eighth-most DRS in the league — fourth among infielders.

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