Over the course of the 2018 season, Story played 1372.2 defensive innings at shortstop. The three finalists for the Gold Glove, Nick Ahmed, Freddy Galvis and Brandon Crawford, all played 1239.2, 1401.0 and 1259.0 innings, respectively.
In those 1372.2 innings, Story’s defensive numbers are surprisingly pedestrian for a player who routinely made flashy diving stops and barehand, jump and spin throws look relatively easy.
He had 0 DRS (defensive runs saved) this year, down from his 11 last season. His UZR (ultimate zone rating) was -2.2, also down from his 1.7 in 2017. His .981 fielding percentage was good for seventh in baseball, tied with the Braves’ Dansby Swanson and behind both Ahmed and Galvis. For comparison, Ahmed’s 21 DRS and 4.6 UZR, Galvis’ 7 DRS, and Crawford’s 7 DRS and -0.9 UZR were all better.
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Fangraphs reports RZR (revised zone rating), a stat that measures the proportion of balls hit into a fielder’s zone that he successfully converted for an out (Fangraphs Sabermetrics Library). Story ranked 11th in baseball with a .777 RZR. That left him behind all three NL shortstop finalists.
The site also reports defensive runs above average (DEF) as a way to measure a player’s total defensive value relative to league average (0). It uses other defensive metrics like DRS and UZR, and 9-10 runs of DEF equals about one win of value. Story’s 4.8 DEF was good for 15th in baseball, behind Crawford’s 5.5 and Ahmed’s 11.0. Galvis ranked 19th in that category with 2.8.
Story also committed 12 errors this season, more than Ahmed and Galvis, who both committed nine, but fewer than Crawford’s 16.
On the other hand, he did turn 43 double plays, which was good for third in baseball behind Ahmed and AL finalist Andrelton Simmons. Of course, that partially depends on the pitching staff’s ability to induce ground balls, but it shouldn’t be discounted completely.
Story certainly took a very large step forward this season, and he made some incredible defensive plays. Based on the numbers, though, the Gold Glove snub isn’t nearly as big as some others we’ve seen throughout this season. It’s not a knock on Story. The three that made it are just more deserving.