Kevin Kiermaier, King of Fielders

The late-season leaders in the SABR Defensive Index — or Indices, if you like — are out, and the biggest takeaway is that Kevin Kiermaier, if you believe in these sorts of things, is having a truly tremendous season. Combining the leagues and considering all positions, here are your top five:

26.7 Kevin Kiermaier
16.8 Brandon Crawford
13.2 Nolan Arenado
12.4 Manny Machado
11.6 Adeiny Hechavarria

Kiermaier’s dominance isn’t just about this season; according to John Dewan’s Defensive Runs Saved, Kiermaier’s having one of the greatest fielding seasons of the last decade-plus.

What’s not clear is how much of this is real ability, and how much is normal statistical noise or fluctuation. One name you don’t see up there is Andrelton Simmons, even though he was doing historic things not so long ago. And another takeaway for me is that Hechavarria — whom Marlins broadcaster Rich Waltz has been raving about for years — has never looked great statistically until this season.

Anyway, I encourage you to dig into SABR ratings, which are a big piece of the Gold Gloves process. But more than anything, I think you’ll find that the guys with great reputations also have good or great numbers. Which means … something, right?