The New York Yankees did not win their division last year, and had to go to a Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox, which they lost.
This year, however, and despite their second-half woes, they are pacing their division with a five-game cushion.
A big part of the improvement from year to year can be attributed to defense.
According to Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS, they were a subpar team with the glove in 2021.
The situation improved with several specific moves.
“Yankees enter the day with MLB-best 100 Defensive Runs Saved this season! – They ranked 29th in MLB last season (-41) – Previous Yankees high: 28 in 2017(!) – 4 teams have finished a season with 100 since stat tracked in 2003 (Most: 2018 Dbacks, 125),” SIS_ Baseball tweeted.
Yankees enter the day with MLB-best 100 Defensive Runs Saved this season!
– They ranked 29th in MLB last season (-41)
– Previous Yankees high: 28 in 2017(!)
— SIS_Baseball (@sis_baseball) September 6, 2022
An All-Inclusive Defensive Stat
First, let’s define what DRS is.
According to MLB.com’s official page, “DRS quantifies a player’s entire defensive performance by attempting to measure how many runs a defender saved. It takes into account errors, range, outfield arm and double-play ability.”
Of course, Torres also grades positively at second base, where he was moved for the 2022 campaign.
Overall, the Yanks may not be having the most impressive offensive performances besides Judge, but they sure can field.
The numbers prove that, and as long as that’s the case, even the pitchers’ numbers will look great.